5.09.2017 Day in History

Multiple jurisdictions, mainly formerly Soviet or erstwhile socialist, celebrate today as Victory Day or Victory Over Nazism Day, though such a view might seem premature in the here and now, and Europe as a whole marks this date as Europe Day, in line with the promulgation of the Schuman Declaration sixty-six years back; in the islands of late-Middle-Ages England nine hundred twenty-five years ago, the builders and community members who had constructed the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lincoln, near Leeds, prepared to consecrate the monumental Lincoln Cathedral; a half dozen years shy of three centuries hence, in 1386, England and Portugal solemnly affirmed their alliance with the signing of the Treaty of Windsor, a mutual support protocol that is the oldest on Earth that is still operative; two hundred fifty-four years before the here and now, Native American fighters laid siege to Fort Detroit in Pontiac’s War; three decades and seven years later, in 1800, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the redoubtable opponent of and martyr against slavery, John Brown; half a decade past that juncture, in 1805, across the wide Atlantic in Germany, the poet and thinker Friedrich Schiller lived out his final stanza; half a century and another five years beyond that point in space and time, in 1860, over the English Channel, a male infant cried out who would mature as the playwright and author, J.M. Barrie; thirteen years thereafter, in 1873, the meltdown of Vienna’s stock exchange heralded the beginning on yet another worldwide depression, only sixteen years following the Panic of 1857 and the various wars that followed in its wake, a pattern of capital’s ups and downs, for those with eyes to see; ten further years along the temporal arc, in 1883, an infant boy took a first breath en route to a life as the Spanish thinker and critic and writer, Jose Ortega y Gasset; four years still farther onward in time, in 1887, Buffalo Bill annie oakley wild west gun womenCody’s Wild West Show opened for the first time in London; five years yet nearer to now, in 1892, forty-five miner paid the ultimate price for criminally negligent owners who profited from not assuring safe conditions at an ‘accident’ in Rosslyn, Washington; a decade and a half subsequent to that, in 1907, the bogus murder trial of union leader Big Bill Haywood began in Idaho; seven hundred and thirty-one days in the future from that injustice, in 1909, seven thousand Japanese agricultural workers in Hawaii sought to overturn a slightly different sort of class warfare in equalizing their wages and conditions with those of Portuguese and Puerto Rican workers; two more years down the road, in 1911, the Catholic Church banned the works of Gabriele D’Annunzio, a prominent poet who influenced Fascist thinkers such as Mussolini; nine years yet later on, in 1920, Eastward in Ukraine, the Red Army defeated the Polish counterrevolutionary forces and captured Kiev; three hundred and sixty-five days onward from that, in 1921,  the little baby boy was born who would grow up as the stalwart champion of peace and justice Daniel Berrigan, just recently deceased at age 94; thirteen years even closer to the current context, in 1934, West coast longshoremen went on strike for hiring hall control and union recognition in a move that foreshadowed a massive general strike in the Western United States; an additional two years henceforth, in 1936, six thousand miles to the East in the Mediterranean, Italy formally announced its fascist takeover of Ethiopia; a single year afterward, back in California, in 1937, thousands of Hollywood performers successfully bluffed Louis B Mayer into recognizing the Screen Actors Guild with a threat of a huge walkout; one thousand four hundred sixty-one days subsequently, in 1941, in the midst of World War Two’s unfolding mayhem, British sailors captured a German untersee-boten that had an undamaged German coding machine aboard that helped Alan Turing and others to break the German encryption protocols and win World War Two; a single year after that small coup, in 1942, German police killers slaughtered hundreds of Jews in the Ukrainian Pixabay Image 188083village of Zinkiv and killed or deported hundreds more from Belarus; three years farther in the direction of now, in 1945,  the carnage of war in Europe came to an end with the unconditional surrender of German armies in Berlin and elsewhere; four years onward in time and space, in 1949,  the male child sang out who would become the crooner and lyricist Billy Joel; one year further along time’s road, in 1950, across the wide Atlantic, the diplomat and thinker Robert Schuman issued a declaration on the necessity of unity in Europe that served as a foundation for the establishment of the European Union; five years more proximate to the present pass, in 1955, West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; three further years down the pike, in 1958, Alfred Hitchcock’s Cold War classic, Vertigo, first showed up in movie theaters; an additional seven hundred sixty-one days in today’s general direction, in 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved a Searle Pharmaceutical product as the first oral contraceptive available for prescription and sale; another year forward toward the here and now, in 1961, Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Newton Minnow delivered the speech in which he alluded to television as “a vast wasteland;” seven years thereafter, in 1968, famed lesbian lover and accomplished dramatist and storyteller Mercedes de Acosta lived out her final scene; a year further along time’s path, in 1969, Brazilian revolutionaries initiated actions against the U.S. backed fascist coup masters with bank robberies in Sao Paulo; another three hundred sixty-five days on the temporal course, in 1970, as many as a hundred thousand protesters gathered in front of the White House to denounce the imperial venture in Southeast Asia, while Walter Reuther and his wife died in a plane crash that ended the labor leader’s life after multiple additional murder attempts over the decades of his work on behalf of the United Autoworkers, including one other case of a bomb in a plane, had failed; two years still later in space and time, in 1972, more than four thousand garment workers in El Paso went on strike in order to gain union recognition; an additional seven hundred thirty days subsequent to that point in time, in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began hearings into the impeachment of Richard Nixon as President; five

Richard M. Nixon campaign 1968
Richard M. Nixon campaign 1968

years more on time’s arc toward the present, in 1979, the firing squad execution of a Jewish businessman in Tehran led to a mass exodus of what had been as many as 100,000 or more Persian Jews; a year hence, and nearly seven thousand miles North of West in 1980, a botched bank robbery in California led to a massive chase in which a policeman and two thieves died as dozens of vehicles were trashed in the process; another year later still, in 1981, the voice of working class fiction, Nelson Algren, breathed his last; a decade and a year past that instant in time’s journey, in 1992, over twenty-five Nova Scotian miners died in a disastrous accident that management cupidity had predictably elicited; another ten years nearer to our present light and air, in 2002, a nearly six week long siege of activists at the Church of Nativity in Jerusalem came to a more or less peaceful end, when those who occupied the sanctuary agreed to have thirteen of their number, whom authorities labeled particularly noxious terrorists, deported to various nations outside Palestine.