11.08.2016 Day in History

Bathroom-gender-sign men women sexismEverywhere on the planet today, in ascending order of importance, people mark Intersex Remembrance Day, International Radiology Day, and World Urbanism Day; in the early days of the Islamic, and ultimately the Ottoman, assault on Byzantium, the forces of Constantinople a thousand fifty-six years ago scored a crushing victory over the fighters of the Emir of Aleppo; a year less than fifty-six decades more along time’s trail, in 1519, Moctezuma, with a massive fete and celebration, welcomed Hernan Cortes and his fellow killers into Tenochtitlan, the city at the heart of the empire that they would soon eviscerate; four hundred forty years before this day’s passing, in the Eighty-Years War that served as early capitalism’s first world war, the Pacification of Ghent unfolded in the context of an even greater solidarity and militancy to oppose the Spanish among the Dutch burgers; twenty-six years onward from that junction, in 1602, England’s elites opened the doors of one of the world’s longest standing libraries, Bodlean at Oxford; a dozen years later, halfway round the globe in 1614, a Japanese Christian Daimyo faced exile to the Philippines for his adherence to a foreign faith;

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another six decades along the temporal arc, in 1674, the brilliant but financially strapped John Milton made his final exit; a hundred eighty-five years back, the male child came along whose prose as George Bulwer-Lytton would inspire laughter for its awkwardness and puffery; across the Atlantic precisely six years past that, in 1837, the American firebrand Mary Lyon oversaw the creation of the Mt. Holyoke Seminary for women, which soon enough morphed into one of the ‘seven sisters’ institutions for upper crust girls; just three hundred sixty-five days thereafter, in 1838, the French novelist George Sand moved in with Frederic Chopin on the Island of Majorca, an early instance of ‘friends with benefits;’ not quite a decade more in the direction of now, in 1847, the baby male bounced into the world who would mature as the storyteller of bloodsuckers and fantasies, Bram Stoker; another solar cylce forward from that entrance, in 1848, a different boy came into our midst en route to philosophical acclaim as Gottlob Frege; a quarter century hence, in 1873,a most gifted and prolific Spanish playwright, Manuel Breton Herreros, played out his final scene; nine years again on the road to today, in 1884,a German boy child was born whom destiny had selected to introduce the scheme of association that still bears his name, Herman Rorschach; eight years farther down the pike, in 1892, the Black and White workers of New Orleans who had initiated a work stoppage two weeks before joined in a general strike that soon led to collective bargaining rights and increased wages to return to work; a thousand ninety-five days subsequent to that event, in 1895, back across the Atlantic in Germany again, William Roentgen stumbled upon the existence of X-Rays in his experiments with electricity; once more over the sea, two years yet nearer to the here and now, in 1897, the little baby girl opened her eyes en route to a life as the radical activist and social justice advocate, Dorothy Day; three years further along, meanwhile, in 1900, another girl child went about her business of opening her eyes and regarding her surroundings on her way to life as the acclaimed writer and storyteller, Margaret Mitchell; fourteen hundred sixty-one days yet later on, in 1904, an English boy cried out for the letter writing write ink pen paper cursive calligraphyfirst time who would mature as the journalist, activist, and radical publisher of the National Guardian, Cedric Belfrage; four more years along time’s river, in 1908, the girl baby entered our midst who would live a long life as the journalist, pathfinder, and writer, Martha Gellhorn; nine years afterward on the nose, in 1917, seven thousand miles of so to the East, Peoples Commissars appointed Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin to lead the increasingly potent Bolshevik uprising; half a dozen years precisely further in today’s direction, in 1923, to the West in Germany, Adolf Hitler led an attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic, the so-called Beer-Hall Putsch; a decade henceforth, in 1933, an America in the throes of economic and social calamity welcomed the actions of Franklin Roosevelt, who on this date signed the Civil Works Administration into existence, which would employ millions of otherwise increasingly desperate workers over the course of the next period of time; an additional three year stretch forward, in 1936, over the wide Atlantic in Spain, Franco’s fascist forces failed to capture Madrid but began a three year siege of the city; the next year after that, in 1937, to the East in Munich, Franco’s supporters in the German government opened their exhibit for all to see, “The Eternal Jew;’ half a decade subsequently, in 1942, in a world now generally at war, a small contingent of ‘Free French’ fighters in Tangiers led a successful coup to oust Vichy administration of Paris’ primary African colony;

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seven years more on time’s relentless march, in 1949, a girl child was born who would go on to fame and fortune as performer, lyricist, and musician, Bonnie Raitt; the very next year, in 1950, another new girl baby came along who would go on to a life as the writer and thespian, Mary Hart; three years even closer to the current context, in 1953, the venerable ‘White Russian’ Ivan Bunin, who won Nobel’s literary laureates as a Russian while he lived ‘in exile’ in Paris, breathed his last; exactly a year onward in space and time, in 1954, a baby girl gazed about her for the first time on the path to life as Rickie Lee Jones, the singer and songwriter of acclaim and impact; three years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1957, England exploded its first Hydrogen Bomb in the South Pacific, coincidentally on the same day that Boeing jet fell from the skies between California and Hawaii, killing all aboard; an additional thousand ninety-six days along Earth’s elliptical path, in 1960, John Kennedy became President in one of the closest contests in history, a battle that he may well have won as a result of stolen votes in Cook County, Illinois at the behest of his father to old mafia pals from his bootlegging days; half a decade past that close call, in 1965,Great Britain eliminated the death penalty from its quiver of ‘remedies’ to criminal activity; two years still later, in 1967, Massachusetts politician Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the U.S. Senate since reconstruction; a year after thatbridge san francisco city nature bridge golden gate and three thousand miles West in 1968 San Francisco, the city’s State College campus erupted in a student strike that, after over five months, would win concessions from the administration about courses, hiring, and student rights; seven hundred thirty days onward from that uproar, in 1970, the male infant laughed aloud who would grow up as computer programmer and Myspace cofounder, Tom Anderson; two years further down the road, in 1972,Home Box Office began its cable television operations that would eventually yield one of the premier media companies of the twenty-first century; a year in yet greater proximity to our present point, in 1973, John Paul Getty received his son’s ear along with a ‘final’ ransom note, with which he happily complied; twenty-one years hence, in 1994, Republican Party politicians made massive midterm gains in the U.S. Legislature, achieving large majorities in both houses of Congress; another decade on the dance to today, in 2004, ten thousand U.S. soldiers completed the sundering of Fallujah from outside help that would soon deliver the shattered city, bombarded with toxins and Depleted Uranium, to American control.