1.16.2017 Day in History

CC BY-NC-ND by iirraa

The United States today marks a holiday that is as likely to subvert as fervent to promote, National Religious Freedom Day; in an event that Caesar’s rubicon-crossing foretold two decades prior, two thousand forty-four years ago, the Roman Senate affirmed its privilege and class orientation by handing over the keys to the kingdom to Rome’s first emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus; four centuries and half a decade onward, in 378, in the as-yet ‘undiscovered’ Americas, the human proclivity to conquest and empire played out, a different tune with a markedly similar theme, when early Aztec chieftain Spearthrower Owl continued his consolidation of power when his army conquered Tikal; fourteen hundred sixty-seven years ahead of our present dawning day, back in Europe, Ostrogothic forces furthered this ongoing multifaceted saga with the overthrowing of Roman rule through bribery and other treacherous means; a thousand eighty-eight years prior to this precise instant, the more modern imperial developments that continued to characterize our world evolved one of their fist iterations when Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III established Islamic rule in the Iberian Peninsula with the proclamation of the Caliphate of Cordoba; nine years short of two brief centuries thereafter, in 1120, a tit-for-tat Christian response took place when the Council of Nablus began its work to establish a statutory basis for European control of Jerusalem and the Levant; eight years less than three centuries onward from that juncture, in 1412, the notorious Medicis garnered the title of Roman Catholicism’s official financiers; eight decades subsequent to that pronouncement, in 1492, a ‘big year for Spain’ started with the presentation to Queen Isabella of the Spanish tongue’s first Official Grammar; another eighty years in the future from that, in 1572, in a somewhat related development, English Duke Thomas Howard faced a trial for serving Spanish interests in trying to reestablish Catholic imprimatur in Great Britain; thirty-three years further along the temporal arc, in 1605, an additional Spanish literary coup took place when Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra put forth his first volume of El Ingenioso Hidalgo

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Don Quijote de la Mancha; one hundred two years in the future from that conjunction, in 1707, Scotland’s Parliament put its seal of approval on a still-extant Great Britain with its ratification of the Act of Union; two hundred fifty-six years back, in a conflict that mirrors continuing combat over empire, English troops captured Pondichery in India from the French who had previously stolen from the Hindus; a quarter century hence, in 1786, Virginia established its commitment to the religious freedom that Thomas Jefferson promoted in his Statute for Religious Freedom; eight years more on time’s relentless march, in 1794, back in Mother England, the masterful chronicler Edward Gibbon declined and fell for a final time; forty-four years afterward, in 1838, the male infant cried out for the first time whose destiny would lead him to become pathfinding psychologist Franz Brentano; seventeen years further along, in 1855, the little baby girl opened her eyes who would rise as the brilliant, if briefly lived, Eleanor Marx; seven years past that initiation, in 1862, a disaster befell English coal miners when over 200 men and boys suffocated because their mine had only a single entrance and exit; a dozen years even closer to the current context, in 1874, the baby boy was born who would rise as the lyrical creator of verse Robert Service; nine years after that happy event, in 1883, an estimable instance of good government came into force as the Pendleton Civil Service Act took effect and eliminated the spoils system of staffing Federal offices; thirty-six years yet later on, in 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution gained the necessary votes for ratification, marking one year only till the initiation of the criminal enterprise of Prohibition; that very next year, in 1920, as the hypocrisy and gangsterism of illegal alcohol took effect, the League of Nations held its first meeting in Paris, and Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer oversaw the arrest and detention of thousands of radicals and reds and ‘enemies of established order’ as the notorious Palmer Raids began; a mere year nearer to the here and now, in 1921, real life USSR_Emblem_1936 russia sovietadherents of the radicalism that Palmer feared met for the first time in Ľubochňa roughly four thousand miles to the East as the Marxist Left in Slovakia and Transcarpathia, Ukraine; seven hundred thirty days farther down the pike, in 1923, a baby male bounced into the world en route to his role in founding the Roundabout Theater Company as Gene Feist, while another boy child first cried out who would mature as the thinker and poet and soldier, Anthony Hecht; seven more years on time’s track, in 1930, a baby boy squalled who would become the arch-conservative establishment apologist, Norman Podhoretz; another two years en route to now, in 1932, a girl baby came along who would grow up as scientist of life and controversy, Dian Fossey; another three hundred sixty-five day cycle round the sun, in 1933, the female infant entered the world in standard fashion who would claim SOP intellectual imprimatur of vision and criticism as Susan Sontag; half a dozen years henceforth, in 1938, Carnegie Hall gave a nod to popular jazz music with the performance in that august space of Benny Goodman and his orchestra; not quite a decade after that musical interlude, in 1947, a female baby looked about her for the first time on her way to life as the reactionary proponent of ‘responsibility’ and privilege Laura Schlessinger; just a year henceforth, in 1948, a boy child was born who would grow into the film auteur and countercultural favorite, John Carpenter; another nine years on the trek toward the here and now, in 1957, the brilliant cellist and conductor Arturo VIOLINToscanini composed his final symphony; an additional two-year move in the deirection of today, in 1959, a girl baby sang out for the first time who would delight listeners and audiences with her lyrics and singing as the Nigerian-English pop star Sade; half decade in even greater proximity to our present point in time, in 1964, the rollicking musical, Hello Dolly! Opened for its nearly eight-year run on the Great White Way, and Lyndon Johnson approved Oplan, a secret military-and-CIA-backed intervention by South Vietnamese special forces in North Vietnam proper; six years still later, in 1970, a couple of years before Hello Dolly closed its epic run, Buckminster Fuller received further accolades from established society when he obtained a Gold Medal Award from the American Institute of Architects, and Kurt Flood initiated his ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit against major league baseball to enable free agency; just shy of another decade after that, in 1979, the notorious mass murderer and darling of oil companies and intelligence agencies Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi fled Iran for Egypt and ended aristocratic rule in Persia for at least a time; another thirteen years thereafter, in 1992, in a different sort of devolution of empire, Salvadorean rebels and US – backed officials signed the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico Coty to end a decade and a haf or more of bloody civil war; nine circuits of the sun beyond that juncture, in 2001, lifelong labor leader Leonard Woodcock breathed his last, and preparing for the inauguration of the unelected George W. Bush, Bill Clinton demonstrated the parameters of the imperial presidency by awarding Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor for his role in the Spanish American War in Cuba, the first installment of modern American imperialism; the very next year, in 2002, the United Nations Security Council unanimously affirmed both the isolation of ‘Islamic radicals’ and its own faint-jearted hypocrisy when it froze the assets and embargoed arms supplies to Osama Bin laden and any other members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban; an eleven-year sojourn toward today, in 2013, the creator of Dear Abby, Pauline Phillips, wrote her final column, and the French inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch, André Cassagnes, drew a final breath.