Today in Panama is Teacher’s Day and in Costa Rica Military Abolition Day, and people everywhere else have the opportunity to recollect the ravages of the HIV virus as part of World AIDS Day; during the tumultuous post Roman years in Europe, twelve hundred sixteen years back, Charlemagne’s position as a judge of Pope Leo suggested an advancing state of secular political leadership; in the Iberian Peninsula eight centuries and four decades subsequently, in 1640, the Iberian Union dissolved, terminating the joint rule of Portugal and Spain and the Philippine Dynasty; 1824 one hundred ninety-two years prior to now, the House of Representatives received the job of selecting a President, since no candidate had received a majority of the popular vote; two years later, in 1826, a French soldier of fortune helped to win the Acropolis in Athens from encircling Turkish forces, going on to lead the Greek Army as he organized Panhellene’s in favor of its erstwhile ‘independence;’ another two years onward, in 1828, across the South Atlantic a Decembrist Revolution unfolded in Argentina as the leading families of the newly independent land fought over whether federal or central government organization would be best; another six years henceforth, in 1834, Eastward across the ocean once more, Capetown banned the practice of slavery in Southern Africa as part of England’s prohibition of chattel human ownership; Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 State of the Union Address one hundred fifty-four years before the here and now affirmed the necessity of ending slavery; Shaw University ten hundred and ninety-six days thereafter, in 1865, opened its doors in North Carolina’s capital city as the first U.S. Historically Black College or University; two decades past that juncture, in 1885, twelve hundred miles West in Waco, Dr. Pepper first made its appearance in the marketplace; a years still farther along time’s path, in 1886, a male child first cried out en route to a life as a redoubtable mystery writer, founder of the Vanguard Press, and human rights activist named Rex Stout; eighteen years hence, in 1904, another male infant was born who would rise as the labor leader and spokesman for workers’ rights, ‘Tony’ Boyle; just shy of a decade after, in 1913, Buenos Aires opened the first Latin American subway, and Ford Motor Company inaugurated the first ‘assembly line,’ and, after fighting off Ottoman dominance, Crete became part of Greece; another year onward toward
today, in 1914, Ralph Chaplin first published the song of union power, “Solidarity Forever; ” four years afterward on the dot, in 1918, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia came into being; another year nearer to now, in 1919, Lady Astor became Parliament’s first female House of Commons MP; eleven years farther down the pike, in 1930, the Kellogg Corporation instituted a six hour day to avoid layoffs; four years yet closer to the current context, in 1934, popular Soviet leader Sergey Kirov died at the hands of a troubled assassin; a year afterward to the day, in 1935, an infant male came into the world who would mature as renowned and denounced film-maker and comic and writer Woody Allen; a half decade beyond that moment, in 1940, another funny baby boy emerged whose fate was to become the iconic Richard Pryor; Emperor Hirohito transmitted final approval to his Navy for an attack on Pearl Harbor a year even more proximate to the present, in 1941, while around the world New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia inaugurated the Civil Air Patrol by executive
mandate; four years after that event, in 1945, the baby girl destined to grow up to delight audiences with her talent and fire as Bette Midler was born; two years henceforth, in 1947, the beloved poet and performer Aleister Crowley breathed his last; two years yet more proximate to now, in 1952, the New York Daily News reported the first more-or-less successful sex-change surgery; three years later, in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and went to jail; three years afterward, in 1958, a horrific fire at the Our Lady of the Angels School fire killed close to 100 people; a year more along the temporal arc, in 1959, world leaders agreed to treat Antarctica as a preserve, free from National or private ownership; a year past that point, in 1960, official’s in Hamburg ordered Pete Best and Paul McCartney deported after alleging that the pair had committed arson; four years after that day, in 1964, Lyndon Johnson met with military advisers for the first planning sessions to bomb North Vietnam; seven hundred thirty days thereafter, in 1966, nurses in Youngstown, Ohio became the first in the nation to participate in a strike via a ‘quit-in’ the first ‘lottery’ to select military draftees into the Vietnam conflict occurred three years after that, in 1969, and on the same day the baby boy was born who grew up to become atheist and ‘Jesus-myth’ blogger Richard Carrier; a dozen years past that moment in time, in 1981, U.S. and Soviet negotiators met, unsuccessfully, in Geneva to seek grounds for limiting intermediate nuclear weapons of mass destruction; three more years toward the present, in 1984, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration first demonstrated the capacity to remotely control a large plane to crash into a targeted point; three years subsequently, in 1987, renowned writer and critic James Baldwin died; a year on from that, in 1988, half a world away in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto ascended to her nation’s highest office; Eastern Germany paved the way to reunification a further three hundred and sixty-five days closer to our day, in 1989, when it removed the Constitutional provision requiring Communist Party ascendancy, and acclaimed choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey put on his final moves, and in the
Philippines, a right-wing fascist military rebel attempted to oust Philippine president Corazon Aquino; exactly a year still later on, in 1990, the two teams that had started the ‘Chunnel’ project under the English Channel met, completing the tube that makes the rail link possible; Ukraine one year after that, in 1991, voted overwhelmingly to establish itself as a State separate from the Soviet Union; seven years ago, the legal basis for the European Union received final approval with the acceptance of the Lisbon Treaty; precisely a year hence, in 2011, the acclaimed and controversial German author Christa Wolf died; just seven hundred thirty-one days subsequent to that conjunction, in 2013, China launched its first lunar rover, the Jade Rabbit.