Pan American Day


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Related to Pan American Day: Pan American Union

Pan American Day

April 14
April 14, 1890, is the day on which the First International Conference of American States adopted a resolution forming what is now known as the Organization of American States (OAS). The original member countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Since 1967, 14 more countries have joined: Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, Suriname, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, Canada, Belize, and Guyana.
The purpose of the OAS, which has remained basically unchanged since that time, is to strengthen peace and security in the Western Hemisphere by promoting understanding among the various countries of North, Central, and South America. The International Union of American Republics (now called the Pan American Union)—the central permanent agency and general secretariat of the OAS—designated April 14 as Pan American Day in 1930, and it was first observed the following year.
Although each member country holds its own celebration, it is at the Pan American Union building in Washington, D.C., that one of the largest observances takes place. Students from all over the Western Hemisphere travel to Washington where, against a backdrop of flags in the courtyard of the House of the Americas, they perform a program of folk songs and dances. Ceremonies are also held in Miami and in other cities with large populations from Latin American countries.
CONTACTS:
Organization of American States
17th St. & Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
202-458-3000; fax: 202-458-6421
www.oas.org
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 284
AnnivHol-2000, p. 62
BkHolWrld-1986, Apr 14
DictDays-1988, p. 87

Celebrated in: Belize

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