4.25.2017 Day in History

Portugal today marks Freedom Day as Italy commemorates a different sort of release in Liberation Day, while around the planet celebrants recognize DNA Day, World Malaria Day, Remembrance of Parental Alienation Day and Red Hat Society Day; among contending groups of Greeks two thousand four hundred and twenty-one years ago, Sparta’s soldiers overwhelmed the Athenians, thus ending the Peloponnesian War on terms unfavorable to even the limited form’s of Athens’ ancient democracy; twelve hundred forty-two years in advance of today’s dawn, the Battle of Bagrevand ended to the Abbasid Caliphate’s decided advantage, crushing the Armenian rebellion and causing leading proponents of the uprising to flee to the shelter, risky thought it might prove, of the Byzantine Empire; two dozen years later, in 799, a third Pope Leo absconded with himself to the court of Charlemagne after Roman opponents of his rule attacked and disfigured the pontiff; eight hundred forty-five years subsequently, in 1644, the final Ming Dynasty emperor killed himself as peasants rose in a fiery uprising against his regime; a hundred forty-eight years after that, in 1792, Claude Joseph de Lisle composed La Marseillaise as an appropriate national anthem for revolutionary France, and a hapless highwayman lost his head as the first victim to suffer execution via ‘Madam’ Guillotine; eight years beyond that, in 1800, the acclaimed and widely popular hymn writer William Cowper sang his final verse; another four years past that point, in 1804, a Georgian kingdom adjacent to Ukraine acknowledged Russian rule for the first time; seventeen decades and one year back, the so-called Thornton Affair unfolded with fierce fighting along the Texas-Mexican border that quickly erupted in the Mexican-American War; three years thereafter, in 1849, a different imbroglio erupted in North America when Canada’s Governor General acceded to the Rebellion Losses Bill and induced riots among Montreal’s English speaking residents; a decade additional in the direction of now, in 1859, workers under the guidance of French and British engineers broke ground for the Suez Canal; in a further extension of imperial sway, even further from home, twenty-three years hence, in 1882, French troops fought Vietnamese as the Europeans sought dominion over Indochina; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days more in the vicinity of now, in 1886, the New York Times editorialized that the movement for an eight hour day was tantamount to a treasonous plot to undermine the sacred imprimatur of property and capital, a plot against property that other sources guaranteed would lead to licentiousness, dissolution, and non-stop vice; twelve years farther along time’s pathway, in 1898, the U.S. inaugurated its first extracontinental imperial conquest with a declaration of war against Spain; three years yet later on, in 1901, New York required America’s first license plates on cars; seven years afterward, in 1908, a male infant opened his eyes who would rise as the celebrated journalist, Edward R. Murrow; eight years nearer to now, in 1916, in the aftermath of an uprising, the English colonial authorities declared martial law in Dublin and Ireland; a mere three hundred sixty-five days down the pike from that, in 1917, across the wide Atlantic, a little baby girl entered our midst en route to a life of magnificence as a performer and lyricist by the name of Ella Fitzgerald;ten hundred ninety-six days subsequent to that conjunction, in 1920, the ‘victors’ of World War One at the San Remo Conference proceeded to divvy up the ‘spoils of war,’ parceling out former Ottoman territories as ‘mandates’ of England and France for the most part, and the FBI’s first big case, that of the Osage murders, took place; another three years onward exactly, in 1923, International Workers of the World Maritime Workers Union adherents began a wave of West Coast strikes; half a decade later, in 1928, a baby boy cried out who would become the renowned fiddler and bluegrass performer, Vassar Clements; a decade henceforth, in 1938, the Supreme Court decided in the Erie Railroad case of that year that no Federal diversity jurisdiction necessities permitted any establishment of a ‘Federal common law,’ meaning that reactionary states could not face compulsion, except according to statutory provisions, to adhere to a uniform standard of justice; six years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1944, the United Negro College Fund first solicited money to assist Black scholars and historically black colleges and universities in, respectively, obtaining and providing higher education; a single year past that juncture in time and space, in 1945, across the sea in fire, catastrophe, holocaust, nuclear, nukeEurope, American G.I.’s and seasoned soldiers of the Red Army met at the River Elbe, sundering German lines and effectively ending the war, and Italian partisans captured Benito Mussolini as he sought to escape with his mistress, and six thousand miles to the West, representatives of fifty nations met in San Francisco to grapple with what international organizations could do to avoid a World War Three scenario; five years even closer to the current context, in 1953, Frank Crick and James Watson published Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acid: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, claiming credit, whether with complete accuracy or not, for discovering the DNA that sits at the base of all life; a year thereafter, in 1954, Bell Laboratory scientists first released a practically functional solar cell, though even now the Modern Nuclear Project impedes its full utilization for human benefit; five years onward from that intersection, in 1959, Canadian and American engineers and workers opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, thereby permitting ocean-going ships to penetrate deep into the heart of North America via the Great Lakes; two years on the dot after that, in 1961, researcher Frank Noyce garnered the first patent for a fully integrated circuit, on which most all consumer and production output now rests; four years on the road to today, in 1965, one of the first outbreaks of male teenage mass murder unfolded in California, as Michael Clark shot highway bypassers, murdering three, before he blew his own brains out; a farther four year trek en route to the here and now, in 1969, Ralph David Abernathy and more than a hundred cohorts faced arrest and solidarityincarceration rather than give up their pickets for workers’ union rights at a Charleston, South Carolina hospital; five extra years on the trajectory toward this moment, in 1974, Portuguese citizens rose up in a ‘Carnation Revolution’ that for the most part consigned fascists and reactionaries to the sidelines in their portion of the Iberian Peninsula; back across the Atlantic four years yet later on, in 1978, the Supreme Court held that pension plans that required higher contributions from women were inherently unconstitutional; a half decade even more subsequent to today’s dawn and passage, in 1983, young Samantha Smith met with Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union after he read her letter of concern about nuclear war, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Pioneer 10 spaceship hurtled past Pluto on its way to the stars; half a dozen years nearer to today, in 1989, James Richardson was exonerated after over 2 decades after he was wrongfully convicted for the murder of his children; a mere year beyond that, in 1990, Violetta Chamorro became the first woman to lead war-torn and blood-drenched Nicaragua; fifteen years more on the trek toward our light and air, in 2005, Bulgaria and Romania became part of the European Union, more fodder for Russia’s worries of geopolitical isolation and attack; a mere year closer to now, in 2006, Jane Jacobs, journalist, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), and activist best known for her influence on urban studies, died; four further years along the temporal arc, in 2010, the writer and storyteller of working class narratives and socially real plots, Alan Sillitoe, lived out his final scene; a half a decade subsequent to that exact instant, in 2015, citizens of Baltimore burst forth in riotous protest against the murderous impunity of the Baltimore police, on display in the crucifixion of Freddie Gray just a short time before their uprising.