5.10.2017 Day in History

Today in relation to a transcontinental railroad is Golden Spike Day, with an annual commemoration in Promontory, Utah, while the National Science Foundation celebrates its birthday on this date, and the reactionary jurisdictions of North and South Carolina mandate the celebration of the bigoted, even fascist, ‘holiday’ of Confederate Memorial Day; in imperial Han China two thousand forty-five years ago,ancient astronomers detected a sunspot, one of the first Chinese cases of such an observation; more or less precisely ninety-eight years hence, in the year 70, Roman Emperor Vespasian’s son, Titus, initiated a massive siege of Jerusalem with an attack on the city’s third wall and the marking of the days that the rebellious Jewish state would survive Rome’s enmity; five hundred twenty years ahead of our current light and air, Amerigo Vespucci supposedly first embarked from Cadiz for the continents that are now his namesakes; half a dozen years onward, in 1503, another provider of ‘new world’ place names, Christopher Columbus, with noexplorer columbus spain idea of his future impact on money laundering, ‘discovered’ islands that he named after turtles but which now we call the Caymans; just over three decades more in the temporal meander, in 1534, Jacques Cartier initially encountered ‘new found land,’ which we now know as Newfoundland, though the Vikings had been their for centuries, indigenous Americans for much longer; a hundred twenty-one years later, in 1655, what with all the ‘discovering’ that was easy to do done, Europeans participated in the time-honored tradition of stealing from each other, in this case the English ‘liberating’ Jamaica from Spanish imprimatur; a century and thirteen years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1768, England’s premiere radical parliamentarian, John Wilkes, went to prison for having called out the King in a periodical article; a half a decade further along time’s path, in 1773,the Parliament, with Wilkes and others dissenting, passed the Tea Act, which sought to force colonials to buy their tea from English sellers; two years yet later on, in 1775, partially in response to such arrogation of authority, the Second Continental Congress, which would lead ineluctably to rebellion, opened its first sessions; twenty-six years more in the direction of now, in 1801, so-called Barbary Pirates—popular forces in and around what is now Tripoli, Libya, and such—“declared war” on the United States, leading to Marine hymn commemoration and more; twenty-three years afterward, in 1824, England’s National Gallery first opened its doors in London; an additional thirteen years past that juncture in time and space, in 1837, the Panic of

money_flying-transparent1837 was devolving daily, as New York banks failed and unemployment soared; fully twelve additional years down the pike, in 1849, class and ethnic conflict exploded in New York that historians all too often ascribe to a dispute about who was the better actor, an uproar that resulted in least twenty-five dead, most of whom the upper-crust police and militia forces had caused when they fired into crowds of protesters; eight years subsequently, in 1857, halfway round the globe in the Subcontinent, a widespread insurgency began with an uprising among Sepoy forces against the British; six years after that passage, back in the U.S. in 1863, the noteworthy Confederate general Thomas, “Stonewall” Jackson succumbed to wounds that his own troops had mistakenly caused;a half dozen years thereafter, in 1869, the legendary ‘golden spike’ connected a railroad in Utah that crossed the entire North American continent; three years farther on time’s path, in 1872, the ‘notorious’ Victoria Woodhull, who had already had the temerity to break the law by voting, became the first female candidate for the U.S. Presidency, and across the Atlantic in France, a baby boy was busy being born who would become the acclaimed thinker and social scientist, Marcel Mauss; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days forward inslavery racism brutalitytime, in 1876, the emperor of Brazil, which still practiced slavery, and President Ulysses Grant jointly snipped the ribbons to open the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; a single year further along, in 1877, across the Atlantic and much of Europe, Romanian rebels rose in open revolt against Ottoman rule, resulting in four years of fighting and an independent Romania; not quite a decade past that point, in 1886, the male infant first cried out who would go on to prominence as the thinker and critic, Karl Barth; seven years thereafter, in 1893, the Supreme Court weighed in on the otherwise lightweight issue of whether tomatoes constituted fruits or vegetables, of import because of provisions of the recently legislated Tariff Act; five years in the future from that moment, in 1898, tens of thousands of workers who subscribed to the radical ideas of industrial unionism and a labor party joined together to create the Western Labor Union, and the baby girl who mature as the estimable historian and thinker, Ariel Durant, first drew breath; a decade henceforth, in 1908, a municipality in Virginia celebrate the first American Mothers Day; three hundreds sixty-five additional days along the trail to the here and now, in 1909, the female child opened her eyes who would rise as the folk musician and barb of the people, Maybelle Carter; a decade and a half onward in space-time, in 1924, J. Edgar Hoover received an appointment to lead a Federal police force that resulted in nearly half a century at the helm of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; seven years nearer to now, in 1933, Nazis in Germany made manifest their perspectives on knowledge with widespread book burnings throughout the nation; eight years forward into war and carnage, in 1941, German officer Rudolph Hess parachuted into Scotland, supposedly in order to broker an armistice between the Nazis and the English; five years more along the temporal arc, inguitar music art performance1946, U.S. Army engineers in New Mexico, ably assisted by their recently-Nazi colleagues, oversaw the launching of the first American V-2 rocket launch, and the baby boy entered our midst who would sing out as the crooner and lyricist, Donovan; seven hundred thirty-one leap days still later, in 1948, around the planet in China, Chiang Kai-shek received ‘temporary’ powers—only rescinded in 1991—that permitted criminal activity against China and its people to stop communism; half a dozen years even closer to the current context, in 1954, Bill Haley and his Comets released the first ‘number one’ rock-and-roll single, “Rock Around the Clock;” six years extra on time’s march, in 1960, a U.S. nuclear submarine completed the firstunderwater circumnavigation of the Earth and its oceans, and a male infant shouted out en route to the upper-crust preparation for life as an upper-class rock star whom we know by his nickname bono, short for nice voice in Latin; two more years after that, in 1962, Marvel Comics released the first issue that featured the ‘radioactive miracle,’ Incredible Hulk; thirteen years past that precise instant, in 1975, the Sony Corporation first marketed its Betamax video cassette recorders in Japan; six years hence, in

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1981, Francois Mitterrand became the first French Fifth Republic Socialist Prime Minister; nine years subsequently, in 1990, acclaimed popular literary producer, Walker Percy, lived out his final chapter; a thousand ninety-six days still more proximate to the present pass, in 1993, a Thai Kader toy factory burned, killing well over a hundred and fifty wage earners; a year past that horrific intersection, in 1994, to the West in Southern Africa, Nelson Mandela became the Republic of South Africa’s first Black President; half a decade more in the direction of today, in 1999, iconic children’s storyteller Shel Silverstein breathed his last; four further years through time and space, in 2003, a Federal Court sentenced Robert Hanssen to life in prison with no possible parole for his espionage against the U.S. for which he received nearly a million and a half dollars from the then Soviet Union; two additional years toward today, in 2005, a would-be assassin in Tbilisi, Georgia tossed a grenade that failed to detonate in the general vicinity of George Bush, and a U.S. bankruptcy judge successfully assassinated the pension plans of United Airlines workers when he concluded that the company could legally discharge pension obligations by going bankrupt.