5.04.2017 Day in History

CC BY by peggycadigan
CC BY by peggycadigan

Today in the United States is Bird Day, in Japan Greenery Day, in China Youth Day and around the world International Firefighters Day and Star Wars Day; for the Church of Rome, seven hundred and sixty years ago, the Augustinian monastic order formed under orders of Pope Alexander IV; six centuries and a year before the here and now, a Catholic Council of Constance, on the Swiss border, condemned two reformers, one long dead, predecessors of Protestants, who despised the Church’s affectations and corruption; a sixth Pope Alexander seventy-eight years subsequently, in 1493, arrogantly divvied up the Western Hemisphere between Spain and Portugal; a century, three decades, and three years later, in 1626, a Dutch explorer claimed lands for his homeland as New Netherlands, real estate that included what is now Manhattan and then was part of indigenous territory; just shy of three more decades toward today from that, in 1655, a male infant uttered his first cry on his way to having the command of music and materials that were necessary to facilitate inventing the piano as Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori;two decades along past that point, in 1675, King Charles II ordered the construction of the Royal Conservatory at Greenwich; one hundred and one years old american revolution-Declaration_independencesubsequently, in 1776, Rhode Island became the initial American colony to renounce British crown rule; twenty years after that inception of conflagration, in 1796, among the male children who came along were two boys, one who grew up as historian William Prescott, the other who would age as education-innovator and social-control expert, Horace Mann; three years beyond that conjunction in time and space, in 1799, the fourth conflict on the Indian subcontinent between England and the Indian contingent started; a decade and a half further past that juncture, in 1814,  the former emperor Napoleon began his exile on Elba; eleven years henceforth, in 1825, a male infant came along in England who as Thomas H. Huxley would help to revolutionize biology, making products and applying social control out of biochemical comprehension; one hundred thirty years back, in Haymarket Square in Chicago, agents provocateur exploded a bomb which caused police to fire indiscriminately into the crowd and kill and injure innocent participants, a day after murderous authorities had killed three union sympathizers; eighteen years later and twelve hundred miles south, in 1904, U.S. shipping and other commercial interests orchestrated the official beginning of construction of a

"Panama Canal Gatun Locks opening" by Stan Shebs. cc 3.0
“Panama Canal Gatun Locks opening” by Stan Shebs. cc 3.0

trans-oceanic canal in the territory of Panama, which the United States had just successfully separated from Colombia; a dozen years afterward, in 1916, a baby girl took her first breath in the U.S. on the way to life as thinker, critic, scholar, and environmental defender Jane Jacobs; three years yet more proximate to the present, in 1919, student protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to cavil against the transfer of Chinese territory to Japan; seven years onward toward today, in 1926, around the world in Britain, workers around the United Kingdom began a general strike; six years hence, in 1932, gangland kingpin Al Capone began serving al 11 year sentence much of which was for tax evasion; half a dozen years more down the pike, in 1938, a German hero, languishing in a concentration camp for the ‘crime’ of pointing out Germany’s rearmament, died just a few years after he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, and on the other side of the world, the venerable initiator of the discipline of Judo, Kano Jigoro, took a final tumble; a single additional year in the direction of the here and now, in 1939, a baby boy entered the world who would mature as Israeli thinker and journalist Amos Oz, and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake was published; a year still closer to now, in 1940, a baby boy was born who would grow up as physician and popular author Robin Cook; half a decade thereafter, in 1945, British soldiers entered the place near Hamburg that had housed Jews and others as the

San Francisco Holocaust Memorial Wally Gobetz Flickr
San Francisco Holocaust Memorial Wally Gobetz Flickr

Neuengamme prisoner-of-war facility that practiced “extermination through labor;” a single year past that horrific conjunction, seven thousand miles west in 1946, rioters at Alcatraz Federal prison in California forced the intervention of the Marine Corp to stop their attacks against ill treatment and barbarism in a different sort of concentration camp; two years later, in 1948, Norman Mailer’s first novel, The Naked and the Dead, first came into print; five years after that exact point, in 1953, Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for his slender but powerful novel, The Old Man and the Sea; six years further down the road, in 1959, the American music industry initiated the Grammy Awards; seven hundred thirty one leap years days later, in 1961, Black and White freedom riders began a drive to integrate interstate transportation in the Deep South; nine years later still, in 1970, in a sign of further social discord about American politics and empire, protesters at Kent State University in Ohio died at the hands of National Guard troops dispatched to ‘keep order;’ eight years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1972, the environmental organization Greenpeace took its current name a year after its original formation in Canada as the Don’t Make a Wave Committee; a year henceforth exactly, in 1973, American author and dramatist Jane Bowles exited the stage; sixteen years even closer to the current context, in 1989, Oliver North received nine acquittals in regard to his Iran Contra crimes, and three convictions that Federal Courts later overturned; three hundred and sixty five days beyond that hour and day, in 1990, six thousand miles northeast in the Baltic, Latvia renewed its proclamation of Independence after the end of a Soviet occupation; four years yet later on, in 1994,Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace accords, though in the end their signatures didn’t amount to much; two decades precisely in the future from that moment in space and time, in 2014 of course, the brilliant-but-in-English-little-recognized novelist, physicist, feminist, and thinker, Helga Konigsberg, who lived and worked in Eastern Germany, breathed her last after a three-decade struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.