4.19.2017 Day in History

venezuela waterVenezuela on this date commemorates Beginning of the Independence Movement not quite two centuries back, as, around the planet, everyone has an opportunity to tip their hats to Bicycle Day, truly a technology apropos to the human condition now; in the early and arguably first really venal days of Rome’s imperial sway, two thousand and eighty-one years ago, a freed slave, Milichus, turned against the plotters with whom he was associating and gave the entire conspiracy to kill Nero away, resulting in an upcoming opportunity to play strings while the city incinerated itself; five hundred ninety-six years subsequently, in 531, Persian fighters in what is now Northern Syria defeated Byzantine troops at the Battle of Callinicum; two years shy of a millennium henceforth, in 1529, a lineal offshoot of that conflict unfolded in Central Europe, as the Protestant Reformation evolved when German nobles protested the recent ban on Lutheranism and the reestablishment of the imprimatur of the Edict of Worms; a single year less than eight decades beyond that conjunction, in 1608,another instance of internecine European mayhem unfolded with religion a central concern, when O’Doherty’s Rebellion began with the burning of Derry; two hundred forty-two years back, America’s Revolutionary War, albeit less a revolution than a switching of rulers, started up with two colonial victories in New England at Lexington and Concord; old american revolution-Declaration_independenceseven years past that auspicious initiation of carnage, in 1782, the estimable John Adams, also of Massachusetts, garnered the agreement of Dutch leaders to recognize the United States of America, establishing the nation’s first embassy at the Hague in so doing; two hundred eight years ago, Thomas Jefferson sold a servant to James Madison; one year further along time’s road, in 1810, Venezuelans ousted Spain’s rule in Caracas and established an independent state; a thousand ninety-six days later, in 1813, the founding father who promoted scientific medicine and who wrote extensively of ‘racial’ equality and against slavery, Benjamin Rush, drew his final breath; eleven years thereafter, in 1824, across the Atlantic, the monumental poet and thinker, Lord Byron, made good his final exit from life’s stage; eight more years in the direction of this instant in space and time, in 1832, a baby boy opened his eyes in Spain who would rise as the writer and bard of Nobel fame, Jose Echegaray; seven years more down the pike, in 1839, North and East in Europe, negotiators in London sorted out the bourgeois and aristocratic forces in play to create a Kingdom of Belgium that the Dutch and French and others could live with; twenty-two farther steps on time’s annual march, in 1861, riotous crowds in Baltimore attacked Federal troops as they paraded through the city, a secessionist threat to the North of the nation’s capital city; four years subsequent to that instant in time, after the conclusion of the brutal conflict in 1865, mourners attended the funeral of Abraham Lincoln, felled days earlier by an assassin’s pistol shot to the back of his head; eleven years later, in 1876, Wyatt Earp left the Wichita police force due to brutality; another six years toward today, in 1882, iconic English thinker and evolutionist Charles Darwin died; a decade hence, in 1892, Charles Duryea claimed to have taken the country’s first automobile ride in Springfield, Massachusetts; half a decade hence, in 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held;  six years yet later on, in 1903, thousands of miles away in the Russian Empire, now Moldova, anti-Semitic riots yielded a pogrom that forced tens of thousands of Jews to flee for their lives, most of whom ended up in North America or Palestine; another eleven year period forward in time, in 1914, the mathematician and philosopher and theorist Charles Sanders Peirce shut his eyes for the final time; five additional years after that, in 1919, over 6,000 striking furniture makers in Grand Rapids Michigan initiated a months-long strike for higher pay and better conditions, and an American demonstrated the possibility of using a wearable parachute by jumping from an airplane; eight years afterward, in 1927, the iconic and deeply thoughtful Mae West received a ten day jail sentence for the ‘obscenity’ of writing and overseeing the production of her drama, Sex; a year yet nearer to now, in 1928, the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary released the 125th, and final, section of the monumental work, the last fascicle; fifteen years beyond that passage, in 1943, the chemist and scientist Albert Hoffman ingested the first dose ever of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, or LSD; drug drugs banner acid cocaine speed lsd ecstasy mind consciousness psychedelicshalf a dozen years closer to now, in 1949, Soviet clowns lampooned U.S. foreign policy;  eight years farther along the temporal arc, in 1951, half a world away, Douglas MacArthur resigned as chief of U.S. forces in the peninsular conflict in Korea, a deeply unpopular move by President Truman; also in Korea nine years hence, in 1960, citizen and student democracy demonstrators inaugurated actions that soon enough forced the resignation of the Korean president who was a favorite of the United States and Japan; half a decade upward and onward, in 1965, a male child cried out en route to a career as the founder of Death Row Records, Suge Knight; half a dozen years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1971, Vietnam Veterans Against the War started up a five day protest, “Operation Dewey Canyon III;” another seven hundred thirty-one days farther down the pike, in 1973, Germany hosted the founding meeting of the Portuguese Socialist Party; two years onward from that, in 1975, India launched its first orbiting satellite into space; a dozen years thereafter, in 1987, a short clip on the Tracey Ullman Show premiered the soon-to-be iconic Simpsonstwo extra years nearer to this instant, in 1989, the iconic writer and storyteller Daphne du Maurier sang her swansong; four years later still, in 1993, the standoff in Waco Texas between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Branch Davidian cult ended when incendiary devices started a fire that killed eighty-one people in the compound; two years subsequent to that, in an act of revenge for that event in 1995, domestic terrorists set off a massive truck bomb in front of the Federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, murdering nearly a hundred seventy innocents, many of them women and children; three further years toward our own light and air, in 1998, the magnificent Mexican Nobellist, Octavio Paz, lived out his final scene;

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six years afterward, in 2004, the activist cofounder of the Guinness Book Records, Norris McWhirter, passed out of this life; seven years hence, in 2011, the Cuban Revolutionary leader Fidel Castro resigned his post as Chair of the Central Committee of Cuba’s Communist Party; a year hence, in 2012, the crooner and rocker and lyricist Levon Helm passed away;the very next year, in 2013, the founding publisher of U.S.A. Today took a final look around and left; two added years along the temporal path, in 2015, Baltimore City Police murdered brutalized and killed the nonviolent Freddie Gray, whom they suspected of having a switchblade knife.