1.18.2017 Day in History

roberlan deviantart
roberlan deviantart

In what ought to be a cause for jocularity among our fractious clannish sorts, today is a Day of Prayer for Christian Unity among erstwhile proponents of the Nazarene around the globe, while in 2016, Americans commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.; in the Andes four hundred eighty-two years ago, Spanish interloper and plunderer Francisco Pizarro oversaw the ‘creation’ of what became Lima, modern day Peru’s capital; a century and thirty-six years subsequent to that imperial venture, in 1671, British privateer Henry Morgan capped years of plunder of Spanish treasure with a sacking of Panama City, the second largest town in the Hemisphere; eighteen years later, in 1689 back in Europe, a baby boy cried out who matured as the renowned thinker and philosopher, Montesquieu; just short of nine decades hence, in 1778, James Cook claimed the credit for ‘discovering’ what he termed the Hawaiian Islands; one hundred fifty  years back, a male infant was born in Nicaragua who became the acclaimed poet and iconic thinker of liberation, Ruben Dario; half a dozen years thereafter, in 1873, the writer whom critics credit with the worst opening line in English, Edward Bulwer Lytton, drew a final anguished breath before departing forever; nine years yet later on, in 1882, a British infant boy opened his eyes who would rise as the poet and writer, of ‘Poohish’ tales, A.A. Milne; seven hundred thirty days onward from that, in 1874, a Mexican baby girl entered our midst who would grow up as the famed feminist and human rights advocate, Elena Arizmendi Mejia; twenty-two years subsequently, in 1896, a professor at Davison College in North Carolina demonstrated the first prototype of a fluoroscope, or x-ray machine; a century and four years prior to the present pass, a Greek fleet of battleships defeated an Ottoman flotilla and gained control of the Northern Aegean for Greece; two years after that, around the world in 1915, Japan issued a set of twenty-one demands to China that sought to place the mainland, especially Manchuria, under Japanese hegemony; four years PARIS eiffelhenceforth, in 1919, back around the world again, the corrupt and venal Versailles ‘Peace Conference’ opened outside Paris, laying a
solid foundation for more global carnage a generation down the road; three hundred sixty-five days beyond that conjunction, in 1920, New York State approved banning teachers who joined or identified with communist organizations and thinking; five years past that juncture, in 1925, back again in Paris, a male child took a first look around on his way to a philosophical life as thinker and writer, Gilles Deleuze; seven more years along the temporal arc, in 1932, the baby boy came along whom fate had selected as the writer, storyteller, and mystic, Robert Anton Wilson; four years nearer to now, in 1936, the English Nobel Literary Laureate, Rudyard Kipling, breathed his last; seven years even closer to today, in 1943, Jews in Warsaw rose up against Nazi forces in control of their community; across the Atlantic a single year after that, in 1944, the first jazz concert took place at the Metropolitan Opera house, replete with Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman and others; a further year along time’s path, in 1945, the resurgent Soviet Red Army liberated Krakow in Poland and Budapest in Hungary on the same day; just shy of three decades afterward, in 1974, Israeli and Egyptian negotiators reached an accord for disengaging their combatants from the Yom Kippur War; four years still more proximate to the present, in 1978, Johnny Paycheck’s song, “Take This Job and Shove It,” reached number one on the Billboard charts; a decade and a half henceforth, in 1993, all fifty states commemorated the loss of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the same day for the first time, ten years after the passage of Federal legislation that declared the third Monday in January as such a day, and a quarter century after his assassination; seven years ahead of our moment in time, the beloved Canadian folksinger, Kate McGarrigle, sang her swan song; two years even farther along, in 2012, online outbursts against the Stop Online Piracy Act showed the potential of dissenters to shut down the web in their stand against SOPA and monopoly media.