12.15.2016 Day in History

Today is Bill of Rights Day in the United States, as well as a day of Remembrance for Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty in Russia, and, around the world, Zamenhof Day to celebrate the goals of the international Esperanto communityletter writing write ink pen paper cursive calligraphy

one thousand, four hundred eighty-three years ago, near what is now the border of Libya and Tunisia, Byzantine armies and their ‘Hun’ mercenaries routed a Vandal force that reestablished Roman hegemony in Carthage; Mongol forces seven hundred thirty-three years later, in 1256, captured a strategic fort in present-day Iran en route to their conquests in Southwest Asia; two hundred twenty-five years prior to the present pass, Virginia’s ratification of the Bill of Rights gave the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution the force of law;  a century and sixty-four years prior to the present pass, a baby boy first shouted out on his way to life as the pathfinding physicist, Henri Becquerel; three dozen years in the aftermath of that happy event, in 1888, a son of a preacher man was born who would go on to radical writing fame as the journalist, poet, writer, dramatist, and critic, Maxwell Anderson; precisely seven hundred thirty days hence, in 1890, U.S. agents killed Sitting Bull on a reservation, setting in motion the uprising that led to the massacre at Wounded Knee; Russia’s Soviet government and German-led forces declared an armistice on the Eastern front twenty-seven years thereafter, in 1917, completely infuriating ‘allied leaders’ at Bolshevik temerity; four years beyond that pass, in 1921, seventy-five hundred miles East in Kansas, women organized as an “Amazon Army” in support of strikers whose cause the reactionary legislature and predatory mine owners had attacked in brutal and creative ways; two years after that precisely, in 1923, the baby boy came into the world who would grow up to become math-and-science genius Freeman Dyson; the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment’s prohibition of alcohol, a ludicrous and yet profitable move, happened in the form of a rescinding amendment a decade yet later on, in 1933, one case anyway where idiocy didn’t survive in the name of profiteering, and thousands of miles to the Southeast in South Africa, a baby boy came along en route to a life as the fighter and writer against Apartheid, Donald Woods; in Atlanta, Georgia six years subsequently, which means 1939, Gone With the Wind had its premier showing; seven hundred thirty-one days along time’s arc, in 1941, the American Federation of Labor guaranteed not to strike for the duration of World War Two; two years afterward, and six thousand miles North of East, in 1943, along a creek near Kharkiv in Ukraine, German soldiers began slaughtering 15,000 Jews;jude jewish holocaust genocide

three hundred sixty-six days onward, in 1944, seven thousand miles to the Southeast, a male infant opened his eyes in Brazil who would rise as the battler for rural workers and human rights and environmental justice, Chico Mendes; General Douglas MacArthur one year nearer to now, in 1945, announced that Shinto would no longer be permissible as Japans’ state religion; exactly three hundred sixty-five days after that, in 1946, U.S.-backed Iranian troops stopped the formation of a Kurdish State adjacent to the territory of Azerbaijan that had formed and aligned with the Soviet Union; in Jerusalem a decade and a half closer to the current context, in 1961, a jury sentenced Adolf Eichmann to death for his role in the attempt to annihilate Jews from Earth; four years later to the day, in 1965, U.S. Gemini astronauts successfully negotiated a docking Rendezvous between two space-craft; two years hence to the day, in 1967, the law of the U.S. reflected anti-discrimination against workers older than forty as statutory right, and the American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations officially stated its support for continued butchery “against communism” in Southeast Asia; another three years subsequent to that juncture, in 1970, the Soviet space program’s Venusian mission accomplished the first controlled landing on a planetary surface;venus earth planet space

three years after that, in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association ‘delisted’ homosexuality as a disorder or otherwise inherently ‘deviant’ behavior; five years further along to the day, in 1978, the United States officially recognized the People’s Republic of China as China, withdrawing that recognition from Taiwan; the first current-era suicide bombing occurred three years even more proximate to the present, in 1981, in Lebanon, killing several score people at the Iraqi embassy in Beirut; 2000 sixteen years back, Ukrainians succeeded in shutting down a third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station; five years further along, in 2005, an 87 year old organizer died, by the name of Clinton Jencks, whose legacy the film Salt of the Earth preserves as a fighter for and organizer of mine and smelter laborers; a half decade henceforth, in 2010, the screenwriter and filmmaker Blake Edwards lived out his final scene; Christopher Hitchens breathed his last on this day exactly three hundred sixty-five days past that conjunction, in 2011.