1.02.2017 Day in History

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Readers in the United States today celebrate a 24 hour period that elevates science fiction as a genre, while Japanese calligraphers commemorate this solar cycle as ‘First Writing Day,’ at the same time that the Northern edge of the Caribbean witnesses Cuba’s honoring of Armed Forces Victory Day, and the Southern part of the same sea oversees Colombia’s Black and White Carnival Day; expressing the continuing Hispanic name for Germany, sixteen and a half centuries plus a single year ago, Alemanni fighters availed themselves of a frozen Rhine river to breach the borders of imperial Rome; precisely a thousand twenty-six years on time’s relentless march toward now, in 1492, Spanish forces finalized the Catholic Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula from Islamic control with the negotiated surrender of the Emirate of Granada; one hundred fifty-five years later, in 1647, the male infant came into the world whose brief transit would define American resistance and rebellion as Nathaniel Bacon; two hundred twenty-six years back, a massacre at Big Bottom in the Ohio territory opportunistically inaugurated a war against Native inhabitants that would further facilitate settlement by ‘true Americans;’ forty-two years subsequently, in 1833, persistent geopolitical maneuvering about the Falkland Islands yielded a reassertion of English hegemony; two dozen years further along, in 1857, the baby male who would mature as educator and activist M Carey Thomas was born; forty years more on time’s track, in 1897, the rising literary genius Stephen Crane survived a ship’s sinking off Florida, which became the basis for his acclaimed story, “The Open Boat;” an extra thousand ninety-five days forward in space and time, in 1900, diplomat and American trust funded personage John Hay articulated a particularly subtle and insidious piece of American

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public relations when he insisted that the United States wanted to benefit china and the world with an Open Door Policy; the very next year, in 1901, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the environmental advocate and founder of the Wilderness Society, Bob Marshall; one thousand four hundred sixty-one days thereafter, in 1905, Russian troops surrendered to victorious Japanese forces at Port Arthur, while a different expression of conflict and resistance to imperial capital transpired in Chicago, where more than a score of trade unionists met formally to establish the Industrial Workers of the World; a decade and a half henceforth, in 1920, a second set of so-called ‘Palmer raids’ took place to incarcerate working class organizers and activists who had committed no crime, in order to forestall resistance to capital’s rapacity by jailing or deporting such ‘undesirables’, or ‘deplorables,’ and the male baby cast its gaze about him in Russia whose creative genius would yield scientist, philosopher, and storyteller Isaac Asimov; twenty-two years even closer to the current context, in 1943, the Federal Bureau of Investigations executed a coup against a Nazi spy ring, snaring thirty-three agents in its web in the largest such operation in US history; a mere half dozen years nearer to the here and now, in 1949, Puerto Rico inaugurated ‘democratic’ forms of government with its first-ever election of a governor; another six years in the direction of today, in 1955, a ‘leader’ at the other end of the Caribbean suffered the ignominy of assassination despite the fact that he was the erstwhile president of Panama; a single solar cycle past that juncture, in 1956, the baby girl was born who would grace the world with her drawings and ideas as Lynda Barry; three years farther down the pike, in 1959, the Soviet Union launched the spacecraft that would be the first to circle the moon and establish an orbit around the sun; a decade and a half yet more proximate to the present pass, in 1974, Richard Nixon declared one of the most scoffed-at laws in history when he proclaimed the national Interstate Highway speed limit, which still maintains its sway, of 55 miles per hour; six years further along, in 1980, Jimmy Carter ended his administration’s purported ‘detente’ with the Soviets in retaliation for the U.S.S.R. Invasion of Afghanistan; exactly twenty-six years hence, in 2006, a coal mine ‘accident’ in West Virginia claimed the lives of eleven colliers, while one of the dozen miners survived asphyxiation; another year onward toward today, in 2007, the estimable historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese breathed her last; precisely half a dozen years subsequent to that passage, in 2013, the historian who taught the first Woman’s History course and was a giant of Women’s Studies, Gerda Lerner, lived out her final scene; an additional year onward from that, just last year in 2016, the reactionary thugs in charge of Saudi Arabia executed a Shia preacher for the ‘crime’ of not following the Sunni canon.