10.17.2016 Day in History

povertyAll over the world today, decent people commemorate International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, while in the United States fetishistic individualists thump their chests and commemorate National Edge Day; in the context of late imperial Rome’s many meltdowns, fifteen hundred sixty years ago, in a battle near Piacenza, ‘loyal’ Romans defeated an usurper to maintain control of the Imperial project; eight years less than exactly a millennium after that, in 1448,an upshot of that long past slow motion collapse of empire took place when Ottoman Turkish forces defeated Hungarian and other European defenders of the Balkans to consolidate Islamic control at the Battle of Kosovo; one hundred fifty-six years later, in 1604, Johannes Kepler first observed a the light from a long ago supernova the visual notification of which had just arrived in our midst across many light years of time and space; a mere fifty six years onward, in 1660, nine individuals who in good faith had signed the death warrant of King Charles before his beheading faced the slightly more grotesque execution of hanging and drawing and quartering; a single year more than half a century thereafter, in 1711, across the Atlantic in colonial North America, a baby boy was born who would become the long-lived poet and observer of many many things, Jupiter Hammon; a single year shy of another half century in the direction of now, in 1760,another male child entered our midst en route to his life as the idealistic philosopher and ‘ economist,’ Claude Henri de Rouvroy of Saint-Simon;eleven years hence, in 1771, the precocious Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, only age 15, watched the first performance of his first opera, Ascanio in Alba; two hundred two years in advance of today, to the North in England, eight people drowned in the bizarre London Beer Flood; one hundred twenty-eight years back, Thomas Edison -Edison_and_phonograph_edit1received a patent for a cinematic technology that, though it would not become the standard, showed the intense interest and historical confluence that would soon enough create a massive ‘entertainment’ industry, in the form of the Optical Phonograph; a decade an a half beyond that optimistic junction, in 1903, another boy infant bounced into the world on his way to acclaim and controversy as the storyteller and thinker, Nathanael West; a mere two years nearer to now, in 1905, across the wide Atlantic and most of the European land mass, Tsar Nicholas issued the October Manifesto as an ameliorating response to the recent upheaval and carnage in the Russian imperial realm; an additional two years subsequent to that eventuality, I 1907, Giugliemo Marconi opened for business the first commercial establishment to provide long range wireless communication between Nova Scotia and Ireland; three years afterward, in 1910, esteemed poet of the United States, Julia Ward Howe, composed her final verse; five years further along time’s pathway, in 1915, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the brilliant playwright and thinker and critic, Arthur Miller; a thousand four hundred and sixty-one days yet later on, in 1919,because big money did not have enough engagement with the coming imprimatur of mass media in the form of radio, which General Electric and Westinghouse pretty much dominated, other capitalized interests joined together to radio3form the Radio Corporation of America, or RCA; a further eleven years down the pike, in 1930, the male infant first gazed about him who would mature as the popular sports writer and commentator Jimmy Breslin; a single cycle round the solar center afterward, in 1931, Al Capone suffered the proof of the maxim “follow the money,” when he went to prison since the IRS orchestrated his conviction for tax evasion; seven hundred thirty-one days henceforth, in 1933, Albert Einstein fled the coming fascist monstrosity of Germany and emigrated first to England and then to the United States, much to the benefit of students and technological innovation in ‘the West;’ five years even closer to the current context, in 1938, the socialist thinker and Marxist theoretician Karl Kautsky played out his final act; a year more in the direction of the here and now, in 1939,labor activist Warren Billings, after spending twenty-three years in prison for a crime that he did not commit, gained his release from the state of California, which had colluded in his third of a lifetime’s incarceration; a year subsequently, in 1940, a murder occurred in the south of France that remains unsolved, involving the brutal killing of a ‘red’ propagandist by the name of Willi Munzenberg; in yet another instance of fascist depredation another year onward in space and time, in 1941, in nearby Greece, German soldiers executed all of the male population of Kerdyllia in retaliation for the killing of German soldiers; four years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1945, South and West across the Atlantic in Argentina, hundreds of thousands of supporters of Juan Peron turned out to stop a coup against Argentina’s president; half a decade forward from that point, roughly four thousand miles north in 1950, a primarily Mexican-American mining and

Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900
Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900

smelting workforce went on strike in a so-called ‘salt of the earth’ action that their wives carried on for them when the courts forbade the men from continuing to picket; an additional half dozen years in the direction of today, in 1956, across North America and the North Atlantic , England opened the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant at Sellafield, and providing more pedestrian excitement, a teenaged Bobby Fischer crushed his much more experienced opponent in what many people call ‘The Game of the Century;’ five years still later, in 1961, Paris police, under the leadership of former Nazi collaborator murdered upwards of four hundred Algerian protesters in the streets of Paris as across the Mediterranean their fellow independence fighters struggles against the French military; four years further down the pike, in 1965,again across the Atlantic and North America, New York’s wildly successful World’s Fair ceased operations after having hosted 51 million visitors in two years; the very next year, in 1966, also in New York, a tragedy took place when a raging midtown fire took the lives of a dozen of New York City’s finest; yet another four years in greater proximity to our light and air, in 1969, a male child came along whom fate had designated as the rapper, producer, and performer Wyclef Jean; a thousand ninety-six days additional on time’s relentless march, in 1972, another baby boy was born who would rise as the gifted rapper and performer Eminem; another cycle of the earth around the sun, in 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries,

CC BY-SA by XcBiker
CC BY-SA by XcBiker

which the oil companies themselves had formed in the early 1960s, broke loose of imperial hegemony for a brief moment to foment an embargo against nations that had supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War; six more years along the temporal arc, in 1979,the United States created the Department of Education to lead federal efforts in standardizing and regularizing schooling protocols; thirteen years forward from there, in 1992, a Japanese exchange student, having gone to the wrong house for a Halloween party, ran into a scared well-armed ‘citizen,’ who shot him dead; seven hundred thirty days later, in 1994,plus or minus six thousand miles to the East and North, Russian investigative journalist Dmitry Kholodov died at the hands of assassins who objected to his digging into corruption in the Russian military; eleven years thereafter, in 2005, the more than a century old Chinese storyteller and writer Ba Jin lived out his final chapter.