1.23.2017 Day in History

boat ship mayflowerIn an interesting historical wrinkle, today in the middle of the Pacific Ocean marks Bounty Day for the Pitcairn Islands, where mutineers absconded with themselves after setting loose Captain Bly and the rest of the ‘loyal’ crew of H.M.S Bounty; in that part of the world that was the primary source of ‘civilizations’ and imperial power for many many centuries after the fall of Rome, a thousand forty-six years ago, Song Chinese warriors used devastating crossbow fire to crush their opponents from the Southern Han, who battled while sitting upon their elephants; seven years less than three centuries along time’s path, in 1264, the ninth Louis of Norman France promulgated a decision in a dispute between his cousin, England’s third King Henry and his still –despite the Magna Carta-– rebellious barons, such a one-sided holding that the Second Barons War followed apace; four years beyond a single century past that fractious juncture, in 1368, Chinese rulers demonstrated once more the stability of their imperial SOP, when a transition to the start of the long-lasting Ming Dynasty took place with the coronation of Zhu Yuanzhang at Hongwu; four hundred seventy-one years before today’s dawning, the brilliant Renaissance yarnsmith Rabelais published his Tiers Livre after a hiatus of more than a decade since he issue Gargantua and Pantagruel; just a quarter century later, in 1571, in a more concrete expression of capital’s blossoming, London’ s Royal Exchange first opened for business; an additional eight years in the direction of today, in 1579, one more indicator of early capitalism’s development transpired as the ‘republic’ of Utrecht formed as a Protestant bastion of ‘freedom’ in the Netherlands; seventy-seven years subsequent to that expression of our present era, in 1656, an early ‘enlightened’ thinker, Blaise Pascal, made available his first provincial letters, or Lettres Provinciales; two hundred thirty-four years back, the little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the magnificent storyteller whom we now call Stendhal; half a dozen years further along, in 1789, across the wide Atlantic in the young United States, Georgetown University opened its doors in a part of Maryland that would soon enough incorporate the District of Columbia; fourteen years hence, in 1803, back across the ocean in the United Kingdom, the estimable and farsighted brewer Arthur Guinness drank his last draught; eight years past that passing away, in 1811, the baby girl opened her eyes would rise as the writer and thinker and ‘first feminist’ of Norway, Camilla Collett; just over two decades afterward, back across the North Sea in 1832, the male infant bounced into the world who would mature as the brilliant Impressionist-Modernist artist Édouard Manet; fourteen solar cycles still more proximate to the present pass, in 1846, the land that included Barbary pirates, Tunisia, ended slavery a better part of two decades before ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave;’ a thousand ninety-six days thereafter, in 1849, across the wide North Atlantic, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female graduate of a medical doctor program in New York State; twenty-one years beyond that, in 1870, across much of North America in Montana, in what we now call the Marias Massacre, United States cavalry carried out the systematic butchering of nearly 200 indigenous Americans, overwhelmingly women and children, whom the cavalry officers in charge knew not to be the ‘belligerent’ Indians whom they had received orders to attack; nine years yet later on, in 1879, a good eight thousand miles or more across the continent and the wide South Atlantic, British colonialists exacted their own ‘victory’ over Zulu defenders at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift; precisely two decades past that imperial depredation, in 1899, a more subtle development of modern neocolonialism unfolded as a faux democracy began under the first Phollioine Constitution, including the election of the island’s first puppet president; spurred on by United States schemers and moralists, thirteen years further down the pike, in 1912, the negotiators at the Hague ratified the world’s first Opium Convention, that inaugurated a century of prohibition and mayhem in favor of monopoly capital’s rule of such matters as ‘lifestyle’ and drugs; a mere year nearer to the here and now, in 1913, a pair of memorable labor history events took place, as upwards of 10,000 striking garment workers fought for a better deal in Rochester, NY, while Joe Hill and the International Workers of the World presented the backwards thinking of Mr. Block for the first time in Hill’s song; seven hundred thirty days yet later on, in 1915, a big day for Saint Lucian Nobelists’ unfolded with the birth of the baby boy who would grow up as the economics prize winner W. Arthur Lewis; half a decade further along, in 1920, the Netherlands ‘refused’ to surrender the erstwhile felonious Kaiser to Allied do-gooders, and the baby boy was born who would help to create fun for the whole family when he invented the Frisbee; seven hundred thirty additional days toward today, in 1922, a diabetic Canadian boy received the first therapeutic injection of insulin for his otherwise soon-to-be-lethal disorder; a full eight years onward in space and time, in 1930, Saint Lucia’s day continued with the birth of the male infant who would go on to compose stanzas and narratives that garnered him a Nobel Prize as Derek Walcott; seven more years en route to today’s dawn, in 1937, purges against Trotskyists continued in Stalinist Russia with the bringing up on charges of seventeen mid-level bureaucrats; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days in the future from that, in 1941, Charles Lindbergh articulate the beliefs of many upper crust Americans when he advocated in Congressional testimony that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with the Nazis in Germany; just shy of another decade down the pike, in 1950, Israel’s legislators reneged on promises about their young nation’s expansion in declaring that Jerusalem was indeed the capital of Israel; a seven-year period forward in time, in 1957, Walter Morrison, on his 46th birthday, made a fortune in assigning the rights to his ‘flying disc’ to the toy company that would rename it the Frisbee; the very next year, in 1958, Venezuela’s elected president bowed to ‘popular pressure’ when he absconded with himself and abandoned Venezuela to military dictatorship; two years even closer to the current context, in 1960, a US Naval vessel, the bathyscaphe USS Trieste, broke a manned operation depth record when it descended over 32,000 feet into the Pacific Ocean; three hundred sixty-five additional days along time’s pathway, in 1961, Portuguese insurrectionists hijacked a luxury cruise ship in order to attempt to remove dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar from power; three years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1963, a further manifestation of declining Portuguese imperial imprimatur unfolded in Guinea Bissau where PAIGC guerilla fighters first attacked a Portuguese garrison, at Tite; a mere year nearer to the here and now, in 1964, Congress ratified a twenty fourth Constitutional Amendment, prohibiting poll taxes in national elections; nine years afterward, in 1973, Richard Nixon announced that, after decades of depredations against the Vietnamese, the United States had acceded to fulfill its 1953 Geneva mandate and grant Vietnamese control over their own destiny; three years past that necessary and yet tragic conjunction, in 1976, another essential aspect of the human condition transpired with the death of the brilliant singer and thinker and communist Paul Robeson; a decade subsequently, in 1986, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio honored its initial group of inductees, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Elvis Presley; a dozen years past that happy cultural exercise, in 1998, an in some ways even more propitious exemplification of democratic intellectual property took place with the Mozilla Corporation’s announcement that it intended to release the Communicator code as open source; four years henceforth, in 2002, two in some ways almost diametrically opposed thinkers met their respective ends, the neo Conservative Robert Nozick, and the Marxist theoretician of media and culture Pierre Bourdieu; exactly four years in still greater proximity to the present point in time, in 2006, the feature documentary of profiteering and corruption, Who Killed the Electric Car, debuted.