2.07.2017 Day in History

In at least a modest expression of historical irony, given the conquest by the United States that followed shortly thereafter erstwhile independence from England, Granadians today celebrate the independence of their country from the direct control of the United Kingdom; in the ever-contested terrain of all parts of the Mediterranean, in the principality of Montesarchio nine hundred fifty-three years ago, a fourth Prince Pandulf fell, mortally wounded, in his fellows’ battles against would-be Norman conquerors; four hundred four years afterward, in 1478, the male infant first cried out whom fate had designated to become the estimable British Catholic humanist and martyr, the author of Utopia, Sir Thomas More; just nine years more on time’s trek, in 1497, followers of the fanatical ascetic and fraud, Girolamo Savonarola, participated in an actual “Bonfire of the Vanities,” in which they burned their cosmetics and other commoditized fetishes to demonstrate their modesty and rejection of worldly charms; two hundred forty years back, Benjamin Franklin published his “Imaginary Speech” in which he skewered anti-colonialists with biting precision; precisely six years further along, in 1783, the Spanish and French who were besieging Gibraltar gave up their attempt to displace the British during the conflicts there that attended America’s war for independence; a dozen years onward and upward from that, back in the young United States in 1795, the ratification of an Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution transpired, the first to supplement the first ten modifications that citizens considered their basic Bill of Rights; bill of rights congress governmentexactly seventeen years subsequently, in 1812, the infrequently active fault line near New Madrid, Missouri erupted in its most intense temblor of that period of time, and the Mississippi River momentarily ran upstream as a result, while across the wide Atlantic Ocean, the little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the iconic yarnsmith, Charles Dickens; seven years later, in Singapore in 1819, some of the young Charles’ fellow countrymen play the role of that land’s brokers as the imprimatur of Britain’s imperial sway approached its highest point; a thousand ninety-six days more along the temporal arc, in 1823, the godmother of the gothic novel, Ann Radcliffe, heaved her final sigh; just two years more on the path to today, in 1825, a German male child entered our midst who would mature as one of the founding voices of modern ecology, Karl August Mobius; forty-two years further in the direction of now, a baby girl came along who would mature as iconic author of inner America, Laura Ingalls Wilder; two years shy of another two decades hence, in 1885, a male child shouted out who would become the critically acclaimed American Nobelist, Sinclair Lewis; nine years even closer to the current context, in 1894, the massive Cripple Creek miners

Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900
Mining Bituminous Coal in Pennsylvania about 1900

strike against predatory capital began in Colorado; across the continent and the wide Atlantic fourteen hundred and sixty-one days farther down the pike, in 1898, Emile Zola had the opportunity to defend himself for the criminal libel charges that he invited by decrying the persecution and imprisonment of the Jewish Captain Dreyfus; a mere two years nearer to the here and now, in 1900, roughly six thousand miles toward Antarctica in Southern Africa, British armies failed in their third attempt to break the siege of Ladysmith by Boer forces in the Second Boer War; another four years past that martial juncture, in 1904, Baltimore erupted in an inferno that over a thousand firefighters struggled to control as it consumed roughly fifteen hundred buildings; in London three years thereafter in the meantime, in 1907, British suffragists three thousand strong trudged through the mire of the streets of the city in a ‘Mud March’ to demand the vote; back stateside half a dozen years forward from there, in 1913, a special armored train, the Bull Moose Special, began running along West Virginia rail spurs with machine guns near Holly Grove in support of mine owners and against the rights and lives of colliers and any attempt they might display of collective action; the very next year, in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his first screen appearance as the “Little Tramp” on this day; an additional thousand ninety-six days after that cultural occasion, in 1917, officials in California knowingly accepted the false conviction of Tom Mooney for murder in a bombing that he had nothing to do with, replete with a sentence of death by hanging; a decade and a half subsequent to that conjunction, in 1932, a male child bounced into our midst on his way to a life as the provocative memoirist and writer, Gay Talese; a further five years en route to today, in 1937, the ruling class denizen

By ProtoplasmaKid cc 4.0
By ProtoplasmaKid cc 4.0

and negotiator Elihu Root, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, breathed his last; three years more in a circuit round the sun, in 1940, Walt Disney’s masterful creators released their second full-length, animated feature film, Pinocchio; three more years yet later on, in 1943, the baby male took account of his surroundings on his path to a life as the social justice advocate, historian, and thinker Eric Foner; eight years after that momentous entry point, in 1951, nearly half a world a way in war-torn Korea, U.S.-backed forces butchered upwards of 700 suspected ‘Communist sympathizers;’ a half dozen years onward from that murderous travesty, in 1957, back in the United States, a more mundane incident of repression transpired with the abortive formation of a National Hockey League Players Association in New York City; exactly three hundred sixty-five days more round the sun, in 1958, the boy child of great privilege was born who would mature as the estimable scientific thinker and hereditary ‘conservative’ politician, Matt Ridley; in sync with such values five years henceforth, in 1962, the United States banned all imports from and exports to Cuba for its crimes of socialist independence; just three years further along the temporal arc, in 1965, the infant male joined our throng who would go on to fame and fortune as the creative genius of many modes of expression, Chris Rock; nine years past that point on the nose, in 1974, Grenada gained erstwhile ‘independence’ from the United Kingdom; five years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1979, a Yemeni baby girl came into the world who would cofound Women Journalist Without Chains and receive the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize; seven years afterward, in 1986, decades of Duvalier family rule came to an end with the flight of ‘Baby Doc’ from his post in Port au Prince; four years more on time’s relentless march, in 1990, the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party forswore its monopoly on political oversight; precisely a year more, in 1991, saw Haiti’s first democratically elected chief executive, Jean Bertrand Aristide, a former priest, whom U.S.-supported dissenters would soon enough run out of the country; a single additional spin around the solar center, 1992, brought the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty that formed the European Union; five years still later, in 1997, Apple Computer merged with NeXT Computing, laying the basis for the now iconic Mac OS X operating system; an additional four years on the trek to now, in 2001, the nearly nine decades old performer, lyricist, and singer Dale Evans sang her swan song; seven more years on the way to today, in 2008, a hideous instance of profiteering negligence exploded at the Sugar Refinery in an “entirely preventable” ‘accident’ that killed fourteen workers and injured nearly forty others; in another instance of ‘Southern backwardness’ five years in even greater proximity to the present point, in 2013, Mississippi finally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, banning slavery, roughly a century and a half after that action became the law of the land.