4.21.2017 Day in History

CC BY by Coco Mault
CC BY by Coco Mault

Today Vietnamese people celebrate Vietnam Book Day, Kenyans National Tree Planting Day, Rastafarians Grounation Day, Texans the martial laurels of San Jacinto Day, Mexicans the bitter dregs of defeat of Heroic Defense of Veracruz Day; in the most ancient and murkiest initial period of what we might now recognize as an Italian people, two thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine years ago, the legendary abandoned twin and scion of wolves, Romulus, founded the city of Rome; one and a half millennia, one and a half centuries, and three years later, in 900, halfway round the globe, a local leader of the Kingdom of Tondo in what is now the Philippines issued the first known written inscription from the islands, a debt-forgiveness instrument, a pardon, for another elite family; two hundred forty-two years after that passing day, in 1142, in France, the acclaimed, even beloved teacher, philosopher, and theologian of love and analysis, Peter Abelard, breathed his last; three hundred sixty-four years onward in space and time, in 1506, in Europe once more, a three day slaughter of Jews and suggested Jewish adherents in Lisbon ended with as many as 2,000 or more people dead in the process of the outburst by Portuguese Catholic authorities; two decades hence on the dot, in 1526, Eastward in the Subcontinent, Timur’s grandson, Babur led Islamic forces that brought to bear cannon and musketry in crushing their Lodi empire opponents in the Battle of Panipat, expanding the dominance of Mughal forces and arguably inaugurating a Mughal imperial reign in India; three hundred forty-six years ahead of today’s dawning, a baby boy was born whose life and work would help give birth to the monetary and practical forms of capitalism as the theorist, mathematician, and practical political economist, John Law, a man of profits and bubbles; twenty-eight years past that juncture, in 1699, the esteemed and estimable poet and dramatist and critic, Jean Racine, lived out his final scene;  two hundred thirty-five years back, the Thai Buddha, Yodfa Chulaloke, oversaw the founding of what soon became the bustling city of Rattanakosin, which today we call Bangkok; a decade further along time’s road, in 1792, nearly half a world away in Brazil, the now celebrated revolutionary leader, Tiradentes, faced executioners who strung him up and then cut him down to draw and quarter him in public; two dozen years thereafter, in 1816, a baby girl opened her eyes who would rise, briefly, to write and tell stories as the magnificent Charlotte Bronte; another two decades farther along the temporal arc, in 1836, Texan fighters dominated the followers of Santa Anna in battle at San Jacinto; just seven hundred thirty days more proximate to the present pass, in 1838, a male infant entered our midst whom destiny elected to lead an early environmental consciousness in the United States; eighteen years afterward, in 1856, half a planet away in Australian, building trades workers prepared to March in Melbourne on their way to winning an eight hour day; eight years subsequently, in 1864, a male child came along who en route to a life as the path-finding sociologist and theorist, Max Weber;

By Jialiang Gao www.peace-on-earth.org
By Jialiang Gao www.peace-on-earth.org

just short of three and a half decades yet later on, in 1898, the United States Navy demonstrated some practical social relations by instituting a blockade of Cuban ports on the cusp of the Spanish American War; a dozen years more in the direction of today, in 1910, an icon of critique and hilarity, Mark Twain, passed from our ranks; fourteen hundred sixty-one days past that passing instant in space and time, in 1914, months prior to the formal initiation of the carnage of World War One, U.S. authorities intercepted a German arms shipment to Mexico near Veracruz; a single year forward toward today, in 1915, a baby boy shouted out whose destiny was to mature as the environmental thinker and leader Garrett Hardin; seven more years in the direction of now, in 1922, a male child looked about for the first time on his way to a life as the master of thrillers and popular adventure novels, Alistair MacLean; a thousand ninety-six days subsequent to that moment, in 1925, reactionary apologists and erstwhile thinkers issued the Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals, which the establishment newspaper Il Mondo featured prominently, thereby publicizing the ideological underpinnings and plans for political hegemony of Benito Mussolini and those around him; an additional seven years nearer to the here and now, in 1932, a little girl bounded into the world who would grow into the feisty writer and creator of scripts, Elaine May; another seven year span down the pike, in 1939, a baby female called out whose fate would be to stand as a moral witness for social justice and elimination of the death penalty as the nun, Sister Helen Prejean; one more seven year period onward, in 1946, the acclaimed political economist John Maynard Keynes, both beloved and despised, took a final breath; two further years en route to today, in 1948, the noted ecologist and champion of wild environments, Aldo Leopold, gave up his ghost; the very first Secretary’s Day, now Administrative Professionals Day, unfolded four years even closer to the current context, in 1952; plus or minus five thousand miles South, eight years later still, in 1960 Brazil, the official opening of a new Capital City, Brasilia, took place; back in the U.S. two years henceforth, in 1962, Seattle inaugurated the first world’s fair in postwar North America; two years after that exact point in time and space, in 1964, a U.S. military satellite’s failure to achieve its optimal orbit resulted in as much as a kilogram of its Plutonium power source’s dispersal in the upper atmosphere; a year beyond that juncture, in 1965, the second season opened of New York’s 1964-65 World’s Fair; across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean an additional two years along time’s path, in 1967, Greek fascist military officers, alluding to ‘Communist influence’ in the electoral process and at least tacitly supported by U.S. intelligence and ‘defense’ operatives, overthrew the democratic government and instituted seven years of repressive, even murderous, rule over their fellow citizens, while, back in New York, Governor Rockefeller oversaw the passage of the Taylor Act, which encouraged public unions but prohibited strikes or other labor actions by them;planets space saturn cosmos a quarter century hence, in 1992, astronauts confirmed discovery of planets that circled distant stars; the very next year, in 1993, meanwhile, in a decidedly more terrestrial development, Bolivia’s Supreme Court sentenced the nation’s former dictator to a thirty-year, no parole sentence for murder and other high crimes against justice and the Constitution; four years past that austere and unexpected moment, in 1997, over twelve thousand ‘Yankee’ rubber workers went out on strike against Goodyear over wages, benefits, and job security; another year toward today, in 1998, the important philosopher and theorist of modernism, Jean-Francois Lyotard, had his final scene before exiting; a half decade later, in 2003, the beloved vocalist and lyricist Nina Simone sang her swansong; seven more years on the path to now, in 2010, Russia and Ukraine approved the Kharkiv Pact, which guaranteed Russian natural gas in exchange for naval base rights for Moscow’s ships, an agreement—some say—that played a role in dissolution and coup four years down the road; a pair of years farther on the path to now, in 2012, the biographer, poet, critic, and literary gadfly, Charles Higham, died in Los Angeles.