5.15.2017 Day in History

Today around the world is an International Day of Families; in Rome twelve years beyond twenty-five centuries ago, the popular assembly made the dedication of a new temple of the god Mercury a matter of a legionnaire’s oversight rather than the imprimatur of one of the ruling families that ran the Senate; nearly nine centuries closer to today, eight hundred eighty-seven years to be exact, in 392, someone managed to assassinate Rome’s emperor, a second Valentinian, as he led an invasion of Gaul to overturn Arbogast; seven hundred sixty-three years before the here-and-now, in 1252, a fourth Pope Innocent at once allowed at set the limits of the tortures that the Inquisition could use against those accused of heresy and such; four hundred ninety-two years ahead of today, the German Peasants’ War, which pitted Anabaptist insurgents against Holy Roman imperial troops, ended with the defeat of the people’s legions; eleven years thereafter, in 1536, across the English Channel, Anne Boleyn faced a star-chamber that sentenced her to lose her head, basically for fornicating with other than the sodden and decrepit King; not quite four centuries prior to our current conjunction, five years fewer exactly, Johannes Kepler reaffirmed his Third Law of Planetary Motion, which he had previously advanced and then withdrawn in the belief that it was erroneous; three decades subsequently, in 1648, a different sort of ‘natural law’ came into being, in the form of the Westphalia Treaty’s formulation of the rights of nations to sovereignty and safety from invasion by other states; a half century and three years further on, in 1701, the War of the Spanish Succession proved both that the Westphalian system would not forestall predatory moves by powerful nations and that a ‘balance of power’ was—given enough carnage—possible to maintain; seventeen years later, across the English Channel in 1718, a London barrister patented the first machine gun; two hundred sixty years in advance of now, Spanish settlers first incorporated the Rio Grande Valley development that became old american revolution-Declaration_independenceLaredo, Texas; twenty-one years afterward, in 1776, fifteen hundred miles Northeast, Virginia’s delegation to the Continental Congress received instructions to draft a resolution of independence from England, which Thomas Jefferson soon turned into a Declaration of Independence; two hundred twenty-four years back, a Spaniard, Diego Marin Aguilera, launched a glider that flew for more than a third of a kilometer at a height of five to six meters, one of the first ‘manned flights’ ever recorded; two dozen years thereafter, in 1817, the first mental hospital in the U.S. for those ‘deprived of reason’ in Philadelphia, opened its doors; a hundred sixty-seven years before this moment in time, U.S. Cavalry forces murdered untold scores of indigenous Californians at the Bloody Island Massacre; a half-dozen years henceforth, in 1856, a baby boy was born who would grow up as the spinner of yarns, L. Frank Baum; three years more down the road, in 1859, a French male infant gave his first shout en route to a life as scientist and sufferer or radiation induced cancer, Pierre Curie; three more years along time’s arc, in 1862 across the Atlantic in the District of Columbia, Abraham Lincoln signed the paperwork to create the Bureau—soon to be the Department—of Agriculture; seven years further down the road, in 1869, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Anthony led women in the creation of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association in New York; one hundred thirty-one years ahead of this curve in time and space, the poet and thinker Emily Dickinson performed her final stanza; four years hence, in 1890, a Texan baby girl came into the world who would mature as the popular and prolific and profound writer and thinker, Katherine Anne Porter; three hundred sixty-five days after than conjunction, in 1891, across the Atlantic in the Vatican, a thirteenth Pope Leo promulgated the Rerum Novarum in erstwhile defense of workers’ rights and actual defense of property’s imprimatur, all of which included the Liberation Theology nodule of a “preferential option for the poor,” and further East in Little Russia, a baby boy entered the world in Kiev who would end up as the ‘masterful’ storyteller, though at odds with Communists, las vegas americana advertising vulgar Mikhail Bulgakov;eleven decades ago, an auction in Nevada of 105 acres formed the nexus around which Las Vegas grew, and a male child entered our midst who would become the businessman and amateur videographer Abraham Zapruder; six years later, in 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, while two thousand miles Southwest, Mexican ‘revolutionaries’ with a decided interest in the nation’s oil carried out a massacre of several hundred Asians at the end of one of the insurrection’s battles in Torreon; four years beyond that point, a hundred years ahead of now, a baby boy took his first breath in 1915 who would rise to prominence and Nobel Prizes as the economist of establishment capitalism, Paul
Samuelson; four years to the day after that, in 1919, North across the Canadian border, the workers of Winnipeg showed the meaning and power of solidarity by carrying out a nearly universally subscribed general strike; half a dozen years more proximate to the present, in 1925, the first communist newspaper written in Arabic appeared; three years later still, insolidarity 1928, Mickey Mouse made his debut on screen; eighty-two years before today’s dawn, a baby boy uttered an initial cry on his way to decades of shouting out against injustice as the folksinging activist, Utah Phillips; seven years past that day, in 1942, the United States inaugurated the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps; six years later on the dot, in 1948, combat began in the Arab-Israeli War as Mandatory Palestine ended with Israel’s assertion of its nationhood the day before; three years still closer to now, in 1951, Czeslaw Milosz, Poland’s cultural attaché, defected in Paris to go on to literary and critical fame in the West; around the globe six years henceforth, in 1957, England detonated its first Hydrogen Bomb in the Pacific Ocean; a year shy of a decade further down the road, in 1966, internecine fighting among U.S. backed thugs in Vietnam nearly led to an early end to the Vietnamese conflict; three years afterward, in 1969, nine thousand miles across the wide Pacific, hundreds of students participated in Bloody Thursday, protesting the closure of access to common space at Berkeley, which Governor Ronald Reagan, the prototypical ‘friendly fascist,’ had summarily imposed; a year later in Mississippi, in 1970, police shot down protesters at Jackson State University, killing Philip Gibbs and James Green; two years more on time’s march, around the world in 1972, Japan regained jurisdiction over Okinawa a quarter century beyond bloody carnage there; thirty-one annual solar cycles prior to now, journalist of the high and mighty, Theodore White, breathed his last; two years hence, around the world in Afghanistan in 1988, the Soviet Union began withdrawing its forces from the nation; eleven years later, in 1997, back in the U.S., officials commemorated the ‘secret war’ in Laos during the Vietnam conflict with a memorial in the District of Columbia; six years more toward the present, in 2003, singer and songwriter June Carter Cash had her swansong; nine years thereafter, in 2012 in Mexico, powerful and austere novelist and critic Carlos Fuentes died. From Day in History.