5.16.2017 Day in History

In Malaysia, this date commemorates teachers; maintaining its importance in matters geopolitical one thousand seven hundred ninety-nine years ago,the Syrian royal matriarch Julia Maesa returned to her native land after the assassination of her nephew Caracalla, in the process declaring her grandson emperor or Rome against murderous pretenders; one thousand three hundred and nine years later, in 1527, a different Italian imbroglio unfolded with a popular early bourgeois Florentine uprising against Medici rule that reestablished Florence as a republic; tuscany italy

half a decade hence, in 1532, Northward to England, Thomas More made clear his trouble with the Crown, which would soom claim his head, when he resigned as Lord Chancellor of England; a single year shy oftwenty four decades beyond that conjunction, in 1771, a different sort of political conflict took place in the English colony of Carolina with a precursor independence movement among Alamance Regulators who opposed the British Crown’s overreaching policies; sixty years subsequently, in 1831,  a male infant first cried out en route to his life as David Edward Hughes, who invented the microphone; a dozen years after that, in 1843, back across the Atlantic and 1/3 of the North American continent, the first large-scale wagon train to send settlers to the Pacific Northwest embarked from Elm Grove, Missouri, for the arduous trek on the Oregon Trail; a quarter century in the future from that, in 1868, the United States Senate, by the slimmest of margins, decided not to impeach President Andrew Johnson;twenty years thereafter, in 1888, the estimable Nikola Tesla delivered a talk

"100RSD front" by Original uploader was Meelosh at en.wikipedia.
“100RSD front” by Original uploader was Meelosh at en.wikipedia.

in which he outlined protocols and practices which would allow efficient delivery of electrical energy; a thousand ninety-five days further down the pike, in 1891, the International Electrotechnical Exhibition put Tesla’s ideas into tangible form with the first overdistance transmission of three-phase electrical current;seven years after that, in 1898, across the wide Atlantic and a thousand miles of the North American continent, over 1500 timber workers in the great North Woods of Minessotta went on strike for union recognition; just short of a decade and a half yet later on, in 1912, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the iconic oral historian and voice of working people, Studs Terkel;four years more in the direction of today, in 1916, back across the Atlantic, among imperial belligerents in Europe, France and the UK agreed to the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement that not only presumed victory over Germany and its allies, but also arrogated to their ruling classes the right to own and operate a large chunk of the Earth’s surface in Southwest Asia and North Africa, what we now call the Middle East; seven hundred and thirty days  past that treacherous juncture, in 1918, back in the United States, the predatory ruling classes oversaw the passage of the Sedition Act, which made criticism of the government and its war a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison; another two years onward toward the here and now, in 1920,  Rome’s 15th Pope Benedict tried to ameliorate a century’s-

Joan of arc miniature graded by Miniature from the 15th century - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Joan of arc miniature graded by Miniature from the 15th century – Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

old imperial crime by agreeing to the canonization of Joan of Arc, whom the Church had burned at the stake; nine years subsequent to that precise instant, in 1929,  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held the first Academy Awards ceremony, and a baby girl entered the world whom fate had selected to become the powerful poet and renowned feminist Adrienne Rich, and the baby boy bounced into our presence who would mature as the thinker and critic and beloved politician of the people John Conyers; five years further in the future, in 1934, workers in Minneapolis expressed solidarity in rising to a general strike against capital under the aegis of the Teamsters Union; a thousand four hundred and sixty-one days further along time’s path, in 1938, the Supreme Court acted to undermine such solidarity in its Mackay Decision, which permitted owners not to fire, but ‘permanently to replace’ striking workers; a decade and a half henceforth, in 1953, a journalist and spy gained his freedom from a Czech prison with eight years left on his ten year sentence for espionage; two years afterward, in 1955, the writer and thinker and social critic James Agee lived out his final frame; five additional years in time’s relentless march, in 1960, Theodore Maiman, a California scientist, demonstrated the first ruby laser at Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, CA; half a dozen years beyond that exact instant in space and time, half a world away in China, in 1966, the May 16th Notice inaugurated what we now call the Cultural Revolution; eight years yet nearer to now, in 1974,  Josip Broz Tito was the electoral choice of the Yugoslav Socialist Republic to be President for life; an additional year toward today, in 1975, in another region beset by ethnic and factional strife, the mountainous Sikkim Republic voted to annex itself to India; four years even closer to the current context, in 1979, the iconic working class leader and social justice advocate A Phillip Randolph breathed his last; half a decade onward from that, in 1984, comedy and literature and criticism all suffered when both Andy Kaufman and Irwin Shaw died; two years hence, in 1986, in recognition of a more and more predatory and discomfiting social environment throughout the world, scientists of various stripes in Spain issues the Seville statement on violence; another seven hundred thirty-one days more proximate to the present pass, in 1988, the Surgeon General of the United States declared that nicotine – the active ingredient in tobacco—had similar addictive qualities as cocaine or heroin; another two years still later, in 1990, Muppeteers everywhere mourned the passing of creative genius Jim Henson; seven years subsequently, in 1997, the fascist butcher and dictator or Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko, fled his country to find refuge with backers other than the United States in Morocco; seven more years further forward in time, in 2005, by a not-quite 3 to 2 National Assembly vote, Kuwait acceded to women’s suffrage; two years afterward to the day, in 2007, Starbucks baristas in Grand Rapids MI organized through the Internatinal Workers of the World to demand higher pay, better conditions, and a union; seven years further along, in 2014, terrorist thugs, backed by who-knows-who, murdered a dozen people in a Kenyan mall.