12.27.2016 Day in History

christmas holiday angelToday marks the quarter transit in the Twelve Days of Christmas in the European tradition, the third 24 – hour span of that Solstice holiday; in what was then Constantinople and that we now know as Istanbul, craftsmen and workers one thousand four hundred seventy-nine years ago put the finishing touches on the temple that bears the modern name of Hagia Sophia; fully nine and three quarter centuries beyond that completion, in 1512, new imperial masters, this time Spanish, laid out the protocols on the Laws of Burgos for how they would rationalize their decimation of indigenous Americans; just short of six decades later, in 1571, the male child bounced into the world en route to his life as the cosmologist, astrologist, and scientist of the motions of the spheres Johannes Kepler; three hundred thirteen years back, Portugal and England extended their most favored nation relations with the Methuen Treaty, which guaranteed primacy for Portuguese wines in the British market; a year shy of a century and two decades past that mercantile connection, in 1822, the little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the redoubtable discoverer of microscopic life, Louis Pasteur; nine years subsequent to that, across the English channel in the United Kingdom in 1831, Charles Darwin and the crew of the good ship Beagle departed England for the cruise that would inaugurate significant parts of modern evolutionary theory; fourteen years further in the direction of today, in 1845, across the Atlantic in North America, Crawford Long first employed ether in childbirth in Georgia, and a journalist, advocating possession of all of the Oregon Territory, may have been the first to declaim United States’ ‘Manifest Destiny’ to rule the continent from sea to shining sea; sixty-six years hence, in 1911, half a world away in the Subcontinent, Indians first sang Jana Gana Mana as India’s national india, temple, hinduanthem; back in North America, a thousand four hundred sixty-one days past that happy juncture, in 1915, a male infant first gazed about him on his way to a life as the doctor and sexologist William Masters; a dozen more years in time’s relentless march, in 1927, the first prototypical Broadway musical debuted as Showboat opened in New York; roughly five thousand miles to the East, a mere two years nearer to the here and now, in 1929, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin signed the order to liquidate the Kulak class of landowning peasants; another fourteen years subsequently, in 1943, again in the United States, Franklin Roosevelt cut the Gordian knot in relation to class conflict and the railroads by seizing all the nation’s lines and mandating a mediated solution of union disputes with capital; seven hundred thirty-one days in the future from that point in space and time, in 1945, the victorious ‘allies’ of World War Two established an important fiscal basis for neo-imperial relations with the creation of the International Monetary Fund; another four years henceforth, in 1949, the Netherlands accepted the end of classical colonialism in the Dutch East Indies with the ‘recognition’ of the nation of Indonesia; an additional fourteen year forward form that, in 1963, an Argentinian baby boy took a first breath on his way to a life as the modernist filmmaker and storyteller Gaspar Noé; a dozen additional years in the future, in 1975, around the Southern hemisphere in India, as many as seven hundred or more coal miners suffered dismemberment, suffocation, and drowning for profit as a colliery ‘accident’ and reservoir inundation extinguished colliers WAR plane russialives; three years on the nose yet later on, in 1978, Spain’s people overrode two generations of fascism and forced the nation to become a democratic republic; the very next year, in 1979, the Soviet Union initiated its disastrous invasion of Afghanistan; four years more proximate to the present pass, in 1983, the Pope visited his would-be assassin in prison and explicitly forgave him; eighteen years afterward, in 2001, the United States recognized reality and ‘granted’ China’s permanent normal trade relations with the U.S.; a thousand ninety-six days further along, in 2004, radiation in the form of gamma rays from an explosive interstellar event that took place roughly 50,000 BCE reached the Earth; three years still later, in 2007, Pakistan’s populist female prime minister Benazir Bhutto died in a hail of bullets; a year even closer to the current context, in 2008, Israel began one of its invasions to punish Palestinian existence in Gaza, which it termed Operation Cast Lead.