Pub Trivia – June 2020

Pub Trivia – June 2020

Jun 02

Swiss FlagTrue or false? Switzerland is a member state of the United Nations. True / On September 10, 2002, Switzerland became the 190th member of the United Nations.

The Turn Around

Switzerland joined the United Nations on September 10, 2002 after many years of refusing to join. When the United Nations was formed in 1945, the Swiss government chose not to join. The government believed that the organization was incompatible with the issue of neutrality. For this reason, the Swiss saw membership as an impossibility for them.

In 1986, the Swiss voted on the issue of joining the United Nations. Two thirds of the voters were against becoming members. Concerns included their military being forced into taking part in conflicts. This went against their stance on neutrality.

As the United Nations began increasing their membership, Switzerland began to understand that the disadvantages of not joining were increasing. These disadvantages continued to grow, and Switzerland was forced to make a decision in 2002.

Another vote in 2002 saw an increase in voters who supported joining the UN with 55% of voters in favor. It was after this vote that Switzerland submitted an official application for membership. This application was sent to and reviewed by the UN General Secretary.

Approval At Last

Finally, on September 10, 2002, the UN General Assembly approved Switzerland’s application to join. They became the 190th member of the United Nations. Though Switzerland has always been involved in political peace talks and neutrality issues, they have deepened their involvement since joining the United Nations.

Other International Orgs

As well as forming part of the United Nations, the country of Switzerland also stretches their influence into other international entities such as the WTO (World Trade Organization), the Council of Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and INTELSAT. Interestingly enough, and contrary to popular belief, Switzerland is not one of the members of the European Union. This is in lieu of the fact that it is completely resounded by countries which do form part of the EU.

The Neutral Country

Switzerland is also widely recognized for having managed to remain out of both World Wars as well as just about any militarized conflict or other form of combat with another nation.

Moreover, the country also takes on the role of ‘protecting power’ for many countries who are not on amicable terms. This means that they represent other nations in dealings with each other, something they have done since WWII through to the modern day.

The Washington Post

John Philip Sousa, namesake of the John Philip Sousa march, founded which nationally-recognized and recently re-acquired newspaper? Answer: THE WASHINGTON POST

But Who Is John?

John Philip Sousa was born in 1854 in Washington DC, where his father was a musician in the United States Marine Band. The son of immigrants from Bavaria and Portugal, he grew up surrounded by music.

By the late 1880s, Sousa was the leader of the Marine Band, and he was becoming famous for composing spritely patriotic music, including “The Gladiator” and “Semper Fidelis”.

Enter The Washington Post

In 1889, The Washington Post newspaper was having an essay competition. The Post had created an Amateur Authors’ Association for children, who were invited to submit their best work for the contest. The newspaper commissioned Sousa to write this march to promote the contest. The Washington Post March was first played at the Smithsonian, which hosted the awards ceremony for the essay competition.

The new march was immediately a huge hit, and it led to Sousa being dubbed the “March King”. The tune became wildly popular in Europe and the United States. There were many pirated versions that appeared in Europe, with different titles. An arrangement of “The Washington Post” became a popular accompaniment for dancing the two-step, which was all the rage. The two-step dance itself became almost synonymous with the march, and the dance was often called “The Washington Post“.

In the Washington Post Building, the newspaper has dedicated a “John Philip Sousa Community Room” to honor the composer.

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