11.09.2016 Day in History

death skull-Santa-muerte-nlaredo2Today in Bolivia is Dia de los ñatitas, or Day of the Skulls, as much of Germanic Europe celebrated Inventor’s Day and, paradoxically, the United States declares World Freedom Day; in the Iberian Peninsula a thousand three hundred and twenty-two years ago, a Visigoth king in Hispania, at the seventeenth Council of Toledo, sentenced all Jews to slavery with the accusation that they had been assisting Muslims against Christian rule; more or less eight centuries henceforth to the day, in 1494, Florence expelled all members of the Medici family from its realm; just a year more than a quarter century after that, in 1520, not quite a thousand miles North in Scandinavia, pro-independence Swede executed scores of their foes in the ‘Stockholm Bloodbath,’ inaugurating an Sweden independent from Denmark; seventy-six years later, in 1596, the English translator, poet, and dramatist died; precisely a century further along time’s path, in 1620, across the wide Atlantic, passengers on the Mayflower first spotted what became Massachusetts; another hundred years onward exactly, in 1720, ongoing internecine depredations continued in Jerusalem as Palestinian creditors burned the Judah HeHasid synagogue and expelled Ashkenazi Jews who were in arrears; two hundred seventeen years before the here and now, Napoleon and two fellow officers overthrew the French Directory in anticipation of a combined revolutionary and imperial France; two hundred fourteen years prior to the present pass, the baby boy first opened his eyes on his way to becoming the American minister, journalist, and activist Elijah Parish Lovejoy; sixteen years after that conjunction, in 1818, a Russian baby boy came into the world who would mature as the writer and dramatist of world renown, Ivan Turganev; four years hence, in 1822, the USS Alligator and a squadron of pirate schooners faced off the coast of Cuba; twenty-boat ship mayflowersix years subsequently to the day, in 1848, one of many revolutionary activists across Europe, Robert Blum, faced the gallows in Vienna for his leadership role in uprisings at that time; three years past that point in time, in 1851, across the wide ocean and the Appalachian mountains, reactionary slaveocrats in Kentucky kidnapped an Indianan abolitionist preacher to force him to stand trial in the Bluegrass State for helping a slave escape; half a dozen years hence, in 1857, seven hundred miles Northeast in Boston, local intellectuals funded the redoubtable Atlantic magazine; a decade subsequent to that moment, in 1867, the Tokugawa shogunate stopped the rejection of the Westernization of Japan; a decade beyond that, in 1877, the infant first looked about him on his way to becoming Muhammad Iqbal, the Pakistani philosopher, poet, and politician; eight years closer to now, in 1885, the Russian poet and playwright Velimir Khlebnikov was born; two years still more proximate to the present, in 1887, the United States extended its Manifest Destiny beyond the shores of North America to force its granting of access to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii; one hundred and ten years back, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first serving Chief Executive to leave the borders of the United States behind when he visited the construction project that the United States’ theft of Panama from Colombia had permitted to move forward; eight years subsequent to today, in 1914, the baby boy destined to become the estimable theologian Thomas Berry bounced into the world; three years later, in 1917, Joseph Stalin entered the provisional government of Bolshevik Russia; three hundred sixty-five years still further down the pike, in 1818, the founder of taekwondo, Choi Hong Hi was born, and the notable poet and thinker, Guillaume Apollinaire, of French identity but Polish and Italian descent, succumbed to wounds of war and a severe flu infection; three years afterward, in 1921, Italy’s National Fascist Party first came into formal existence; a year later, in 1922, the Hungarian mathematician Imre Lakatos; three hundred sixty-five years further along, in 1923, German fascists faced a comeuppance when the Weimar Republic’s authorities arrested the so-called ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ plotters, including Adolf Hitler; five years more proximate to this day and time, in 1928, a little girl was born who would rise and then quite quickly fall as the acclaimed poet, Anne Sexton; twelve weeks still further down time’s arc, in 1929, Imre Kertesz, the Hungarian author and Nobel Prize laureate, spent his first day on earth; another half-four years hence, in 1933, a spontaneous walkout by assembly line workers at auto plants in Racine and Milwaukee led to a lockout of 3,000 autoworkers, which in turn elicited substantial pay raises and union recognition when the workers won their struggle; three hundred sixty-five days beyond that, in 1934, the male child first shouted out whose writing

