1.11.2017 Day in History

This day in ancient Rome commemorated the Goddess Carmenta, and the sacred capacity that she offered to women to remember the past and see the future; England operationalized a long tradition four hundred forty-eight years ago by formalizing for the first time a more or less ‘institutional’ lottery; just four years shy of nineteen decades hence, in 1755, in an English settlement in the Caribbean, a baby boy initially cried out en route to a life of fame and conflict as the thinker and upper-crust wannabe rebel, Alexander Hamilton; four years later, in 1759, merchants in Philadelphia incorporated the English colonies’ first life insurance company; two centuries and twelve years before the here and now, Michigan’s territorial creation took place from vast swaths of Indian lands and former French and English possessions; seven hundred thirty days onward, in 1807, a male child was born who would grow up as Ezra Cornell, the founder of Western Union and one of the Ivy League set of colleges; thirty-five years subsequently, in 1842, another infant boy came along, this time as the child who would mature as the thinker and psychologist, William James; three hundred sixty-five days yet later on, in 1843, the poet and writer and lawyer Francis Scott Key, who penned The Star Spangled Banner, breathed his last; another eighteen years farther down time’s path, in 1861, Alabama seceded from the United States; eleven years forward, in 1872, a male baby opened his eyes in Texas who would grow into the masterful physicist and teacher and inventor and creator of textbooks, George Washington Pierce; a decade and a half more proximate to the present pass, in 1887, another baby boy entered the world in the U.S. in standard fashion who would achieve renown as an environmentalist and ecologist and founder of wildlife management, Aldo Leopold; sixteen years henceforth, in 1903, seven thousand miles Southeast in South Africa, an infant male drew his first breath on his way to life as the writer and moral thinker, Alan Payton; ten hundred ninety-six days after that, in 1906, a boy child came forth in Switzerland whose destiny was, among other

"Lsdblotter" by DEA Employee. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -
“Lsdblotter” by DEA Employee. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –

feats, to discover LSD as a compound of rye bread mold; two years farther down the pike to the day, in 1908, the United States declared the Grand Canyon to be a National Monument; just four years onward, in 1912, shouting and singing “bread and roses” as they marched, 32,000 textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts went on strike against wage reductions followed mandatory limitations on weekly hours of work; a decade afterward, in 1922, insulin, harvested primarily from slaughtered cattle, first treated diabetes; exactly a year subsequent to that conjunction, in 1923, Belgian and French troops moved into the German Ruhr industrial region to force reparations payments; four years precisely past that point in time, in 1927, Louis Mayer announced the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at a dinner in Southern California; three hundred sixty-five days later on the dot, in 1928, British novelist and writer Thomas Hardy lived out his final scene; eight years farther on the temporal

Lyrics to "Solidarity Forever" from UE song book, 1952 (Helen Quirini Papers)
Lyrics to “Solidarity Forever” from UE song book, 1952 (Helen Quirini Papers)

arc, in 1936, autoworkers in Flint Michigan used the tactic of the sitdown strike in their plants; three years after that instant in time and space, in 1941, German chess strategist and champion Emmanuel Lasker died; two years yet nearer to now, in 1943, the United States and Britain foreswore future territorial rights in China as a way of finessing growing Communist strength, and a baby male cried out who would mature as the humorist, politician, and estimable writer, Jim Hightower; half a dozen years more proximate to the present pass, in 1949, via KDKA in Pittsburgh, the first ‘networked’ television show went out, ‘broadcast,’ in both the East and the Midwest; fifteen years after that moment, in 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General, after decades of accusations of ‘sloppy science’ and other lies against those who promoted the facts, announced that, indeed, an association between smoking cigarettes and developing lung cancer was highly likely; eight years even closer to the here and now, in 1972, East Pakistan reformulated itself as Bangladesh, both a natural phenomenon and a politically helpful move from the perspective of neocolonialists and investors; eight more years farther down the road, in 1980, nonconformist British novelist Barbara Pym breathed her last; twenty-three years back, the Irish government lifted a decade and a half ban on access to broadcast media by the Irish Republican Army and Sinn Fein; five years later yet, in 1999, the 101 year old Scottish novelist, poet, feminist, and thought leader Naomi Mitchison drew her final breath; three years more on time’s journey, in 2002, Ford Motor Company announced the closing of multiple plants that resulted in 35,000 lost jobs; three hundred sixty-five days henceforth, in 2003, Illinois’ governor suspended the death sentences of 167 condemned prisoners after Chicago Police Department Detective Jon Burge proved to have used torture to obtain hundreds of confessions from accused; four years subsequently, in 2007, the wild and masterful storyteller and thinker, Robert Anton Wilson, lived out his final day; another three years yet later on, in 2010, the acclaimed and critically recognized French filmmaker who went by the name Eric Rohmer died; three more years later, and three years before today, in 2013, the ‘Internet’s own boy’ and leader of democratic media action, Aaron Swartz, allegedly took his own life because of threats of long jail terms for the ‘crime’ of sharing laws and lawsuits and publicly funded research with fellow citizens.