12.12.2016 Day in History

CC BY by born1945

This date in Japan commemorates the island nation’s special combination of Chinese characters and Japanese pictograms as Kanji Day, while Kenya marks its independence from England as Jamhuri Day; in the Eastern Mediterranean in Southwest Asia, then as now characterized by ongoing conflict thirteen hundred eighty-nine years ago,Byzantine armies soundly defeated Persian invaders at the Battle of Nineveh; nine hundred eighteen years ahead of today, a different, related expression of Levantine conflict unfolded as members of the First Crusade broke through the defenses at Ma’arrat al – Numan, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocents and then resorting to cannibalism when their food supplies ran low; one hundred six years onward in spacetime, in 1204,the estimable and still renowned Egyptian physician and philosopher Maimonides wrote his final prescription; a single year beyond six centuries later, in 1805, the little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the famed abolitionist leader at once despised and beloved, William Lloyd Garrison; sixteen years past that happy conjunction, in 1821, across the wide Atlantic sea, another male child gazed about him for the first time en route to a life as the innovator in literature and master of storytelling Gustave Flaubert; only a year more than four decades hence, in 1862, the desperate conflict that Mr. Garrison helped to foment resulted in the fist sinking of an iron-clad ship by an electrically detonated mine by Confederate forces in the Yazoo River of Mississippi; a mere year nearer to the here and now, in 1863, plus or minus four thousand miles Northeast in Norway, the infant boy bounced into the world who would mature as the prolific artistic genius Edvard Munch; seven years subsequently, back in the United States in 1870, South Carolina unwillingly became the second Reconstructed jurisdiction to send a Black congressman to the US House of Representatives; one hundred fifteen years back, Gugliemo Marconi received a radio3radio signal across the Atlantic, the first use of the electromagnetic spectrum for such long-distance broadcast wireless transmission; a decade beyond that undeniable human advance, in 1911, India’s capital, at the behest of English overlords, shifted from Calcutta to Delhi and British imprimatur received additional reinforcement with the appointment of George and his spouse as the Emperor and Empress of all India; seven hundred thirty-one days more along time’s relentless rush toward now, in 1913, an Italian waiter’s hotel room yielded up the stolen Mona Lisa, with which he and accomplices had absconded shortly before; in another instantiation of English imperial oversight, a dozen years after that, in 1925, the Pahlevi family became the rulers of Iran at the behest of what is now British Petroleum; ten years yet later on, in 1935, to the North In Germany, the Nazis solidified their insistence on women’s roles as “kinder, kuche, kirke” with Heinrich Himmler’s promulgation of a Lebensborn birthing project; six years further along, in 1941, on a very bellicose day that flowed naturally from Germany’s earlier sexist policies, the United Kingdom declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania declared war on the United States, and India indicated its martial hostilities toward

San Francisco Holocaust Memorial Wally Gobetz Flickr
San Francisco Holocaust Memorial Wally Gobetz Flickr

Japan, while Germany itself, declared Adolf Hitler, was approaching the fruition of its plan to ‘exterminate the Jews;’ seven years thereafter, in 1948, England, having apparently learned little or nothing in the imperial bloodbath of World War Two, sought to continue its predominance in Malaysia, engaging in a slaughter of erstwhile rebels at the Batang Kali massacre; a decade and a half farther down the pike, in 1963, Kenya declared its ‘independence’ from the United Kingdom; three hundred sixty-six days even closer to the current context, in 1964, the erstwhile ‘rebel’ and ‘criminal’ against British rule in Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, became that new nation’s first President; nine years henceforth, in 1973, women of the United Steelworkers in the manufacturing town of Gary, Indiana stood up for themselves and demanded an end to sexist discrimination by their employer and their union; a half dozen years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1979, Korea’s constitutional crisis, after the assassination of the president by the head of the Korean Intelligence Agency, continued with the arrest of army chief of staff Jeong Seung-hwa at the orders of Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan, and four thousand miles or so to the Southwest, in Pakistan, that nation’s president further lauded Pakistani Nobel laureate Abdus Salam for his role in the creation of the first Islamic Thermonuclear Project; a year past that dubious honor, in 1980, billionaire Armand Hammer paid what for him was mere chump change, five million dollars or so, for Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks from four centuries prior to this now elite commercial transaction; eleven years further on the temporal arc, in 1991, the primary participant in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics became ‘independent’ on its own as the Russian Federation; half decade afterward, in 1996, the social thinker and investigative journalist Vance Packard drafted war planes Flugzeuge Junkers Ju 87his final chapter; an additional thousand ninety-five days in the future from that, in 1999, the creator of Catch 22, Joseph Heller, breathed his last; the very next year, in 2000, the United States supreme court decided that votes shouldn’t count after all in its decision in the case ofBush v Gore; seevn hundred thirty days in even greater proximity to the present moment, in 2002, noted author and popular commentator Dee Brown came to the end of her story; four years subsequent to that, in 2006, the United States immigration and Naturalization Service amplified attacks on undocumented workers with a surprise sweep of six midwestern meat packing plants, in the process sending over 1300 packing; a single spin more around the solar center, in 2007, the rocker and songwriter Ike Turner sang his swan song; another half decade in the direction of today, in 2012, North Korean scientists launched their fist communication satellite;an additional two years onward along time’s road, in 2014, the beloved creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series came to the end of his trek.