2.21.2017 Day in History

letter writing write ink pen paper cursive calligraphyOn this date, the United Nations Educational Science and Culture Organization marks International Mother Language Day, of particular note to scrappy scribes; in the not always easy and pleasant transition to Christianity in Scandinavia, seven hundred and seventy-two years ago, the first Bishop of all Finland lost his sinecure after he confessed to torture and forgery; two years less than precisely three centuries afterward, in 1543, Ethiopian Christians joined early Portuguese imperialists to defeat a Muslim army at the Battle of Wayna Daga; thirty-four decades ahead of the current day, the monumental thinker and scientist, Baruch Spinoza, composed his final passage after less than fifty years from his birth; a hundred twenty years onward from that moment in Holland, in 1797, nearly 1,500 French fighters landed in Ireland to support Irish rebels who had aligned themselves with revolutionary France; seven years henceforth, in 1804, a Welsh ironworks launched the first steam locomotive that could drive itself more or less perpetually, given fuel such as coal; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days more on the way to today, in 1808, to the East in what is now Finland, Russian forces began the process of invading that portion of Sweden that now constitutes the Finnish state; two further decades along the path to now, in 1828, the first edition of the Cherokee Phoenix issued, the initial use in a magazine of the Cherokee alphabet of Sequoyah;

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another fourteen years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1842, John Greenough received the first U.S. Patent for a sewing machine; half a dozen years after that triumph of capital, in 1848,Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the inaugural edition of The Communist Manifesto; thirty years farther down the pike, in 1878, New Haven, Connecticut became the first locality to issue a formal telephone directory; just shy of a decade past that point, in 1887, Oregon became the first state to declare a Workingmen’s Holiday, the initiation of the move to have an annual Labor Day as a counterpoint to the revolutionary May Day celebration; sixteen complete years onward toward the present, in 1903, the baby girl opened her eyes who would rise as the denizen of desire and sensual awareness and literature, Anais Nin; four years later, in 1907, the male infant was born whom fate had selected to write and think and produce music as W.H. Auden; an extra dozen years toward today, in 1919, assassins murdered German socialist thinker and leader Kurt Eisner, leading to the brief existence of a Bavarian Soviet Republic in postwar Germany; seven hundred thirty-one days more along the temporal arc, in 1921, Reza Khan orchestrated a coup in Persia at the behest of, among others, British Petroleum, to consolidate the initiation of modern Iran, and a baby male first shouted out who would mature as the philosopher of justice and stalwart champion of humanism, John Rawls; another four year interlude onward in space and time, in 1925, New Yorker magazine came out with its inaugural edition; a mere two years nearer to the here and now, in 1927, a female child came along en route to her life as the journalist and interlocutor, Erma Bombeck; another two year jaunt forward, in 1929, a Mexican baby boy uttered a first cry on his way to a magisterial creative existence as the performer and creator, Chespirito; four years further along, in 1933, a girl baby drew an initial breath on her route to life as the singer songwriter and musician Nina Simone; the very next year, meanwhile, the hero of Nicaraguan liberation, Augusto Cesar Sandino, not yet forty years old, died in combat with U.S. backed forces; a thousand ninety-six daily dawns after that, in 1937, the League of Nations revealed its reactionary biases in banning foreign ‘volunteers’ to take up arms in the Spanish Civil War; one more three year period toward present times, in 1940, a male baby regarded his surroundings in Georgia on his way to the life’s work of activist and civil rights and political leader, John Lewis; precisely two years thereafter, in 1942, Trinidadian parents gave birth to a bouncing boy who became a founding father of African American Studies in the United States as the controversial but scholarly Tony Martin; five years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1947, Edwin Land demonstrated the world’s first ‘instant camera,’ which defined the beginning of a brief interlude between early film and current digital photography; a further half decade of spins round the solar center, in 1952, protests erupted in Dhaka, East Pakistan, a Bengali Language Movement which foretold the later establishment of Bangladesh, while around the planet in England, Winston Churchill signed the order that abolished the requirement that United Kingdom citizens needed identity cards on them at all times; on this day six years yet later on, in 1958, peace activist and designer Gerald Holtom released the first installment of what has since its original use by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament become an international ‘peace symbol,’ and a girl child entered our midst who would grow up as the lyricist and performer and musician Mary Chapin Carpenter; four years even closer to the current context, in 1962, a baby boy was born who became the challenging storyteller of individualism and reaction, Chuck Palahniuk, while another male infant first nursed at his mother’s breast who would establish himself as an iconic essayist and composer of cutting edge fiction, David Foster Wallace; just a thousand ninety-six days further down time’s african american civil rights-Malcolm_X_NYWTS_2aroad from that double entry, in 1965, the towering leader and still-developing thinker, Malcolm X, died at the hands of assassins as he spoke in New York City; half a dozen years hence, in 1971, a globalized police state became more pronounced with the signing of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which further consolidated the U.S. led ‘war on drugs’ in the international sphere; a single year more on time’s relentless march, in 1972, the United Farmworkers received a charter from the American Federation of Labor/Congress of Industrial Organizations as President Nixon arrived in China for the first visit by a U.S. leader since the Communist Party’s 1949 victory over corrupt, U.S.-supported autocrats; just a year in even greater proximity to the present point in space and time, in 1973, over a hundred passengers died when Israeli fighter jets shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 in foul weather over the Sinai Peninsula; two additional cycles round the solar center, in 1975, convicted Watergate conspirators, one-time Attorney General John Mitchell and Nixon staff leaders John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman all received prison terms for their collaboration in that scandalous episode; nine years subsequently, in 1984, the magisterial Nobel Literary Laureate Mikhail Sholokhov lived out his final hours; exactly a decade afterward, in 1994, Federal agents arrested Aldrich Ames, whom prosecutors then proceeded to convict of devastating espionage as a spy for the Soviet Union in the 1980’s; eleven years still later, in 2005, Cuban critic and screenwriter and storyteller Guillermo Cabrera Infante breathed his last.