2.10.2017 Day in History

Seven hundred fifty-nine years back, Mongol invaders occupied Baghdad and drove out the last defenders of the Abbasid Caliphate; forty-eight years subsequent to that conjunction, more or less two thousand miles North in Scotland, in 1306, the assassination of John Comyn contributed to igniting revolutionary wars for Scottish independence; another forty-nine years onward, in 1355 near Oxford, an imbroglio at a pub led to an outbreak of essentially civil war against the ‘scholars’ in residence at the university in which sixty or so of them and half as many locals died; exactly four centuries later, in 1755, the brilliant French philosopher Montesquieu died, at the start of the Seven Years War; eight years subsequently, in 1763, a Treaty of Paris accorded England control of French Quebec as part of the deal that ended the Seven Years War and its French-and-Indian component; one hundred eighty years before today, the brief life of genius Russian author Alexander Pushkin came to a close; nine years after that, in 1846, the British Empire further consolidated its hold on the Indian Subcontinent with a victory over Sikh forces at the Battle of Sobraon in the final battle of the First Anglo-Sikh War; twenty-two years thereafter, in 1868, a baby boy was born who would go on to become progressive journalist and gadfly William Allen White; just two years later in New York City, in 1870, a Young Women’s Christian Association facility first opened its doors; two decades subsequent to that, in 1890, an infant male drew his first breath en route to maturation as iconic Russian writer and thinker, Boris Pasternak; eight years later, in 1898, less than a thousand miles  East in Europe, another baby boy came along who would grow up to literary fame in Germany’s drama circles as Bertold Brecht;

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eight years onward in time and space, across the English Channel in 1906, the United Kingdom launched the first fully modern naval fighting ship, the H.M.S. Dreadnought; seven hundred thirty days hence, in 1908, the American Federation of Labor established its Building & Construction Trades Department to forestall turf battles and other conflicts among its member unions; a decade and a half past that juncture, in 1923, the school that would soon enough become Texas Tech University opened its doors; for the first time in French Indochina seven years afterward, halfway round the globe in 1930, Vietnamese colonial troops rose up against French rule, a precursor to later decades of war even though the French viciously crushed the Yen Bai Mutiny itself; six years after that, in 1936, six thousand miles Northwest, Italian fascists committed crimes against humanity in initiating the extinguishing of Ethiopian imperial forces near Amba Aradam; three hundred sixty-six days thereafter, in 1937, the baby girl came into the world who would go on to fame and fortune as writer and singer Roberta Flack; two years hence, in 1939, Spanish fascists concluded the destruction of Republican resistance in Catalonia and closed most exits to France; ten hundred ninety-six days more proximate to the present pass, in 1942, Glenn

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Miller and his band won the first ‘Gold Record,’ for Chattanooga Choo Choo; two years yet later on, in 1944, two infants came into the world who would grow up to authorial prominence, one as computer scientist and acclaimed thinker of ‘singularity,’ Vernor Vinge, the other as powerful social critic and environmental and peace advocate, Frances Moore Lappe; half a dozen years even closer to the current context, in 1950, the intellectual synthesizer of sociology and anthropology and more, from France, Marcel Mauss, took a final breath; exactly another four years hence, in 1954, President Eisenhower warned against U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, advice summarily ignored over the coming quarter century;three years later, in 1957, Laura Ingalls Wilder died; five additional years in the general direction of now, in 1962, the U.S. exchanged a convicted Soviet spy for downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers, and acclaimed modern artist Roy Liechtenstein had his first independent show; another three hundred sixty-five days past that point in time, in 1963, lumber companies in Northern workjob labor solidarityOntario sought to lower wages and institute a seven day work week, which led to strikes and threats by lumberjacks against local strikebreakers, who shot ten and killed three of the trade unionists; four more years after that, in 1967, the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, dealing with Presidential succession, took effect; seven years yet nearer to now, in 1974, a liquefied gas facility on Staten Island explosively caught fire, killing more than forty workers who were laboring at their own risk for their employers’ profits; twenty-eight years ago,  Ron Brown became the first African American to lead one of the nation’s chief political parties when he rose to the chairmanship of the Democrats; three years along from that moment, in 1992, popular author Alex Haley died; four years further on, in 1996, the IBM computer program Deep Blue defeated chess superstar Gary Kasparov in a match; exactly nine years further down time’s pathway, in 2005, critical and acclaimed dramatist and thinker Arthur Miller took his last breath.