JFK’s Humanitarian Halloween

When Halloween came around in 1960 John F. Kennedy, while campaigning for president, came across a unique trick or treat event. This ghoulish party was not about collecting candy but instead raising money for the UN agency fighting child hunger and disease-UNICEF.

JFK loved it! Kennedy remarked at a shopping plaza in Willow Grove where the UNICEF party took place, “I think that is in the best tradition of this country’s humane and sympathetic effort.” Kennedy continued speaking about fighting hunger and disease in his short speech.

In fact, when JFK became president he even issued a statement from the White House in support of Halloween trick or treat for UNICEF. Kennedy said “UNICEF has caught the imagination of our people–especially our nation’s children whose Halloween collections have become a symbol of concern and an expression of tangible aid.”

See my full commentary at The History News Network:

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Albuquerque Journal Oped: Save Yemen from Starvation on World Food Day

World Food Day is celebrated on Oct. 16, but in Yemen people are eating leaves just to survive. A civil war between a Saudi Arabia-led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels has plunged the already impoverished country near(er to) famine.

If we do anything on World Food Day, let’s feed Yemen’s starving population. We must end the war and hunger that is killing civilians. We must ensure humanitarian access to every part of Yemen so people can get life-saving food and nutrition.

All Yemenis are at risk of some calamity in this war. Bombs are hitting homes, schools and hospitals.

See my full commentary in the Albuquerque Journal:

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If We Want to Show We’re Serious About Denuclearizing Korea We Should Sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un comes near the anniversary of one of President John F. Kennedy’s most famous speeches.  JFK, in a 1963 commencement address at American University, proposed to the Soviet Union ending nuclear weapons testing.

If Trump and Kim are wise, they will follow up on JFK’s test ban proposal to strengthen their own peace effort.

Let’s begin with the fact that North Korea has just dismantled its nuclear test site.  Why not take the next step and end all nuclear testing forever on the Korean peninsula and beyond.

See my full commentary at the History News Network