4.06.2017 Day in History

Today is Tartan Day in the U.S. and Canada, while the world celebrate an International Day of Sport for Development and Peace; in Rome, two thousand sixty-three years ago, Julius Caesar furthered his imperial program by defeating the upper crust Republicans Cato the Younger and Caecilius Metellus Scipio; two years shy of four and a half centuries more toward now, in 402, a ‘half-breed’ Roman military genius, Stilicho, led the forces that stymied and incursion by ‘barbarian’ Visigoths equally ‘provincial’ as his own Vandal roots; seven hundred and sixty-seven years prior to the present pass, in the seventh iteration of inter-Abrahamic rivalry, Egyptian troops captured King Louis IX of France in the Battle of Fariskur; seventy seven years thereafter,  in 1327, the bard Petrarch first laid eyes on his ideal love, Laura, in Avignon; a hundred twenty-six years onward in space and time, in 1453, an early expansion of Ottoman power led Mehmed II to initiate a successful siege of Constantinople; three decades subsequent to that event, in 1483, a baby boy was born who would grow up as the iconic artist and theorist, Raphael; one hundred and sixty-nine years after that, in 1652, Dutch imperial sailors established a resupply center at the Cape of Good Hope that eventually became Cape Town; not quite twenty years later, in 1671, six thousand miles North in France, a male child came into the world who would mature as poet and thinker Jean Baptiste Rousseau; three centuries and five years before the here and now, slaves revolted on Manhattan, near Broadway, an expression of the impossibility of the ‘peculiar institution’ in any long term and of the powerful necessity of divide-and-conquer White-Supremacist thinking in the uprising’s aftermath; two hundred forty-four years before the here and now, a baby boy was born who would grow up to become James Mill, the celebrated political economist, English chauvinist, and father of liberalism’s ‘father,’ his son John Stuart Mill; two decades exactly thereafter, in 1793, the stern revolutionary Committee of Public Safety became the executive power of revolutionary France; a decade and a half further along the temporal way, in 1808; across the Atlantic in New York, John Jacob Astor incorporated The American Fur Company, an endeavor that would arguably make him the young nation’s first millionaire; one hundred fifty-six years back, the composer who would soon become half of the iconic team, Gilbert and Sullivan, experienced his first success with music for a performance of The Tempest; half a decade hence, in 1866, across the Atlantic pond in the U.S. capital, the Grand Army of the Republic came into existence to canonize the struggle for the Union in a most appropriately conservative way; three years subsequent to that

"Film strip" by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0
“Film strip” by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0

juncture, in 1869, in a move crucial for all sorts of mediated purposes, inventors patented celluloid for the first time; an additional thirteen years in the direction of today, in 1882, a baby girl entered our midst whose fate would lead her to the life of Rose Schneiderman, a tireless advocate for women’s rights, for unions, and for workplace safety and health; half a dozen years past that exact instant, in 1888, Thomas Clemson died and willed his properties to the State of South Carolina, which used them to found Clemson University; seven years farther down the pike, in 1895, Oscar Wilde fell into the hands of police for a failed libel suit, in essence for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality; a single year henceforth, in 1896, the first modern Olympic games began in Athens, Greece; nine years afterward, in 1905, over the wide Atlantic and a third of North America in Chicago, Teamsters started a sympathy action for striking clothing workers, which led to three and a half months of pitched battles with police and dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries; a dozen years past that point, on the dot, in 1917, the baby girl was born who would grow up as writer, artist, feminist, and thinker Leonora Carrington, and the U.S. Congress responded to Woodrow, ‘He-Kept-Us-Out-of-War,’ Wilson’s call for a formal declaration of war on Germany; precisely -Gandhi_at_Darwen_with_womenseven hundred thirty days nearer to now, in 1919, Mahatmas Gandhi called for a general strike in support of Indian independence; five years hence, in 1924, the first round-the-world flight commenced, near Seattle under the command of the U.S. Army Air Corps; another five years more proximate to the present, in 1929, populist leader Huey Long faced impeachment by the Louisiana House of representatives; three hundred sixty five days subsequently, in 1930, eleven years after his call for a general strike, Mohandas Gandhi ‘shook the foundations of the British Empire’ by manifesting non-taxed salt; a year to the minute in the future, in 1931, the boy child came into the world in New Jersey who would grow up as the privileged Richard Alpert en route to a self-named life as guru Ram Dass; four years beyond that conjunction, in 1935 and a few states away in New England, beloved sonneteer Edwin Arlington Robinson, drew his final breath; two years later still, in 1937, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the hard-living crooner and songwriter, Merle Haggard, fated to

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die on his birthday not quite eight decades after, and another male infant came along in standard fashion who would mature as the actor, singer, and writer Billy Dee Williams; ten years more in time’s march toward the now, in 1947, the first celebration of the theatrical prizes for the Tony awards took place; another eighteen years even closer to the current context, in 1965, the United States launched its first Early Bird satellite into geosynchronous orbit; six years additional down the road, in 1971, acclaimed and also loathed composer Igor Stravinsky died; seven hundred thirty-one days thereafter, in 1973, the U.S. began its Easter Offensive in Vietnam, its last major attempt to change the course of the war; a European attempt at branding another year more en route to today, in 1974, led to the wild acclaim for ABBA’s “Waterloo” as the winner of the

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Eurovision Song Contest, which launched the group’s stellar career; eight years hence to the day, in 1982, science fiction literary icon and brilliant thinker Isaac Asimov spent his last day alive; twelve years later on the dot, in 1994, the shooting down of the Rwandan president’s plane inaugurated a bloody little genocide in Central Africa; four years beyond that point, in 1998, Pakistan tested nuclear capable missiles; eight years later, not quite half a world away in 2006, minor-league baseball umpires went on strike in the United States for a large increase in pay from the pittance of just over $5,000 that they were receiving; two years still more proximate to the present pass, in 2008, Egyptian youth and general protests erupted against the U.S.-backed government; another pair of years forward in time, in 2010, Native American spiritual and environmental leader Wilma Mankiller died; a year along the path to today, in 2011, another abomination against indigenous and working people unfolded as authorities of Tamaulipas, Mexico exhumed almost two hundred corpses of locals whom the ‘War on Drugs’ had doomed to ‘gang’ violence; a further three hundred sixty-six days after that, in 2012, pictorial painter Thomas Kinkade breathed his last; three years subsequent to that, last year in 2015, the iconic Ray Charles sang his swan song.