"Lspn comet halley" by NASA/W. Liller - NSSDC's Photo Gallery (NASA)
“Lspn comet halley” by NASA/W. Liller – NSSDC’s Photo Gallery (NASA)

and thinking as Carl Sagan would open up the cosmos for his readers and viewers; one more year nearer to now, in 1935, the Labor Movement in the united States became more effective with the formal founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations; yet another solar cycle along time’s path, in 1936, the infant female drew her first breath en route to a life as the crooner and lyricist, Mary Travers; two more years beyond that conjunction, in 1937, around the world in China, Japanese forces consolidated their Imperialistic domination of Shanghai after weeks of murder and mayhem, and the first Prime Minister of a Labour English government, Ramsay MacDonald, lived out his final day; three hundred sixty-five days thereafter, in 1938, a Jewish assassin’s killing of Ernst vom Rath served as a pretext for the further repression of Jewish people’s rights during the so-called Kristallnacht terror; just shy of a decade and a half yet more proximate to the present, in 1952, the United Mineworkers leader who became the head of the Steelworkers Organizing Committed and first United Steelworkers President, Philip Murray, who cemented ties to the Democratic Party and generally represented ‘middle-of-the-road’ trade unionism, drew his final breath; a year farther along, in 1953, embattled French imperialists ‘granted’ Cambodia independence as a nation, and accomplished poet and thinker Dylan Thomas breathed his last; two years hence, in 1955, the Brazilian poet and screenwriter was born; five years later, in 1960, Robert McNamara was named president of the Ford Motor Company, a month before resigning his post to join the administration of John F. Kennedy; three years more along the temporal arc, in 1963, a massive mining catastrophe occurred in Japan that killed nearly 500 people and injured nearly 1,000 additional coal miners; in an extreme case of putting one’s money where one’s mouth is, two years after that, in 1965, a Catholic worker protester set himself on fire in front of the United Nation as a fiery statement against the Vietnam War; seven hundred and helicopter war vietnamthirty days subsequent to that, and half a world away, in 1967, Rolling Stone published its first issue; three years thereafter, in 1970, the U/S/ Supreme Court upheld imperial impunity over the ‘niceties’ of Constitutional rights in its decision not to permit Massachusetts’ allowing its citizens to avoid conscription into an undeclared war; just shy of a decade subsequently, in 1979, another stellar military industrial complex SNAFU unfolded in the last second recognition that a ‘discovery’ of a Soviet nuclear launch was incorrect; exactly a decade subsequently, in 1989, East Germany laid the basis for its reunification with the West and the dissolution of Soviet-style Communism by opening checkpoints in the Berlin Wall; nineteen years ago, Carl Gustav Hempel, the German philosopher from the Vienna and Berlin Circle, died; another year further along, in 1998, a Federal court judge uncharacteristically held almost forty brokerage houses accountable, with a fine of almost a billion and a half dollars, for their defrauding retail customers, and capital punishment in the United Kingdom was completely abolished; six years henceforth, in 2004, best-selling novelist and progressive writer Stieg Larsen unexpectedly dropped dead; one year beyond that, in 2005, the Venus Express mission of the European Space Agency was launched from Kazakhstan; another three hundred sixty-five days even closer to the here and now, in 2006, establishment journalist and commentator Ed Bradley died, a year afterwards, in 2007, the German Bundestag passed the controversial data retention bill mandating storage of citizens’ telecommunications traffic data for six months without probable cause.