We here at Vision of Humanity spend our days dealing with facts and figures related to peace. Indeed, the Global Peace Index has over 25,000 data points, each one a worthy and interesting fact about the state of peace. But for this selection of random facts, we thought we'd branch out a little from the research of the Institute for Economics and Peace and try something a little different.
1. The peace symbol was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtam as an insignia for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. According to Ransom Riggs at mentalfloss.com, the combination of the circle, vertical, and diagonal lines actually represent the letters ‘N’ and ‘D’ in flag semaphore code.
2. In the same year that John Lennon and Yoko Ono released their single ‘Give Peace a Chance’, American troops saw their first withdrawal from Vietnam, and the negotiations between Russia and the US that would eventually lead to the end of the Cold War began.
3. In 2011, the US Military Budget topped US$ 900 billion for that year alone. A year later, University of California Davis PHD student Steve Haroz calculated that that’s more than the entire budget of NASA for the last 56 years.
4. The definition of peace is two pronged and includes two separate definitions, Positive Peace and Negative peace. These were concepts articulated by peace scholar Johan Galtung and come together to form the modern understanding of peace. Negative Peace refers to the absence of violence or the fear of violence, while Positive Peace can be understood as the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin peaceful societies.
5. Although Mahatma Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including once after his death, he never received it.
6. The first Nobel Peace Prize laureates in 1901 went to Switzerland’s Henry Dunant, for his role in founding the International Committee of the Red Cross. The second distinguished recipient was Frenchman Frédéric Passy, for being one of the main founders of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and also the main organizer of the first Universal Peace Congress.
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