1.19.2017 Day in History

In addition to the general U.S. celebration of Martin Luther King Day, a few jurisdictions—such as Texas and Mississippi and other bastions of White Supremacy—also celebrate Robert E. Lee or Confederate Heroes Day of something similar on this date; as an attempt to resuscitate the imperial imprimatur of Rome, a thousand six hundred thirty-eight years ago, Flavius Augustus became the last Roman Emperor to oversee both the Eastern and Western sections of the empire; more or less a millennia and four decades subsequently, in 1419, Henry V’s soldiers captured Rouen and with it reinstituted British control of Normandy; three hundred fifty-six years before the here and now, Thomas Venner, a skilled craftsman recently returned from two decades in New England, died by hanging,

Benjamin Haas flickr
Benjamin Haas flickr

drawing, and quartering for his part in leading a rebellion in London against the accession of Charles II; two hundred eighty-eight years ahead of now, British playwright and wit William Congreve died; seven years later, in 1736, a male infant came into the world who matured to be scientist and inventor James Watt; twenty-eight years later, in 1764, writer, Radical Bourgeois, libertine, and Member of Parliament John Wilkes lost his seat on charges of seditious libel; twenty-four years after that, in 1788, the second part of the initial British fleet to claim Australia dropped anchor in Botany Bay; a decade hence exactly, in 1798, a boy child was born who would grow up as thinker and theorist Auguste Comte;  eight years thereafter, in 1806, England first occupied the Cape of Good Hope, initiating more than a century of dominance of South Africa; three years later on, in 1809, and plus—or-minus eight thousand miles away, a baby boy was born who would grow up to create marvels as Edgar Allan Poe; crossing the Andes from Argentina eight more years further along, in 1817, plus or minus llama chile andes5,500 soldiers under the leadership of Jose San Martin succeeded in separating first Chile and then Peru from Spanish suzerainty; a dozen years hence precisely, in 1829, Goethe’s first installment of Faust had its premier performance in Berlin; a decade later exactly, in 1839, a small detachment of Royal Marines secured Aden for the British East India Company, and eventually for British imperial and British Petroleum imprimatur, rule that would officially cover the next thirteen decades and in effect manifest hegemony in what we now know as Yemen through the present moment; three hundred sixty five days afterward, in 1840, in the height of the Southern Hemisphere Summer, Charles Wilkes finished a circumnavigation of Antarctica that caused him to claim the entire continent for the United States; twenty-one years subsequent to that day, in 1861, Georgia became the fifth Southern State to secede from the United States, portending bloody Civil War; four years to the day hence, in 1865, French thinker Pierre Proudhon died across the Atlantic; with a victory at St. Quentin in the Parisian suburbs half a dozen years beyond that, in 1871, Prussian forces moved closer to crushing the French in their war; a dozen years into the future from that instant in time and space, in 1883,Thomas Edison oversaw the first urban use of overhead wires to deliver electricity in Northern New Jersey; a decade after on the dot, in 1893, Henrik Ibsen’s Master Builder had its premier performance; another six years along the temporal arc, in 1899, the United Kingdom’s colonial project elicited the formation of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan; sixteen years after that point, in 1915, German Zeppelin’s initiated a century of bombing of civilians from the air, and, based on a patent to George Claude, neon first entered the marketplace as signage, and company gunmen shot a score of strikers in Roosevelt, New Jersey, while across the continent in Utah, constables arrested Joe Hill for a killing he never committed, en route to a judicial murder of the union leader twenty-one months later; five years henceforth, in 1920, the U.S. Senate rejected U.S. entry into the League of Nations, and over five thousand Japanese agricultural workers in Hawaii joined 3,000 Filipino laborers in their strike against inhuman and exploitative working conditions in the fields and packing houses; a year later exactly, in 1921, a baby girl uttered her first cry en route to a life as novelist Patricia Highsmith; twenty-two more years past that moment, in 1943, a baby girl was born who would write and belt out songs as Janis Joplin; ten hundred ninety-six days onward toward today, in 1946, Douglas MacArthur initiated War Crimes Tribunals against Japanese war criminals, and the female infant gave voice who would thrive as the crooner and lyricist, Dolly Parton; three years further on, in 1949, Cuba recognized Israel; four years subsequently, in 1953, nearly three-quarters of U.S. televisions tuned to Lucille Ball’s birth pangs on her show with husband and Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz; seven years subsequently, Japan and the U.S. swore allegiance to each other in a formal declaration; forty-four years back, a California jury found a grower guilty of the grotesque crime of murdering over twenty migrant farmworkers whom he had employed to pick his crops; Iran and the U.S. eight years even closer to the current context, in 1981, agreed to arrangements to release the remaining hostages whose incarceration had followed on the ouster of the Shah of Iran’s police state; seven hundred thirty days along from that juncture, in 1983, Apple Computer issued its first personal work station, the Lisa, and authorities arrested Nazi Klaus Barbie in Bolivia; three years later precisely, in 1986, the first ‘wild’ computer virus entered the virtual ecosphere from Pakistan, and Bruce Springsteen showed up, unannounced, at a benefit for laid-off 3M workers in New Jersey; both the Czech Republic and Slovakia

GWB : 0930-1250 North Atlantic Council (NAC) Summit. Prague, Czech Republic
GWB : 0930-1250 North Atlantic Council (NAC) Summit. Prague, Czech Republic

entered the United Nations as full members seven years yet more proximate to the present day, in 1993; four years hence, in 1997, writer James Dickey lived out his final chapter; three years more on time’s road, in 2000, noted performer, thinker, and math wizard Hedy Lamarr died; the National Aeronautics & Space Administration six years down the pike from that, in 2006, launched its first New Horizons explorer that NASA intended as a vehicle to explore Pluto and the outer Solar System, and renowned singer and songwriter Wilson Pickett sang a swansong; a half-dozen years after that, in 2012, Megaupload went down in Hong Kong as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies closed in.