10.11.2016 Day in History

equal gay rights logo_red.svgOn those parts of the planet where ‘identity’ is most au courant, today represents Coming Out Day, and more generally around the world, this date also marks International Day of the Girl Child; in a natural disaster that illustrated the variety of conflicts and difficulties that the Levant has historically experienced, eight hundred and seventy-eight years ago, a massive earthquake struck Aleppo, Syria, causing vast damage and carnage; four centuries and two years prior to the present pass, a group of Amsterdam merchants demonstrated the monopolistic proclivities of colonial and imperial ‘adventurers’, when they petitioned the States General for exclusive trading rights for the New Netherlands seizures, which soon enough would be Manhattan in New York; thirty-five years hence, in 1649, across the English Channel in the fractions United Kingdom, Oliver Cromwell’s leadership illustrated the brutal arrogance of England toward Ireland when troops under his orders crushed resistance in the Irish town of Wexford, killing plus or minus 2,000 troops and nearly the same number of non-combatants; a hundred eighteen years onward through the light of day and the dark of night, in 1767, across the North Atlantic in England’s newest experience in profiteering and plunder and mass migration, agents of the Crown provided the technical survey that forever after separated North from South in that part of the world, in the form of the Mason Dixon line that sundered Maryland from Pennsylvania; forty-two additional years in the direction of now, in 1809, famed explorer -Lewis_and_Clark_1954_Issue-3cand adventurer Meriwether Lewis met his end, in dubious circumstances, while traveling along the Natchez Trace in the Mississippi River delta at an evocatively named location called Grinder’s Stand; seven hundred thirty days later, in 1811, just slightly to the North in the relatively new United States, John Stevens used technologies of steam that revolutionized production and transportation to open the first commuter steamship line between Manhattan and Hoboken, New Jersey; one hundred fifty years back, plus or minus fifteen hundred miles to the Southeast, in Jamaica, an intrepid slave, Paul Bogle, elicited cooperation from fellow travelers in bonds to begin the Morant Bay Rebellion; eight years after that instance of solidarity and struggle, in 1873, colliers and coal mine employees generally came together to create the Miner’s National Association, an organization that sought to unite all coal workers of all sorts regardless of their color or creed or origin, a literal and figurative precursor of the International Workers of the World along a Knights of Labor model; eleven years subsequently, in 1884, a little baby girl opened her eyes in privileged circumstances who would rise to be Eleanor Roosevelt, a champion of poor and working class citizens; three hundred sixty-five days farther in the future from that, in 1885, a baby boy was born en route to a life as the writer and storyteller and Nobel literary laureate, François Mauriac; fourteen years thereafter, at the cusp of the new century in 1899, English colonial overseers in South Africa initiated a Second Boer War after Zulu attackgutt africaDutch South African residents again clashed with the crown’s authorities; not quite half a world away and seven years on time’s relentless march, in 1906, San Francisco’s public school authorities instigated a diplomatic snafu when they insisted that ‘inferior’ Japanese students required segregated classrooms; half a dozen years further forward in space and time, in 1912, roughly seven thousand miles to the East, Greek military forces continued their assault on the imploding Ottoman Empire, a substantial precursor to World War, with the ‘liberation’ of the city of Kozani from Turkish rule; another six years subsequent to that instance of European ‘liberation,’ in 1918, another suck case transpired when Poland declared itself ‘free’ after almost a century and a quarter of Russian domination; seven years in the future from that erstwhile auspicious conjunction, in 1925, back in the North American heartland, a male infant bounced into the world whose path would lead him to become the redoubtable storyteller and maven of mystery, Elmore Leonard; a mere year nearer to the here and now, in 1926, the male infant shouted out who would mature as the renowned and acclaimed Buddhist thinker and teacher, Thích Nhất Hạnh; a decade henceforth, in 1936, another baby boy entered our midst who would grow up as the historian and cultural narrator James McPherson; ten more years further down the pike, in 1946, a male child graced our presence who would go on to fame as the lyricist and performer Daryl Hall; two years afterward, in 1948, upwards of 20,000 sugar workers in Hawaii struck for union recognition and better conditions and wages; another seven hundred thirty days beyond that, in 1950, the Columbia

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Braun HF 1

Broadcasting System gained the first Federal Communications Commission’s permission to deploy colored television delivery to homes, and the male infant first gazed about him who would become the Israeli screenwriter and director Amos Gitai; a thousand sixty-one days yet later on, in 1954, Communist Vietminh fighters gained definitive control of the Northern portion of the Indochinese peninsula; just short of a decade more on time’s relentless march, in 1963, the critically acclaimed French director and screenwriter Jean Cocteau lived out his final scene; two years even closer to the current context, in 1965, the powerful visionary photographer and commentator on the American condition, Dorothea Lange, composed her final shot; seven additional years en route to today, in 1972, the huge crew of the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier, Kitty Hawk, engaged in a ‘race riot’ that disrupted aspects of imperial America’s Operation Linebacker; three years later still, in 1975, Saturday Night Live presented its

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premiere program, with George Carlin as host, and many celebrated guests; eleven years in greater proximity to today, in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan met in Iceland to attempt to reach an accord to reduce intermediate range nuclear weapons and thereby make massive extinction slightly less likely; three years afterward, in 1989, the master of Peak Oil, M. King Hubert, breathed his last; a single additional spin around the solar center, in 1990, the legendary editor and critic Anatole Broyard died, another year later, in 1991, legendary comedian and creative genius Redd Foxx played out his final skit; a decade hence, in 2001, in a practically and symbolically powerful expression of ‘industrial’ economic collapse, the Polaroid Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection and dissolution of its assets.