3.08.2017 Day in History

CC BY by Dave_B_
CC BY by Dave_B_

In a tribute that should include every day of every year, today is International Women’s Day; in what is today Iran seven years earlier than a millennium ago, the renowned Persian poet, Ferdowsi, finished the world’s longest epic poem, Shahnameh, the Book of Kings; five hundred sixty-six years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1576, a Spanish explorer by the name of Diego Garcia de Palacio first uncovered the ruins, in what is now Western Honduras, of a hundreds of years old Mayan city, Copan; forty-two years past that point in time and space, in 1618, Johannes Kepler, working with data about the movement of the heavenly spheres, which he had already discovered were elliptical, noticed a universal correspondence between the cube of any particular ellipses longest radius and square of its orbital period, which became the “third law of planetary motion;” three hundred sixty-two years ahead of today, a Black indentured servant, John Casor, who sued his master to release him when his period of indenture had lapsed, became one of the first legally recognized instances of someone’s facing essentially a sentence of a life of slavery because of ethnicity, a practice that soon was ubiquitous in the English colonies; three hundred fourteen years before the here and now, a baby girl was born into the world from her father’s liaison with his Irish servant, a love affair nevertheless that led to the family’s flight to the America’s would grow up to marry a pirate after her father disinherited her and then become the renowned pirate, Ann Bonny;  two decades henceforth, in 1722, more or less and roughly five thousand miles to the East and South, Afghan insurgents crushed the Safavid imperial army at the Battle of Gulnabad and prepared to sack the Persian capital; fifteen years subsequently, in 1736, Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid Dynasty, received the crown of the Shah of Iran, reclaiming for a time Persian hegemony in Southwest Asia; thirty-nine years later, in 1775, back in North America, an anonymous pamphleteer who may have been Thomas Paine published a tract in a Philadelphia paper, “African Slavery in America,” that called for abolition of slavery and emancipation of all those in bondage; meanwhile, seven years down the pike and a few hundred miles East in 1782, indigenous Christian converts in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, nearly a hundred in number, served Pennsylvania settlers as scapegoats for raids of other Native Americans, a mass murder that now has the name the Gnadenhutten Massacre; just shy of two decades onward, roughly four thousand miles East in 1801, English troops intervened in Egypt in the Empire’s attack on Napoleon’s assertion of French control over Ottoman lands in Egypt and Syria, in which the Battle of Abu Qir on this date laid the basis for the British victory at Alexandria in the coming period; sixteen years afterward, in 1817, back across the Atlantic, the New York Stock Exchange first opened for business; two dozen years onward toward now, in 1841, a baby male opened his eyes who would rise as the renowned jurist who simultaneously championed liberty and property as Oliver Wendell slavery racism brutalityHolmes, Jr.; one hundred thirty years back, the preacher and acclaimed abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher, brother of the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and survivor of the fiery scandal and cover-up of adultery with his best friend’s wife, lived out his final scene; three years later, in 1890, Bram Stoker begins work on Dracula;  eight years still later on, in 1908, thousands of needle-trade workers in New York, many from Eastern Europe and Russia, walked off their jobs and staged mass demonstrations to demand higher wages, shorter working hours, and an abolition of child labor, actions that became the basis for the establishment of International Women’s Day; nine years nearer to now, in a Julian Calendar February in 1917, demonstrators in St. Petersburg rose up to initiate the February Revolution that would soon enough elicit a Red October and withdrawal of Russia from World War One, while back in the U.S. Senators decided to invoke a cloture rule that would choke off the right of unlimited filibuster; a thousand ninety-six days in the future from that, fifteen hundred miles Southwest in 1920, British and French machinations brought into existence the first ‘modern’ ‘Arab’ State, the Kingdom of Syria; four years hence, in 1924, a series of explosions at a Utah coal mine caused over 170 miners’ deaths to serve the bottom line, slightly more than a quarter of whom were American, with the remainder from various countries around the planet; seven hundred thirty days after those dark events, in 1926, fur and leather workers in New York, mainly women, withstood savage beatings by police to strike for higher wages and a shorter work week, both of which demands they won; half a decades past that instant in space and time, in 1931, among the many baby boys who first drew breath that day, two came along who would mature, on the one hand, as the brilliant teacher and books library history researchwriter John McPhee, and on the other hand as the media theorist, cultural critic, and students’ advocate Neil Postman; three hundred sixty-six days farther along the temporal path, in 1932, the Norris-La Guardia Anti Injunction Act passed Congress to limit the ability of venal and corrupt and biased courts to issue restraining orders against labor actions; three years further on, in 1935, Thomas Wolfe published his second and somewhat controversial novel; six years even closer to now, in 1941, the well loved poet and writer Sherwood Anderson died from the horrific accident of swallowing a toothpick; six years yet later on, in 1947, desperate Nationalist Chinese forces on Taiwan orchestrated the slaughter of tens of thousands of protesters and ‘communist sympathizers’ to guarantee their corrupt regime a place in the pantheon despite the inevitability of Communist Chinese victory on the mainland, and back in the U.S.A., a baby male entered the world in standard fashion en route to computer and technological legerdemain as Michael Hart, who devised the format for electronic books and despite the plutocratic drive toward eternal copyright founded one of the wonders of the public domain, Project Gutenberg; two additional years onward in time, in 1949, France’s Premier and former Vietnamese Emperor Bao Dai signed an agreement in Paris that pretended to grant Indochina greater independence so as to protect French colonial interests, match U.S. strategy, and counter the growing popularity of Viet Minh vietnam lake waterleadership in the Northern part of the region; eight years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1957, six thousand miles Northeast in Suez, Egypt opened the eponymous Canal there for the first time after several months of fighting and crisis, and the State of Georgia, across the Atlantic, submitted a memorial to Congress that sought to overturn the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments and thereby lay a foundation for a sterner White Supremacy than the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement portended; six years thereafter, in 1963, a radical Ba’athist coup occurred in Syria against the remnants of the French neocolonial aristocrats who ruled for capital in the nation till then; in a conceptually related move two years beyond that juncture, in 1965, a force of several thousand U.S. Marines arrived in what was once French Indochina to set the stage for America’s Southeast Asia slaughter over the next decade; thirteen years more in the direction of today, in 1978, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first installment of a reading of Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; another orbit of Earth around the sun past that moment, in 1979, the Philips Corporation first demonstrated its compact disc technology, while Cesar Chavez led over five thousand marchers into the streets of Salinas, California in search of simple justice for farmworkers.