2.20.2017 Day in History

Internationally, today is the World Day of Social Justice; Norway five hundred forty-five years ago proffered two islands to Scotland as a dowry payment for Denmark’s Princess Margaret; a swashbuckling French explorer three hundred thirty-two years back led an expedition that founded Fort St. Louis in

Thomas Hawk - flickr
Thomas Hawk – flickr

Matagorda Bay, proferring France some reason for claiming Texas as its own; two hundred twenty-five years before today, President George Washington established the Post Office Department when he signed the Postal Service Act; eighteen decades and two years prior to the present pass, a massive earthquake leveled the city of Concepcion, in Chile; one hundred seventy-one years ago, Polish rebels battled for independence in Krakow; one hundred forty-five years back, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan first opened its doors; exactly three hundred sixty-six days hence, in 1873, the University of California opened its first Medical School on the other side of the North American landmass in San Francisco; Tchaikovsky saw the inaugural performance of Swan Lake four years later, in

gabriel saldana - flickr
gabriel saldana – flickr

1877, eight thousand miles away at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow; a century and twenty-two before this day, the American slave liberator Frederick Douglass died; six years subsequently, in 1901, a baby boy was born across the Atlantic in France who would grow up to become thinker and writer Rene Dubos; a year after that to the day, in 1902 on the other side of the Atlantic, another male child came into the world who would mature as the acclaimed photographic genius, Ansel Adams; a hundred eight years before the here-and-now, the French publication Le Figaro issued the Futurist Manifesto;  one century ago, one of the first recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, journalist and critic Klas Arnoldson, took his final breath; half a decade later, in 1921, the Young Communist League of Czechoslovakia came into being; ninety-two years before this point in time, a boy child entered the world who would go on to fame and fortune as popular and critically exalted director and screenwriter Robert Altman; eighty-four years back, Adolf Hitler met in secret with leading German industrialists and financiers to negotiate financing for the upcoming Nazi electoral campaign; precisely a decade later, in 1943, The Saturday Evening Post and Norman Rockwell mirrored Franklin Roosevelt’s State of the Union speech in extolling the Four Freedoms, at the exact same time that Office of War Information gained the backing of Hollywood moguls to censor U.S. films; fifty-five years prior to our present conjunction, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mercury space program; five years afterward, in 1967, a baby boy came howling into the world on his way to a brief life as rocker Kurt Cobain; another half-decade further on, in 1972, journalistic icon Walter Winchell had his last day alive; thirty-one years ago, the Soviet Union launched its first Mir Space Station, which was to be a fifteen year project with human presence on board two thirds of that period; twelve years back, the original gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, breathed his last.