5.12.2017 Day in History

Today is both International Nurses Day and International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day; in Rome a thousand seven hundred and thirteen years ago, Emperor Diocletian amplified his war on Christianity with an order to behead a fourteen year old convert, whom now we know as Pancras; six hundred three years afterward, in 907 in China, the Tang Dynasty came to an end as the forces of Zhu Wen drove Emperor Ai to abdicate; a decade and a half subsequently, in 922, back in Central Europe, an Islamic traveler, Abbasid, made his way to the Volga Bulgars, Vikings of the Balkans; eight and a quarter centuries and a year ahead of today, England’s first King Richard cemented connections with the Iberian Peninsula with a marriage to a royal daughter of Navarre’s nobility; six hundred eighty-nine years in advance of this exact moment,Poland’s first ever university, Jagiellonian, opened to students; five centuries and half a dozen years plus one year prior to today’s unfolding, a Chinese principality’s principal prince led forces in opposition to the oversight of a powerful Ming Dynasty eunuch, which all started with a massacre of dinner guests, but which fell to pieces through bad intelligence and stupidity; just a year more than four decades later, in 1551, Peruvian Spaniards founded the National University of San Marcos, the first institution of higher learning in the Americas; one hundred thirty-eight years hence, in 1689, colonial and imperial and predatory conflicts between the ruling families of Europe erupted on this day in King Williams War, which basically formed the North American part of the first practice-World-War-One, what we now call the Nine Years War and which posed opposing plutocratic colonizers against each other from South Asia to the Western Hemisphere; exactly eleven years more proximate to the present, in 1700, the esteemed playwright and poet, John Dryden, breathed his last; four score years further along in the same century, in 1780, the Continental Army of the nascent United States experienced its worst defeat in losing Charleston, South Carolina to the British forces; in revolutionary France’s first sally abroad with Napoleon at the helm, seventeen years onward, in 1797, French fighters conquered Venice; twenty-three years henceforth, in 1820, a baby girl was born in England who would go on to statistical legerdemain as she founded the modern practice of nursing as Florence Nightingale; eight years after that juncture, in 1828, a male infant came into the world, also in Great Britain, who would mature as the artist and writer and cultural savant, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; thirty-four years further down time’s path, in 1862, Union forces consolidated control of the mouth of the Mississippi River by occupying Baton Rouge, Louisiana;swamp-bayou tree southjust three hundred sixty-five days yet later on, in 1863, a key if unheralded conflict transpired at the Battle of Raymond, which made much of the interior of Mississippi occupied territory in the heart of Dixie; one hundred thirty-six years back, Tunisia first became a French protectorate, as a precursor of the wider ‘Scramble for Africa;’ four years beyond that conjunction, in 1885, across the Atlantic in Northwestern Canada, Metis mixed-ethnicity rebels suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Canadian national forces; a decade subsequent to that on the dot, in 1895, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the thinker and spiritual leader, Jiddu Krishnamurti; twenty-one years nearer to now, in 1916,as a result of typical and clinical English barbarism, James Connolly died, too injured in battle to stand, tied to a chair and shot by firing squad; seven hundred and thirty days past that juncture, in 1918, an infant male blinked at the world en route to life as a communist and atomic-bomb worker and convicted spy, Julius Rosenberg; a mere three years thereafter, in 1921, a substantial conflict in the West Virginia coal conflicts unfolded as “Three Day’s Battle,” in which miners fired on police and ‘private-detectives’ on both sides of the Tug River; four years even closer to the current context, in 1925, lyrical poet Amy Lowell spent her last day among the living; exactly three hundred sixty-five days afterward, in 1926, Eastward across the Atlantic, a brief but widespread general strike in England came to an end, and back in New England, Massachusetts’ Supreme Court affirmed the death sentences for Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Andretti for crimes that they all too likely did not commit; two years more in the direction of today, in 1928, a pair of male infants entered our midst who would grow up to acclaim as performers and songwriters, one as the pop-singer Burt Bacharach, the other as Motown’s Henry Cosby; a half decade henceforth to the day, in 1933,back in the U.S.A., Congress passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which modified any pretense of ‘free markets’ by paying farmers not to ‘overproduce;’ seven hundred thirty days still later, on the dot, in 1935, the inception of Alcoholics Anonymous

Beer cans by Visitor7

Beer cans by Visitor7

transpired in an initial conversation between Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith; another two years down the road, in 1937, a baby boy came along who would grow up as the comic genius and critic, George Carlin;four years further forward, in 1941, Nazi German engineers introduced the world’s first completely programmable computer, the Z3; three years later in Italy, in 1944, the pseudonymous and prolific writer, Max Brand, died from shrapnel wounds that he incurred reporting from the front lines, a job for which he had volunteered; another two years motion through space toward today, in 1946, Argentinian communist labor leader Jose Peter declared, after years of arrest and harassment, that the militant Confederation of Meat Workers had dissolved, though soon enough many of its members and assets joined forces with Juan Peron; North along the Atlantic coastline three years later still, in 1947, a baby boy was born in Canada who would grow up to academic imprimatur and political success as Michael Ignatieff; a year precisely after that juncture, in 1948, South in the U.S., a male infant took his first breath en route to life as songwriting musical maven Steve Winwood; another year further down the road, in 1949 in Germany, the Soviet Union lifted its blockade of Berlin on the very same day that Germany’s occupying powers agreed to a Basic Law to continue on the path toward independence; next year, North and West in Ireland in 1950, a male child gave his first cry on his way to a life as actor of stage and screen, Gabriel Byrne; four years thereafter, in 1954, demonstrating familial affinity, a baby boy entered our midst in a family of writers who would become high-school dropout and prolific scribe, Rafael Yglesias; across the Atlantic a year later in Central Europe, in 1955, the decade long occupation of Austria by allied forces officially ended, while around the globe in Singapore, a weeks-long strike by transit workers erupted in riots during the area’s independence movement; three years beyond that point in time, in 1958 in North America, the U.S. and Canada agreed to establish the North American Aerospace Defense Command; a dozen years still more proximate to the present pass, in 1970, German Nobel Literary Laureate Nelly Sachs breathed her last; half a decade onward on the temporal journey, in 1975, the Cambodian Navy seized U.S. ship that may have been in international waters, inaugurating the volatility of the MayaguezIncident; a thousand ninety-six days past that passage, in another neocolonial imbroglio, this time in Africa in 1978, Zaire’s purported ‘authorities’ requested that the United States, France, and Belgium intervene to stop rebels in what we now call Katanga Province; four years hence, in 1982, security guards in Portugal prevented a bayonet attack on Pope John Paul II, whom the would-be assailant viewed as “an agent of Moscow;”another twelve years closer to today, in 1994, the iconic chronicler of youth, psychiatrist Eric Erikson, spent his last moments alive; eight years still further along time’s arc, in 2002, Jimmy Carter became the first U.S. President to meet with Fidel Castro since the Cuban Revolution’s inception; six years subsequently, in 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement police arrested more than 400 people at workplaces in Iowa on suspicion of being undocumented workers, and artist Robert Rauschenberg died; two years before right now, the estimable historian and chronicler Peter Gay lived out his final scene.