11.02.2016 Day in History

Today in Roman and Anglican churches marks the commemoration of All Souls Day, while in Mexico celebrants partake of a second Day of the Dead ceremony; in Tang Chinese environs thirteen hundred ninety-seven years ago, a Western Turkic leader dies at the hands of assassins, part of forces of Eastern Turkic rivals whom the Chinese had given a nod to carry out the murder; just six years beyond a millennium and a half century subsequently, in 1675, Plymouth Colony’s governor led forces against indigenous Narragansett in the bloodbath of King Philip’s War; two hundred eighty-two years ahead of our present moment in time, a baby boy was born who became the iconic hunter and early American nationalist, Daniel Boone; eighty-one years after that, in 1815, a male child came along whose destiny impelled him to become the mathematician and thinker George Boole, the ‘father’ of Boolean Algebra and hence computer programming; thirty-two years later, in 1847, the baby boy first opened his eyes on his way to becoming Georges Sorel, French philosopher and author; eighteen hence precisely, in 1865, a baby male cried out for the first time en route to a familial newspaper imprimatur and the U.S. Presidency as Warren Harding; another quarter century half later on, in 1890, Sweden emphasized both its more progressive social attitudes and its commitment generally to helping workers gain power with the foundation of the

"Election MG 3455" by Rama - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0-fr via Wikimedia Commons
“Election MG 3455” by Rama – Own work.

Uddevalla Suffrage Association; nine years hence, and eight thousand miles South, in 1899, Boer rebels began their four-month-long siege against the British at Ladysmith, in what is now Natal; three years subsequent to that moment, in 1902, the first four-cylinder gas powered locomobile hit the road; seven years thereafter, in 1909, reactionary authorities began arresting workers in Spokane, Washington for the ‘crime’ of using their voices, which the International Workers of the World soon expanded into a massive free-speech fight; two years hence, in 1911, the infant first open his eyes on his way to becoming the Greek poet and critic and Nobel Prize laureate Odysseas Elytis; three hundred sixty-five days beyond that, in 1912, Bulgaria defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Lule Burgas, the bloodiest battle of the First Balkan War; expanding the First World War, two years later, in 1914, imperial Russia declared war on the Ottomans, and closed what then was the Strait of Dardanelles; three years more proximate to the present, in 1917, the critically important – in the modern scheme of things – Balfour Declaration issues from England, a key accomplishment of Zionist influence in garnering British and European support for a ‘Jewish homeland,’ even though these principles failed to honor the promise “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”, and the Military USSR_Emblem_1936 russia sovietRevolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet held its first meeting; another three years along the temporal arc, in 1920, KDKA in Pittsburgh began broadcasting as the world’s first commercial radio station in order to cover the soon-to-take-place 1920 presidential election contest between Warren Harding and James Cox, and, in that electoral battle, Eugene Debs received plus-or-minus a million votes while he languished in prison for calling imperial war a crime; sixteen years henceforth, in 1936, on one side of the Atlantic Canada initiated its national Broadcasting Corporation, and across the sea England initiated ‘high-def’ TV by opening Channel One for the first time, an operation that continues to this day; seven hundred thirty days after that exactly, back over the Atlantic in the U.S., in 1938, the baby boy came along who would rise up as the conservative but incisive, Libertarian but willing to consider social justice issues reporter and thinker and politician, Pat Buchanan; four years yet nearer to now, in 1942, a baby girl entered the world in standard fashion who would mature as the controversial but acclaimed sexologist and researcher, Shere Hite; seven years further along time’s path, in 1949, half a world away in Indonesia, Dutch authorities gave way to the United States of Indonesia; another year onward, in 1950, the iconic writer and thinker George Bernard Shaw lived out his final scene; three guitar music art performanceyears even closer to the current context, in 1953, Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly renamed the nation as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; seven hundred thirty days farther along, in 1955, ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford released one of the best-selling records of all time, the working class ballad “Sixteen Tons; ” two more years onward, in 1957, halfway round the globe in West Texas, residents and sojourners in Levelland, Texas reported viewing a UFO that landed on the roads and caused power surges that disable their vehicles and such; another two years down the pike, in 1959, a ‘genius’ quiz show participant acknowledged that the network had given him answers in advance to a Congressional Committee; three hundred sixty-six days even more proximate to the present instant, in 1960, the jury in Penguin Publishing’s obscenity trial, for the ‘crime’ of issuing a version of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, found the company innocent on all counts; in Canada a year later, in 1961, the little girl took a first breath in Canada who would become the iconic crooner and lyricist, k.d. Lang, and the well-loved writer and storyteller to the South, James Thurber, drew his final breath; four years along life’s highway further, in 1965, a young Quaker immolated himself on the steps of the Pentagon to protest the similar murder of Vietnamese civilians with Napalm; a year afterward, in 1966, the legendary singer and songwriter and symbol of the Blues, Mississippi John Hurt, sang his swan song; still later by a year, in 1967, President Johnson’s supposedly “Wise Men” council counseled that what the nation needed was happier and more optimistic reporting from the slaughter and mayhem that the U.S. was promulgating in

"Film strip" by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0
“Film strip” by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0

Southeast Asia; eight years past that conjunction, in 1975, Italy’s acclaimed filmmaker and storyteller, Pier Paolo Passolini, played out his final scene; seven years subsequent to that juncture, in 1982, England’s complex public media environment added another layer of intricacy with the formation of Channel Four by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and a truck explosion killed 3000 in Afghanistan; twelve weeks later, in 1983, President Reagan signed the bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr, Day; five years hence, in 1988, perhaps the first malware distributed via the Internet crawled out as the Morris Worm to infect different stations in its path; five years still closer to today’s light and air, in 1990, British Satellite Broadcasting and Sky Television merge; ten years back, the crew of the International Space Station and a Russian Soyuz supply craft completed the first docking exercise for the operation.