11.23.2016 Day in History

japan shinto temple asiaJapan today celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day, while people around the world hold out for what is an essential development, an International Day to End Impunity; in what is now Greece two thousand five hundred fifty years ago, Thespis, a performer and writer from Icaria, now in Southern Greece, became the first ‘thespian’ when he characterized another on stage; seventeen centuries and eight years later, across the Mediterranean in 1174, the Sultan Saladin extended the reign of his fighters and backers with the conquest of Damascus; 1248 seven hundred sixty-eight years prior to the present pass, Christian forces on the Iberian Peninsula successfully ended their siege of Seville to mark the early stages of the Reconquista; two hundred sixty-two years hence, in 1510, Ottoman troops first carried out campaigns in what is now Georgia, sacking the capital city and extending their control beyond that; not quite a century and three and a half decades subsequently, in 1644, a thousand miles West in England, John Milton published his sweeping Areopagitica, which condemned censorship and lack of rights to publish generally; a year shy of ninety years afterward, in 1733, a massive slave insurrection began on St. John, in the then Danish West Indies; one hundred forty-nine years in the past, the Manchester Martyrs were hanged in Manchester, England, for killing a police officer while freeing two Irish nationalists from custody; 1876 a hundred forty years before the here and now, the infamous William (Boss) Tweed faced his accusers in New York when the captors who had seized him in Spain delivered him stateside; thirteen years beyond that juncture, in 1889, across the

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continent in San Francisco, the first jukebox went into operation; fourteen years yet later on, in 1903, almost halfway back across the U.S., a lawyer who represented illegally jailed miners near Cripple Creek, Colorado, arrived with a writ of Habeas Corpus for six hundred of them, at which the militia leader in charge of depredations against trade unionists responded that he would give them “post mortems” instead; eleven years thereafter, in 1914, eight hundred miles South in another instance of imperial impunity, the U.S. withdrew the last of its troops from its invasion of Mexico over the Tampico Affair the previous Spring; a decade hence, in 1924, the Andromeda nebula was found to be another island universe by Edwin Hubble; another decade henceforth, in 1934, the Abyssinia Crisis unfolded in Ethiopia when a British survey team found an Italian outpost on Ethiopian land; three hundred sixty-five days subsequent to that instant in time, in 1935, back in North America, John L. Lewis exited the American Federation of Labor to join up with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, along with the union that he had long led, the United Mineworkers of America; yet another year further along, in 1936, Life Magazine restarted publication as a primarily pictorial periodical, finding instant success with the format; eight years nearer to now, in 1944, the baby boy was born into the world who would mature as the screenwriter and teacher of film scripting, Joe Eszterhas; seven hundred thirty days after that, in 1946, half a world away in what was then French Indochina, French Naval forces pounded Hai Phong Harbor in the opening round of Vietnam’s liberation struggle from colonialist and imperialist domination; four years down the pike, in 1949, the baby boy walked into this world on his way to becoming Tom Joyner, was born; sixty-three years prior to the present pass, the pilot Felix Monda and Lieutenant Robert Wilson dissappeared while in pursuit of a mysterious craft over Lake Superior;  fifty-seven years back, French President Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech that expressed a ‘vision of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals’ that was decidedly unpopular on the other side of the ocean, especially with the CIA forces that, soon enough, would seek to displace the iconic Gallic leader; three years afterward, in 1962, the baby boy destined to become the venezuela south americaVenezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro first cried out; under the title “An Unearthly Child” a year past that point, in 1963, the British Broadcasting Corporation opened the longest-broadcast science fiction show in history, which today we call Dr. Who; eight years more along time’s arc, in 1971, across the Atlantic at the United Nations Headquarters, the Peoples Republic of China first sat in on both General Assembly and Security Council sessions; three years even closer to today, in 1974, popular military historian and writer, Cornelius Ryan, breathed his last; another two years onward, in 1976, the author and critic died who had battled fascism and imperial impunity as Andre Malraux; two years hence, in 1978, Europe’s media authorities inaugurated a General Frequency Plan that determined radio bandwidth and similar protocols on the continent; a thousand ninety-six days still more proximate to the current context, in 1981, Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 17, which permitted U.S. forces to murder and intervene against the Nicaraguan government through so-called ‘contra’ butchers; nine more years down the road, in 1990, English author Roald Dahl drew a final breath; two years onward from that, in 1992, International Business Machines issued the IBM Simon, the world’s first ‘smart phone,’ and singer-songwriter and impresario of country music, Roy Acuff, lived out his final stanza; another year yet more in today’s vicinity, in 1993, English artist Rachel Whiteread won both the prestigious Turner Prize for best young artists and another award, for twice as much prize money, for the worst artist of the year; two more years along life’s highway, in 1995, acclaimed filmmaker, screenwriter, and documentarian, Louis Malle, went through his last scene ever; six additional years closer to today, in 2001, the Convention on Cybercrime was signed in Budapest, Hungary; two more years, in 2003, Georgian president Eduard

Alan Reid
Alan Reid

Shevardnadze resigned following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections; three years afterward, in 2006, the writer and publisher, Jesus Blancornelos, whom his colleagues described as “the soul of Mexican journalism” and who founded Zeta Magazine, exited our midst; a half decade even later, in 2011, after 11 months of protests in Yemen, the president signed a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange of legal immunity; one year later still, in 2012, workers at Wal-Mart defied their protofascist managers and owners and conducted a nationwide walkout against the anti-union retail establishment; two years still further on, in 2014, the young Tamir Rice died at the hands of police; a year still later, in 2015, Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle became the first rocket to successfully fly to space and then return to Earth for a controlled, vertical landing.