6.05.2017 Day in History

"Alder trees by the Beaulieu River at Longwater Lawn" by Jim Champion
“Alder trees by the Beaulieu River at Longwater Lawn” by Jim Champion

Around the planet today, people might be celebrating World Environment Day; in Jerusalem nineteen hundred forty-seven years ago, Roman legions under Titus’ generalship broached the central walls of the defenses around the Jewish city, thereby guaranteeing at least a surface imperial victory; one thousand two hundred and sixty-three years ahead of now, pagans in Frisia murdered the Anglo-Saxon missionary Boniface near Dokkum; just three years past five centuries subsequently, in 1257, Krakow, Poland received its rights as a municipality; two hundred ninety-four years ahead of this point, a baby boy bounced into the world who would mature as the political economist of capital, Adam Smith; just ninety-four years beyond that juncture, in 1817, across the Atlantic in North America, the first steamship on the Great Lakes launched on its maiden voyage; twelve years hence, in 1829, Britain’s HMS Pickle engaged and captured the slave-running sloop Voladora, armed for combat, off Cuba’s shores; three years more, in 1832, back in Europe, insurgents took up arms in Paris’ June Rebellion in an attempt to unseat Louis Philippe’s resurgent monarchy; half a decade further on, in 1837, back across the Atlantic and through the Gulf of Mexico, the Republic of Texas incorporated the city of Houston; one hundred sixty-six years back, Harriet Beecher Stowe in the abolitionist National Era publication, issued the first installment of her serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which helped to bring an end to slavery and became the century’s best selling book in the Americas; eleven years 9667710529_ec6f6c8df3_zhenceforth, in 1862, a more modern form of bondage was becoming standard operating procedure as the Treaty of Saigon ceded much of Southern Vietnam to France, an accession which local rebels opposed, part of a longstanding resistance to outside interlopers in the Southeast Asian peninsula; twenty-one years further down the temporal path, in 1883, a male infant came along who would grow up to become the renowned theorist of economic reform, John Maynard Keynes; a century and nineteen years prior to the present pass, a Spanish boy child uttered a first cry en route to a life as the iconic and controversial poet, Federico Garcia Lorca; just two years hence, in 1900, British imperial troops imposed their dominance of Dutch South Africa by capturing Pretoria in the Second Boer War, and seven thousand miles Northwest across the Atlantic, the barely mid-twenties literary genius Stephen Crane breathed his last; a decade beyond that juncture in time’s journey, in 1910, another young American narrative impresario, O. Henry, died; five years further on, in 1915, across the North Atlantic, Denmark initiated constitutional reform that guaranteed women the right to vote; back across the Atlantic seven hundred thirty-one days later, in 1917, the U.S. sniper war attackmandated “Army Registration Day” as the official initiation of mass conscription; two more years subsequently, in 1919, a Swiss baby boy was born who would rise to become the children’s author and illustrator Richard Scarry; three hundred sixty-six days thereafter, in 1920, an American male infant entered our midst on his way to a life as the  historian of battle, Cornelius Ryan; thirteen years hence, in 1933, the U.S. Congress turned the country away from the Gold Standard at the depths of the Great Depression; another year further on, in 1934, the male child took a first breath who would grow up as powerful documentarian of progressive ideas, Bill Moyers; five years subsequent to that day, in 1939, a baby girl was born who would become the acclaimed novelist, Margaret Drabble; seven decades and two years back, the Allied Control Council took over administration of Germany under the auspices of the U.S., Russia, Britain, and France; two years henceforth, in 1947, across the Atlantic in a very different manifestation of ‘control,’ United States Secretary of State George Marshall delivered a speech at Harvard that outlined the path to a Marshall Plan to fight communism, and Russia, in Europe; two years more proximate to the present pass, in 1949, a Welsh family brought their son into the world on his way to a life as the composer of thrillers, Ken Follett; two years still closer

By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons
By 2bgr8 via Wikimedia Commons

to the current moment, in 1951, a girl child started her life as Suze Orman, soon enough to become stern ‘guru’ of financial self-help and Dutch-uncle wisdom; five years past that point, in 1956, on Milton Berle’s television show, Elvis Presley ‘scandalized a nation,’ or not with his ‘suggestive hip movements’ as he sang, “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog;” fifty-three years ago, California parents named their new girl child Lisa Cholodenko, their Hollywood roots and their daughter’s talent adequate to cement a career as director and screenwriter, and a baby boy took a first breath who would mature as the hard-hitting journalist of culture and class, Rick Riordan; three years beyond that double whammy, in 1967, Israel launched the Six Day War with an attack on Egypt’s airfields that destroyed most of the Muslim country’s air force; another year onward from that, in 1968, an assassin shot Robert F. Kennedy in the head in what would end up being a fatal encounter; another year along life’s highway, in 1969, roughly ten thousand miles away in Moscow, an International Communist Conference unfolded in which Soviet predominance in the realm of the Red was on display in the aftermath of the Sino-Soviet Split; half-a-dozen years later, in 1975, the Suez Canal reopened to traffic for the first time since the Six Day War in 1967; another half dozen years subsequently, in 1981, the Center for Disease Control’s Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report made its first observations of unusual deaths from pneumonia that ended up being AIDS-related incidents; five years before today, iconic storyteller Ray Bradbury made his final exit.