3.07.2017 Day in History

"Gaius Caesar Caligula" by Louis le Grand cc 3.0
“Gaius Caesar Caligula” by Louis le Grand cc 3.0

In what started as a tax revolt seventeen hundred and seventy-nine years ago, Roman patricians in the province of Africa, roughly the coastal and central regions of present-day Tunisia, rose up against the rule of Maximinus Thrax in what became an existential crisis for that emperor; also in Roman terrain sixteen hundred ninety-six years before the light of today’s dawning, Emperor Constantine decreed that Solis Invicti, or Sun-Day, would be a day of rest throughout the imperial realm; a single year past nine and a half centuries beyond that naming, in 1274, the estimable Catholic thinker, St. Thomas Aquinas, drew a final breath; two hundred ninety-nine years after that, more or less exactly, in 1573, two of the dominions that replaced the fall of Roman rule—the Ottomans and the Republic of Venice—concluded a treaty in their warfare that agreed that Ottoman imprimatur would oversee Cyprus thereafter; just two years shy of a century later, in 1671, the baby boy was born who would grow up as the Scottish rebel and so-called ‘outlaw,’ Rob Roy MacGregor; a century and four years onward from that day, in 1765,the male child bounced into the world across the Channel in France who would, as Nicephore Niepce, inaugurate a new age with the invention of photography; two hundred twenty-nine years back, the baby male first cried out en route to a long life as the chemist and physicist, Antoine Cesar Becquerel; just a thousand four hundred and sixty-one days more along time’s road, in 1792, a male infant entered the world in standard fashion who would also make a scientific mark as the mathematician and astronomer John Herschel; in imperial upheaval in the Mediterranean region seven years henceforth, in 1799, forces of revolutionary France’s Napoleon captured the Palestinian redoubt of Jaffa, where they slaughtered upwards of 2,000, primarily Albanian, captives in the aftermath; forty-two years in the aftermath of that bloody passage, roughly five thousand miles North and West in 1841 Indiana, the male baby gazed about him who would mature as the founder of the Kansas City Star, William Rockhill Nelson; another eight years on the route to now, in 1849, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the scientist of food and agriculture, Luther Burbank; the very next year, in 1850, Daniel Webster delivered an iconic address in support of the Missouri Compromise, the final civil war-Confederate_100_Dollars moneyattempt to save the Union from being a ‘house divided;’ a decade thereafter, to the North in Lynn Massachusetts in 1860, over five thousand shoeworkers and as many as twenty thousand additional laborers successfully struck against their employers for higher wages, though they failed to win recognition of their united efforts as unions in the process; sixteen years forward in space and time from that action, in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for a device that he named the telephone; not quite a quarter century afterward, in 1900, a German passenger vessel became the first ship to utilize a different communication technology in making a ship to shore wireless, or radio, transmission; thirty-two years subsequent to that technological advance, back in the U.S. In 1932, Communist-led workers, hungry and cold and jobless, marched on the Ford factory in Flint, Michigan to demand relief, to which the company’s owners and managers responded brutally, killing four protesters and wounding scores more, while over the sea in France, the political leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aristide Briand lived out his final scene; four years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1936, Nazi Germany foreshadowed coming global conflict with France and other nations with its erstwhile ‘illegal’ reoccupation of the Rhineland; a mere year closer to the here and now, in 1937, again in North America, Steelworkers Organizing Committee negotiators inked their first contract with Carnegie-Illinois, laying the basis for the powerful United Steelworkers of America to emerge; half a decade past that hopeful conjunction for labor, in 1942, the redoubtable International Workers of the World organizer and stalwart, Lucy Parsons, came to the end of her road; seven hundred thirty-one days even closer to the current context, in 1944, a baby boy sang out who went on to croon and compose as the singer-songwriter, Townes Van Zandt; a single solar cycle further on the temporal arc, in 1945, a male child made his entrance who would become the journalist and commentator, Bob Herbert; another half decade en route to today, in 1950, the Soviet Union issued a formal denial that Klaus Fuchs was their agent; fourteen years yet later on, 1964, the baby male came into our midst who would become the noteworthy chronicler and storyteller, Brett Easton Ellis; only three hundred sixty-five daily spins round the solar center after that, in 1965, Selma’s and Alabama’s ‘leadership’ consciously attacked hundreds of protesters who had shown the

"Selma to Montgomery Marches" by Peter Pettus - Library of Congress.
“Selma to Montgomery Marches” by Peter Pettus – Library of Congress.

temerity to demand justice and equality from the nation that pretended its commitments to such rights while withholding them from large swaths of the populace; two years in even greater proximity to the present point in time, in 1967, reactionary ‘leaders’ in Indonesia took away Sukarno’s ‘mandate,’ while the feminist and scribe Alice B. Toklas breathed her last; eight years farther down the pike, in 1985, the ‘hit’ song, “We Are the World,” first hit the airwaves to commemorate Ethiopian starvation without a single reference, oblique or acute, to the imperial imprimatur that was causing this hunger; the next year on time’s relentless march, 1986, divers recovered the Space Shuttle Challenger’s crew cabin from the bottom of the Atlantic; a thousand ninety-six days on the path to now, in 1989, Iran and the United Kingdom suspended diplomatic relations over an assassination that religious leaders in Persia had ordered against Salman Rushdie, for his writing and publishing The Satanic Verses; a decade subsequently, in 1999, acclaimed filmmaker and storyteller Stanley Kubrick lived through his final frame; four years hence in the new millennium, in 2003, a musicians strike against theaters in New York City shut down broadway when stage tech and other affiliated unions honored the orchestra picket lines; just three more years still later, in 2006, the iconic photographer and thinker Gordon Parks died.