16. 1957 – Laika the Soviet Space Dog
The one time Moscow stray, Laika, was chosen to be sent into space by the Soviet Union. The 11lb female mongrel was the first animal to orbit the Earth. The Soviets chose to use stray dogs from Moscow as they believed them able to endure extreme cold and tough conditions. Unfortunately, Laika died from overheating within hours of the launch. Though her health and wellbeing were overshadowed by the political and technological progression she represented, there is a monument to commemorate Laika that was unveiled in 2008. She is also commemorated at the research facility in Moscow that trained her.
15. 1939 – Gandhi to Hitler
In 1939, Gandhi wrote a heartfelt letter to Adolf Hitler in a bid to end any possibility of war. The letter reads:
“Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because of the feeling that any letter from me would be an impertinence. Something tells me that I must not calculate and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth.
It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to a savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success? Any way I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erred in writing to you.
I remain, your sincere friend, M. K. Gandhi”