On this day 30 years ago, MTV: Music Television went on the air for the first time ever, broadcasting to several thousand subscribers via a northern New Jersey cable system. The first images of the broadcast were a montage of photos and video from the launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Apollo 11 moon mission. Over these images were spoken the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll” and a new era in music and entertainment was born.
Today, the United Nations has declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia, where scorching temperatures and the lack of water and food has spurred thousands of Somalis to refugee camps in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. It is the worst famine in the area in nearly 20 years. Poor harvests, lack of rain, infectious disease outbreaks and internal political conflicts are to blame for the escalation of the crisis.
Hillary Clinton issued a written statement after the United Nations announcement pledging $28 million in additional funding for Somalis and Somali refugees in Kenya, where camps initially set up to handle 90,000 are now overflowing with nearly 400,000 people. The U.N. has issued an appeal to the international community for $300 million in aid over the next few months.
For information on how to help, please visit the UNHCR website.