11.14.2016 Day in History

CC BY by Sharon Mollerus

On this date, the nation that once owned Panama celebrates the Day of the Colombian Woman, while everywhere around the planet people mark World Diabetes Day; in Germany, where some of the Enlightenment’s most impressive advances came to pass, the magisterial thinker and cofounder of Calculus, Wilhelm Leibniz, precisely three centuries ago solved the final theorem that we all eventually face; tellingly, a European wanderer with imperial ‘interests’ of various sorts, James Bruce, fifty-four years subsequently, in 1770, discovered what he falsely believed to be the headwaters of the Nile River; just over six decades toward today, in 1831,the philosopher of idealism and dialectic and history, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, underwent his final synthesis; nine years after that, in 1840, to the West in France, a male infant bounced into the world who would become the impressionist painting genius Claude Monet; across the English Channel, a decade further along, in 1850, Dickens’ typically masterful David Copperfield first issued as a complete text, after he had already serialized the story; exactly a year onward from that, in 1851, also in London, a British publisher first presented to readers American Herman Melville’s saga of the sea, which would soon enough bear the title Moby Dick; exactly ten

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years later, in 1861, the little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the insightful thinker and historian Frederick Jackson Turner, whose ‘frontier thesis’ would enliven American historiography; a pair of decades past that auspicious entry, in 1881, an equally portentous ‘birth’ occurred as Samuel Gompers and others created the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Organizations, which would in turn transmogrify into the still-extant American Federation of Labor; eight years more along time’s path, in 1889, the intrepid journalist who called herself Nellie Bly embarked on a challenge to circumnavigate the globe in under the 80 days that Jules Verne’s adventure novel hypothesized; eleven years thereafter, in 1900, the male child entered our midst who matured as the magisterial American composer Aaron Copland; a thousand ninety-five days past that juncture, in 1903, working class and bourgeois women put their heads together to form the National Women’s Trade Union League that sought to advance unionization among women and increase equity in those occupations that constituted ‘women’s work;’ four years henceforth, in 1907, a pair of our cousins were born whom fate had designated to grow up as storytellers and illustrators for young people, one in Sweden as Astrid Lindgren, and the other in Brooklyn, of immigrant stock, as William Steig, whose characters Pippi Longstocking and Shrek continue to enchant readers and viewers to this day; three additional years in the direction of now, in 1910, the first pilot to rise from the deck of a ship, foreshadowing a century of aircraft carriers, left the deck of a jerryrigged American naval vessel; four years afterward, in 1914, over the wide Atlantic in war-torn Europe, the Ottoman Empire fulfilled the destiny of its destruction by declaring war on the combined might of Britain, France, Italy, and Russia, to side with Germany and the equally fragile Austro-Hungarian Empire; a single cycle round the sun along the temporal arc, in 1915, Booker T. Washington, who had come Up From Slavery; drew his final breath; three hundred sixty-six days further down the pike, in 1916, the estimable theoretician of ‘single tax’ economics, Henry George, spent his final day on earth; half a decade even closer to the current context, in 1921, Spanish radicals mimicked recently-successful revolutionary Russian Bolsheviks in forming the Communist Party of Spain; to the North in England, another year yet later on, in 1922, English imperial propagandists and opportunistic mavens of culture collaborated in formulating the still-vibrant British Broadcasting Corporation; a dozen years past that portentous passage, in 1934, the Public Works Administration came to an agreement with the City of New York to clear slums and build thousands of units of low and modest priced housing, and railroad workers who were part of the Supervisors Association followed the lead of the unionized railworkers to constitute themselves as a formal trade union so as to reap the benefits of solidarity and collective bargaining; four years yet nearer to the here and now, in 1938, New Orleans

zen Sutherland flickr
zen Sutherland flickr

telecommunications workers created the National Federation of Telephone Operators, which would in due time become the massive and powerful Communication Workers of America;three further years on time’s relentless march, in 1941, five thousand miles to the East in what is now Ukraine, German soldiers engaged in the primary purpose of World War Two, Operation Barbarrossa and the destruction of the Soviet Union, rounded up close to 10,000 Jews and murdered them in a single day; half a dozen years hence, in 1947, the baby boy was born who would grow up as ironic wit and reactionary thinker P. J. O’Rourke; four years after those birth pangs, in 1951, the U.S. Inaugurated a new divide-and-conquer regime, providing the Tito government in Yugoslavia aid that helped to foster further splits between Belgrade and Moscow; five years onward from that turning point, in 1956, another infant male cried out en route to his life as producer, journalist, and documentarian Peter De Vries; a mere year more proximate to the present pass, in 1957, political police and intelligence agencies of the United States conducted a ‘sting’ against some of their targeted snitches and organized

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CC BY-SA by joelogon

criminals at the Appalachin resort in upstate New York; two more years en route to the now, in 1959, John Kennedy published a TV Guide essay that discussed the growing role of television in politics, especially at the Presidential level; eight years past that propitious point, in 1967, American physicist Theodore Maiman advanced electromagnetic understanding and the Modern Nuclear Project when he received the first patent for a functional laser; seven hundred thirty-one days down time’s river, in 1969, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration oversaw the launch of Apollo 12, the second mission to venture to the moon with a human crew; four years onward and four thousand miles Eastward in 1973, Greek students at Greek Polytechnic, fed up with fascist police state protocols, rose up in massive protests that in a matter of months would bring down the Greek Junta that the CIA so loved; an additional two years subsequent to that, in 1975, Spain withdrew from some of its remaining commitment to the colonial project with the release of the Western Sahara as an independent nation; three more years toward our present day, in 1978, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finally approved more stringent restrictions on exposure to lead, which helped nearly a million workers to avoid kidney and many other dire medical problems; a year still later, in 1979, Jimmy Carter acted against the Iranian seizure of US hostages – a response to 3 and ½ decades of mass murder under the aegis of US agents – by issuing an executive order that froze all Iranian assets, and the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations allowed the Federation of Professional Athletes to affiliate with their Federation; three years past that dual eventuality, in 1982, leader of Polish labor formation solidarity Lech Walensa gained his release from a year of detention near the Russian border; thirteen years in even greater proximity to our current point in space and time, in 1995, capital’s ‘roadblock’ faction inaugurated a shut down of the United States government in an attempt to force greater structures on spending that overwhelmingly paid for their militarist fantasies; five years thereafter, in 2000, venerable journalist Robert Trout cast his final line; eight years after that passing, in 2008, as the world economy suffered paroxysms of meltdown and chaos, the so-called group-of-20 met for the first time as if any set of bourgeois fixes to plutocracy’s crisis would do much good; four years afterward, in 2012, Israel instituted one of its perennial bloodlettings against the Palestinians in Gaza on the pretext that Hamas was endangering Israel’s survival; a pair of years farther along time’s trek, in 2014, the creator of Battlestar Galactica, Glen Larson, gazed about him one final time prior to his last exit.