3.24.2017 Day in History

lung lungs  body healthToday everywhere on Earth is World Tuberculosis Day, a note on the human checklist about this dread killer that could easily emerge as a plague of epic proportions; in what is today Syria six hundred sixteen years ago, the vaunted ‘hordes’ of Mongol emperor Timur overran and sacked Damascus; on two island nations two centuries and two years afterward, in 1603, James rose to the throne of England for a brief period of Stuart rule and Ieyasu Tokugawa became shogun in Japan for what would be several centuries of power; six decades later to the day, in 1663, what is today North and South Carolina became the sole ‘province,’ so to speak, of eight powerful men who helped the son of the decapitated Stuart king, Charles II, to resume his family’s perch atop English society; three decades after that moment in space and time, in 1693, a male child entered our midst who would develop into a furniture and clockmaker whose legerdemain transformed history when he, as John Harrison, invented the first workable shipboard chronometer; fourteen years henceforth, in 1707, England’s Parliament passed the Acts of Union that joined Scotland into a Kingdom of Great Britain; one more fourteen year period hence, in 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated a half dozen compositions to the margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt to add the eponymous Brandenburg Concertos to the canon; another forty-four years in the direction of now, in 1765, England instituted the practice of forcing colonial residents in North America to quarter its troops with room and board, not to mention insult and injury; one hundred eighty-eight years before the here and now, England first permitted Catholics to serve in the modern Parliament; five years closer to now, in 1834, a baby boy uttered his first cries on his way to a life as writer and thinker William Morris; three years thereafter, in 1837, across the Atlantic in Britain’s Canadian provinces, Afro-Canadians gained the franchise; a hundred sixty-three years back, and eight years ahead of the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave,’ Venezuela

CC BY by Elvert Barnes
CC BY by Elvert Barnes

abolished slavery; six years later and half-a-world away, in Japan in 1860, a troop of Samurai attacked and decapitated the minister who had concluded a treaty to ‘open’ Japan to commercial involvement of the U.S. and ‘the West;’ one decade and five years subsequent to that gruesome point, a happier event transpired when the baby boy was born who would grow up as the magician and entertainer Harry Houdini; half a dozen years more proximate to the present pass, in 1882, Robert Koch proclaimed the discovery of the elusive microorganism responsible for the horrors of tuberculosis, and the sonorous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow drew his last breath; four years thereafter, in 1886, a male infant was born who would grow up as astounding photographer Edward Weston; a decade hence, in 1896, in Russia, A.S. Popov transmitted the first radio signal; three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1897, a baby boy came into the world who would mature as the radical psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich; a thousand ninety-five days afterword, in 1900,  the mayor of New York City and his cohorts turned a few symbolic shovels of earth to break ground for the new York Subway; three years onward in time and space, in 1903, the male child cried out who en route to a life as the journalist, and eventually prominent anti-communist, Malcolm Muggeridge; two years past that juncture, in 1905, prolific science-fiction genius Jules Verne died; two more years after that, in 1907,further East in Europe,  the first issue of a Bolshevik Georgian newspaper was available for readers in the homeland of Stalin; a dozen years yet later on, in 1919,  two male children emerged from their mothers, one to become acclaimed historian and thinker Robert Heilbroner, the other to grow into wild poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti; three years subsequent to that instant, in 1922, English police forces in Northern Ireland murdered six civilians; four additional years in the direction of today, in 1926, a baby boy came along in Mussolini’s Italy who would mature as radical people’s playwright and dramaturge, not to mention Nobel Laureate, Dario Fo; one year after that conjunction, in china dynamite explosion fireworks1927, imperial navies bombarded a Chinese uprising against Western hegemony in Nanking; seven years thereafter, in 1934, the United States ‘granted’ Philippine independence three decades after its conquest of the islands in the guise of liberating them from Spanish imprimatur; seven hundred thirty-one days later, in 1936, a baby boy was born in Canada whose destiny was to write and proselytize as radical environmental thinker David Suzuki; ten years more proximate to today, in 1946, English imperial representatives met in India with those who would soon rule their own country to arrange ‘an orderly transfer of power;’ nine years later, in 1955, Tennesee Williams’ seminal piece of theatre, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,  first opened; three years still later, in 1958, Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army; a mere year forward from then and there, in 1959, the Party of the African Federation came into existence, led by philosopher of Negritude, Leopold Senghor; two additional years onward, in 1961, a little Greek Baby opened his eyes who would rise as the controversial gadfly and economist, Yanis Varofakis; four years further down the pike, in 1965, the first teach-in was conducted;  a decade and a year farther down the road from that day’s events, in 1976, Argentine military and business and Central Intelligence Agency operatives overthrew the nation’s elected government and instituted seven years of brutal dictatorship and murderous disappearance; four years after that point in time, in 1980, twenty-five hundred miles to the North in El Salvador, imperial assassins murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero as he preached the mass, just days after his public pronouncement against further murders of civilians by soldiers; just shy of a decade nearer still to now, in 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground and broke to pieces, spilling plus-or-minus 240,000 barrels of oil in the Arctic waters of the Alaskan Pacific; four years thereafter, in 1993, literary witness of nuclear annihilation John Hersey died; two years after that, in 1995, prominent English thinker about science and China, and science in China, Joseph Needham spent his last day alive; four years hence, in 1999, North Atlantic Treaty Organization planes, under the leadership of the U.S., of course, began their bombings of Kosovo; four more years further on, to the day, in 2003, the Arab League met and voted 23-1 to condemn the U.S. invasion of Iraq and demand the withdrawal of Yankee troops; a dozen years later still, just a year ago in 2015, the first documented anti-depressant mass murder may have occurred when a Germanwings aircraft apparently intentionally plowed into the side of a mountain in the Alps, killing all on board.