12.14.2016 Day in History

monkey rhesus macaque animalsThe State of Alabama celebrates itself today, though the Neil Young song’s lyrics pose questions in that regard, while Bangladesh commemorates Martyred Intellectuals Day, and around the world, December 14th is Monkey Day; in Central Tang China one thousand one hundred and eighty-one years ago, an emperor unsuccessfully conspired with his generals against the power of court eunuchs, the upshot of which was both the annihilation of all the plotters save the emperor himself and the consolidation of the eunuchs’ central role in Tang China at that juncture; four hundred fifty-two years later, and half a world away in 1287, during another bout of global warming, a Netherlands seawall collapsed in St. Lucia’s Flood, killing 50,000 people or more; two hundred fifty-nine years later, in 1546, the baby boy entered our midst on his way to becoming Tycho Brahe, the gifted astronomer and chemist; ninety-four years further down the line, in 1640, a baby girl opened her eyes en route to a position as the playwright and author Aphra Behn, a popular early English woman scribe; two hundred sixty-four years before the here and now, as well as one hundred and eleven years after that earlier event, in 1751, the world’s first ‘school-of-death’ came into existence, with the founding of the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener-Neustadt, South of Vienna, Austria; just over three decades henceforth, in 1782, French brothers launched the first heavier-than-air balloon that levitated using hot air; two hundred seventeen years closer to the present moment, in 1799, the formidable general and first president of the united States, George Washington, met his greater reward; exactly thirteen years after that, in 1812, Russian forces expelled the final elements of the French army from their invasion of Russia; seven years hence, in 1819, Alabama entered the union as a member of the slaveocracy; thirty three years beyond that juncture, in 1852, a male child was born who would mature as Daniel DeLeon one of the founding members of the International Workers of the World; twenty-one years still closer to now, in 1873, the estimable zoologist Louis Agassiz died; twenty-one years later on, in 1900, Max Planck presented his analysis of the Black-Body Radiation, a crucial element of understanding radioactivity and atomic structure; two years still closer to now, in 1902, the Commercial Pacific Cable Company laid the first Pacific telegraph cable, from California to Hawaii, and the baby boy bounced into the world on his way to a life as the Vienna Circle philosopher Herbert Feigl; a year further down the pike, in 1903, the Wright brothers made their first attempt to fly at Kitty Hawk; five years still further along, in 1908, a girl child entered the Hungarian world in standard fashion who would become the author, adventuress, esoteric thinker, and general iconoclast, Maria Szepes; six years further along, in 1914, Lisandro de la Torre and others founded the Democratic Progressive Party in Buenos Aires, Argentina; two years even closer to the current context, in 1916, a baby girl was born en route to a brief life as the powerful writer and thinker, Shirley Jackson; two years still closer to today’s light and air, in 1918, assassins killed Portuguese president, initiating a constitutional crisis, and the baby boy destined to grow up to become the founded or Iyengar yoga drew his first breath; fourteen years later, in 1932, the infant first looked around him on his way to becoming the beloved American singer-songwriter Charlie Rich; seven years even closer to now, in 1939, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland; one year afterward, in 1940, scientists in California first isolated plutonium; three years even closer to today, in 1943, the baby boy entered our midst on his way to becoming the founder of the American Spectator;  seventy years back, the United Nations General Assembly elected to establish its permanent home in Manhattan; eleven years still more proximate to the present, in 1957, the leader of the Teamsters International Union faced charges that he had undertaken a scheme of embezzlement from his organization; five years subsequent to that moment in time, in 1962, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the Mariner space probe, the first extraterrestrial craft to travel to Venus; seven hundred thirty-one days thereafter, in 1964, the Supreme Court, in the Heart of Atlanta Motel Versus the United States, acceded to U.S. use of its commerce powers to prohibit discrimination in access to hotel rooms; seven years past that conjunction, in 1971, half a world away in what would soon be Bangladesh, Pakistani armed forces murdered upward of two hundred dissident intellectuals; three years hence, in 1974, iconic liberal journalist and critic Walter Lippmann lived out his final scene; ten years more along time’s pathway, in 1984, the Spanish Nobel Prize poet, Vicente Aleixandre, drank in a final breath; half a decade beyond that passage, in 1989, the Russian poet and dissident activist, Andre Sakharov, breathed his last; three years still later, in 1992, the Siege of Tkvarcheli occurs, resulting in at least 52 deaths, including 25 children, when a helicopter blows up; thirty-one years prior to the present pass, the Dayton Agreement was signed in Paris by the leaders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia, and  Bosnia and Herzegovina; seventeen years previous to now,  torrential rains caused flash floods in Vargas, Venezuela, a tragedy that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, the destruction of thousands of homes, and the complete collapse of the state’s infrastructure; a decade ago, the founder of Atlantic Records,   Ahmet Ertegün, died; two years forward from that point, in 2008, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaidi launched one of his shoes at George Bush’s head in Baghdad as an appropriate ‘farewell gift’ for the ‘leader’ whom he termed “a dog;” four years nearer to now, in 2012, a psychotic young man whose meds were awry slaughtered teachers and school children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.