11.03.2016 Day in History

japanese geishaToday is Culture Day in Japan, and in Panama the celebration of Separation Day, the U.S.’s skimming the land away from Colombia, and yesterday was an International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, declared by the United Nations right now as the first year of its existence; nineteen hundred seventy-seven years back more or less exactly, an acclaimed poet who had conspired to overthrow Nero, Lucan, only twenty-five years old and under duress, cut open his arm and bled to death, supposedly while reciting his own poetry; six centuries and five years beyond that point, in 644, a Persian slave rose up against the Umar, Islam’s Second Caliph, and assassinated the Arabian hegemon in Medina; five hundred twenty-three years prior to today, Christopher Columbus first sighted the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea; four hundred eighty-two years in the past, the English Parliament passed the First Act of Supremacy, making King Henry VIII head of the Anglucan Church, an act which supplanted the pope and the Roman Catholic Church; years henceforth, in 1592 in Mexico, Spaniards founded the city of San Luis Potosi, naming the region after the gold-mining area of Bolivia because of possible mineral deposits in the Mexican highlands; fifty-eight years afterward, in 1783, the Continental Army disbanded in the new United States; six years subsequently, in 1789, New York City hosted the first Federal U.S. District Court; across the ocean four years further along, in 1793, powerful feminist and abolitionist thinker and journalist Olympe de Gouges lost her head to the Terror’s guillotine in Paris after she criticized the radicals around Robespierre; three hundred sixty-five days subsequent to that event, in 1794, back across the Atlantic, a baby male came along who would mature as the poet, thinker, editor, and critic, William Cullen Bryant; forty-four years later, in 1838, the newspaper that became the largest English language daily on Earth, the Times of India, began publication as the Bombay Times & Journal of Commerce; a decade after that, in 1848, during the radical uprisings of that period, the Dutch nation diminished the monarchy’s power and raised the imprimatur of the legislature; fourteen years nearer to now, in 1862, the male child was born who would become the prominent thinker, journalist, and ‘single-tax’ economist, Henry George; a half-dozen years more past that conjunction, a bit to the West in Louisiana, in 1868, local citizens elected the U.S. Congress’ first Black representative, though extant White supremacist ideology and ‘procedural difficulties’ kept John Willis Menard from taking his seat; thirteen years closer to today, in 1881, a native uprising by the Mapuche tribe in Chile begins; fifteen years yet later on, in 1883, the so-called ‘verse bandit,’ “Black Bart the Poet,” carried out his last successful stagecoach robbery, though a shooting injury as he escaped caused him to leave clues and face arrest after Wells Fargo detectives tracked him down; three years later still, in 1887, Dennis Kearney, orator for California’s “Workingman’s Party,” was arrested and jailed for two weeks for “incendiary speeches;” another twelve years down the pike, in 1898, plus or minus six

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thousand miles Southeast in what is now Sudan, French troops withdrew from their positions near the headwaters of the White Nile, over which England was preparing to declare an imperial war; three years even closer to the current context, in 1901, a male baby uttered his first cry en route to a life as thinker and writer and controversial gadfly, Andre Malraux; over the Atlantic two years thereafter, in 1903, the baby male entered our midst who would grow up as the journalist and photographer Walker Evans; six years farther down time’s road, in 1909, another boy baby came along who would become the establishment journalist and alleged Project Mockingbird participant, James Reston; nine years hence, across the ocean in Europe in 1918, Poland formally separated from Russia, and, led by already revolting German sailors, the people of Germany rose in a revolutionary movement against the war and capitalism; a further five years along the temporal arc, back across the Atlantic in 1921, New York City milkmen dumped thousands of gallons of their product on the roads in protest against low wages and poor conditions; half a decade still more proximate to the present pass, in 1926, rider and shooter and ‘wild West’ personality Annie Oakley breathed her last; seven years after that moment in time, in 1933, a boy child was born whose fate was to come along as the thinker, economist, champion of reform, and Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen; almost a decade after, in 1942, another male baby drew a first breath, in this case on his way to the acclaim and narrative imprimatur of novelist Martin Cruz Smith; just a year more down the road, in 1943, Federal orders forbade a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the country’s collieries, though it imposed the wage increases and safety measures that the union demanded; six years hence, in 1949, a little girl cried out who would grow into the fashion writer and journalist from a prominent English family, Anna Wintour; a half decade even nearer to now, in 1954, the film’s producers released the first version of Godzilla; two years afterward in the Gaza Strip, in 1956, Israeli Defense Force fighters massacred plus or minus 250 Palestinian men in the “Khan Yunis” killings; a year still more down history’s way, in 1957, the psychiatrist and controversial proponent of orgasm therapy and author of Sexual Repression and the Mass Psychology of Fascism, Wilhelm Reich, exited the worldly stage; another seven years afterward, in 1964, the millions of citizens of the District of Columbia finally received the franchise to vote; a further half decade beyond that point, in 1969, Richard Nixon called for the country’s erstwhile “silent majority” to speak up in support of his duplicitous and murderous policies in Southeast Asia; a decade more on the chronological way, in 1979, in Greensboro, North Carolina, Ku Klux Klan murderers targeted primarily White communist organizers in an overwhelmingly Black crowd that was calling for “Death to the Klan;” seven years still more in proximity to the present, in 1986, Lebanese journalists scooped monopoly news outlets by reporting on weapons transfers between U.S. officials who were seeking to have hostages released and Iranian authorities; nine years still later on, in 1997, the United States imposes economic sanctions against Sudan in response to its human rights abuses of its own citizens; seven years ago, five thousand Transit Workers Union members in Philadelphia struck for better pay and conditions, and the 103 year old Spanish thinker and writer Francisco Ayala experienced his final day in the land of the living.