1.06.2017 Day in History

CC BY-SA by Zaqarbal Alfonso X el Sabio
CC BY-SA by Zaqarbal Alfonso X el Sabio

Eight hundred ninety-nine years ago, forces allied with Alfonso of Aragon drove out the last Sultanate of Zaragoza in Northern Spain; two hundred ninety-six years later, in 1412, a baby girl came into the world who would live the brief and fiery life of Joan of Arc; eight decades beyond that juncture, in 1492, as Columbus was ‘discovering’ America an ocean away in 1492, Spanish crown troops completed the ‘reconquest’ of Spain from Islam; two hundred ninety-six years before the here and now, in an eventuality that foretold later dynamics of money and fetish and greed, the South Sea Bubble official inquiry released its report; as the Napoleonic Wars—the real first world war, arguably—wound down eighty-eight years subsequently, in 1809, Portugal’s government-in-exile and its troops and Brazilian forces and a small British maritime contingent attacked French Guiana’s Cayenne in the Southern Caribbean; one hundred seventy-nine years back, Alfred Vail modeled the forerunner of Morse Code, a telegraph transmission mechanism that relied on dots and dashes; fourteen years later on, in 1852, the inventor of an ‘alphabet’ for the blind, Louis Braille, saw his final day; just past a quarter century hence, in 1878, a baby boy was born who grew into legendary bard Carl Sandburg; another seven hundred thirty years onward, in 1880, a male infant cried out who would become the performer and screenwriter Tom Mix; Richard Henry Dana, a well-off champion of freedom for common people Black and White, died two years afterward, in 1882, and the Toronto Trades & Labour Council solidaritydedicated itself to “equal pay for equal work” between men and women; three hundred sixty-five days after that point, in 1883, another male infant uttered his first cry en route to a life thousands of miles away as poet Kahlil Gibran; Maria Montessori a hundred ten years ago opened her first working class daycare and school near Rome; five years subsequently to the day, in 1912, a prominent geologist first publicly defended the idea of continental drift as an explanation for the geological history of Earth; ten hundred ninety-six days after that precisely, in 1915, the baby boy was born who grew up to become seer and popular thinker Alan Watts; another year more proximate to the present instant, in 1916, across the Atlantic in Ohio, 8,000 workers called a strike at Youngstown Sheet & Tube, the next day joined on the picket lines by their families, where company hired guns shot at them with impunity, killing three and wounding more than a score more; in the aftermath of World War One and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire ninety-six years back, the new nation of Iraq first formed its Army into a national fighting force; two years later exactly, in 1923, the baby male who became acclaimed Argentine journalist Jacobo Timerman came into the world; another year farther along guitar music art performancetime’s arc, in 1924, another male child called out on his way to a life as the crooner and lyricist, Earl Scruggs; seven years to the day thereafter, in 1931, a male entered the world in the usual way on his way to fame and fortune as novelist and critic E.L. Doctorow; not quite a decade hence, in 1940, a baby girl opened her eyes who would rise as the acclaimed journalist and essayist, Penny Lernoux; three hundred sixty-six days further along, in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt delivered his ‘Four Freedoms’ State of the Union, in which he defended freedoms of speech and belief and from want and fear; and three years beyond that, in 1944, brilliant researcher, documentarian, and muckraker Ida Tarbell breathed her last; seven hundred thirty-one days after that passage, in 1946, an English male child cried out whom destiny designated would become the singer and songwriter of Pink Floyd fame, Syd Barrett; the United Kingdom four years even closer to the current context, in 1950, recognized the newly inaugurated People’s Republic of China, which caused an immediate cessation of diplomatic relations with Taiwan; a single year yet later on, in 1951,

Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900
Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900

South Korean forces slaughtered hundreds of their fellow citizens for the crime of having suspected communist sympathies; two years down the road from that, in 1953, the first pan-Asian Socialist Conference convened in Burma; a further seventeen years nearer to now, in 1970, West Virginia Coal miners erupted in a wildcat strike at the announced assassination of their leader, Jock Yablonski and his wife and daughter; twenty-four years before the present pass, the renowned dancer and thinker Rudolf Nuryev drew a final breath; a dozen years subsequent to the conjunction, in 2005, an indictment in the forty-one year old murder of three civil rights workers took place in Mississippi; four years hence, in 2009, Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in the so-called Cast-Lead operation that killed and displaced thousands of civilians in the course of months of one-sided hostilities.