5.25.2017 Day in History

Today is International Missing Children’s Day and Geek Pride Day, &, in honor of the work of Douglas Adams, it is also Towel Day, while the African Union marks this date as African Day, and aficionados in the United States celebrate National Tap Dance Day; on the Italian Peninsula two thousand five hundred eighty-four years ago, forces under Servius Tullius moved forward Roman dominance in all of Italy with their victory over Etruscans; three hundred twenty-seven years forward in time, in 240 BCE, what would in the future bear the name of Halley’s Comet committed its first recorded perihelion passage; thirteen and a quarter centuries subsequently, in 1085, a reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula began with the forces of a sixth Castillian Alfonso’s taking control of Toledo from earlier Islamic conquerors; four hundred ninety-six years before the here and now, Holy Roman Emperor Charles the 5th ended a meeting of the Diet of Worms with the declaration that Martin Luther was a heretic; sixteen decades beyond that momentous juncture, in 1681, iconic Spanish poet and playwright Pedro Calderon de la Barca drew his final breath; two hundred and seventy-nine years in advance of today, an internecine struggle among English colonies intense enough to merit the title of a war between Maryland and Pennsylvania came to an end with a treaty and exchange of prisoners; six decades thereafter, in 1978, the United Irishman Uprising continued with the Battle of Carlow at which the British enforced their policies of summary execution of suspected insurgents; and five year later, in 1803, a baby male entered the world in England who soon enough became poet and essayist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and on the other side of the Atlantic, a baby boy came along en route to a life as the ‘transcendent’ philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson;  six years exactly more proximate to now, in 1809, Peruvian rebels inaugurated Spanish colonial wars of independence with the Chuquisaca uprising; three hundred sixty five days after that point, in 1810, Argentinean

Buenos Aires Luis Argerich
Buenos Aires Luis Argerich

insurgents joined the fray by expelling the Spanish Viceroy and declaring Argentina independent; a hundred eighty years ahead of this moment in time, another group of colonials, this time French speakers in Southern Canada, rebelled against their metropolitan masters, this time in London; twenty-eight years hence, in 1865, hundreds of workers and soldiers and civilians died when an ordnance depot in Mobile, Alabama ignited and exploded; thirteen years beyond that unhappy pass, in 1878, English theatre goers delighted to the premier of the Gilbert and Sullivan program, H.M.S. Pinafore; eight additional years in the direction of now, in 1886, a male child entered the world in Scotland who would emigrate to the United States as Philip Murray and go on to lead the United Steelworkers of America and the Congress of Industrial Organizations throughout the 1940’s and early 1950’s, till his death; nine years further along time’s path, in 1895, across the Atlantic in England Oscar Wilde faced a conviction for homosexual acts that led to his imprisonment, and on the opposite side of the planet, European Imperial interests orchestrated the separation of Formosa, now Taiwan, from China; three decades after that, in 1925, only weeks after his arrest, John Scopes faced indictment for the crime of teaching his students the truth about evolution; two years yet later on exactly, in 1927, a male infant took his first breath who would mature as a popular writer of thrillers Robert Ludlum; one thousand four hundred and sixty-one days henceforth, in 1932, the first ‘troops’ of the Bonus Army arrived in Washington to besiege their government for their promised service bonuses from World War One; three years afterward, in 1935, just a few hundred miles north at the Big Ten Track & Field Championship, African American athlete Jesse Owens broke several world records in his performance; a year afterward exactly, in 1936,  American Federation of Labor unions led a strike against the arms manufacturer Remington Rand that elicited what analysts termed the Mohawk Valley Protocols of vicious repression against union organizers; seven hundred and thirty days after that point, to the day, in 1938, across the wide Atlantic in war-torn Spain, fascist planes bombed Alicante and killed hundreds of people, and a baby boy was born who would grow up as the dour narrator and critic Raymond Carver; eleven years subsequent to that instant in space and time, in 1949, a baby girl opened her eyes who would rise as the brilliant and prolific writer and thinker Jamaica Kinkaid; four years still later, in 1953, the U.S. conducted its only open air test of a nuclear artillery device in Nevada, and in a more positive development, Houston TX opened the first public television station in the country, and a baby girl cried out en route to life as the liberator and gadfly of human possibility, Eve Ensler; three hundred sixty five days after that point, in 1954, legendary photojournalist Robert Capa breathed his last; seven years subsequently, in 1961, President John Kennedy addressed congress and delivered his speech that promised a man on the moon before 1970; a mere year in the future from that point, in 1962, in a much less ambitious and yet much more difficult program, the American Federation of Labor sought to reduce unemployment by lowering the average workweek to 35 hours; an additional year forward in time, in 1963, diplomats met in Ethiopia to create the Organization of African Unity, and back in North America, a male infant gave his first cry of joy on his way to a life as the comic, thinker, and creator Mike Myers; around the world, three years later, in 1966, the Cultural Revolution began to mao communist chinaunfold in China with the posting of the first dàzìbào; seven years past that intersection, in 1973, Greek sailors rejected the imperially favoured fascist dictatorship installed in their stead in Athens and, during a NATO exercise, dropped anchor in an Italian port and refused to return to Greece; four years along time’s arc, in 1977, George Lucas released the first Star Wars installment, and in a decidedly different expression of cultural evolution on the other side of the world, Chinese authorities effectively ended the so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’ and removed the ban on Shakespeare’s works in their country; four years further down the road, in 1981, aristocratic and reactionary states favored by the United States and Britain, centred around Saudi Arabia, formed the Gulf Cooperation Council; eighteen years back, the U.S. released an investigative analysis, the Cox Report, that detailed Chinese nuclear program espionage since the 1970’s; nine years nearer to now, in 2008, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Phoenix Lander began to explore the so-called Green Valley region of Mars for evidence of water and microbial life;a year later on the nose, in 2009, North Korean authorities for their part alleged a second nuclear weapons test; two years even closer to the current context, in 2011, Oprah Winfrey aired her last network program before she started her own channel; one year more on time’s forward dance, in 2012, the commercial space vehicle, Dragon, became the first privately-owned extraterrestrial vehicle to rendezvous with the International Space Station.