6.13.2017 Day in History

Today in Hungary is Inventor’s Day; long long ago, in the year 323BCE, Alexander the Great met his end;  in an arguably revolutionary development in human history, and almost certainly in ‘Western’ history, four years more than seventeen centuries ago, Emperor Constantine, the Great, and his co-emperor Licinius signed the Edict of Milan, which putatively granted religious freedom everywhere in imperial Rome; a thousand sixty years subsequent to that momentous occasion, in 1373, the United Kingdom and Portugal initiated the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, which remains in effect today, the longest running such pact in the world; eight years beyond that coalition, in 1381, England’s small farmers and untitled country folk arose in the Peasants’ Revolt, which culminated in the burning of Savoy Palace and some modicum of both butchery and reform; a hundred thirty-three years onward from that, in 1514, the world’s first thousand ton warship glided into the water at England’s Woolwich Dockyard; eleven years past that precise point, in 1525, across the English Channel in Germany, Martin Luther transgressed against the celibacy ban with his marriage to Katharina von Bora; two hundred fifteen years farther in the direction of now, in 1740, Georgians under the leadership of governor James Oglethorpe began their incursion into North Florida in order to attempt to annex the Spanish possession of St Augustine and its

City gates. St. Augustine, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views
City gates. St. Augustine, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views

environs; thirty-four years farther along time’s path, in 1774, also in North America, Rhode Island advanced a more socially just and progressive view of life in being the first English possession in North America to outlaw slavery; three years later, in 1777, back in the Southern colonies, the Marquis de Lafayette landed on his mission to help train and otherwise support America’s drive for independence from England; twenty-eight years thereafter, in 1805, an expedition of the still-new United States, under the leadership of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark sent out, with -Lewis_and_Clark_1954_Issue-3cLewis in charge, an advance party that first scouted the fall line of the mighty Missouri River; two years hence, in 1807, Thomas Jefferson was subpoenaed in Aaron Burr’s treason trial; two years less of six decades further down the pike, in 1865,  across the wide Atlantic in Ireland, the little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the magnificent writer and thinker William Butler Yeats; an additional twenty-eight years in the future from that, in 1893, back in the United States, the tireless champion of workers and social justice, Eugene Debs, and his comrades, organized the American Railway Union, and in another development, the baby girl destine to become writer Dorothy Sayers first cried out; half a decade hence, in 1898, capital’s minions in charge of Canada oversaw the formation of the Yukon Territory, with Dawson as its extractive capital city; a dozen years yet later on, in 1910,  a male infant was born en route to a life as the Spanish fascist writer and thinker Gonzalo Torrente Ballester; a thousand four hundred and sixty-one days past that point, roughly 5,000 miles west in 1914,  a celebration of the Western Miner’s Union in Butte, Montana, ended in riotous mayhem when, according to the surface narrative, International Workers of the World activists attacked a Western Federation of Miners parade and murdered the leader and generally destroyed property, terrorized people, and practiced felonious impunity, and setting up the future global carnage to come, Kaiser Wilhelm concluded a meeting with Archduke Franz Ferdinand; another three years after that, in 1917, back in England, primitive German air forces foretold a future of carnage and butchery when hey conducted their deadliest bombing run over London, killing 162 people; half decade later, in 1922,  Etienne Leroux, the influential Afrikaans writer and a key member of the South African Sestigers literary movement, was born; just four years afterward, in 1926, a male child entered our midst in standard fashion who would mature as the stalwart organizer and chemical union battler, Tony Mazzocchi; solidaritythree hundred sixty-five days yet nearer to now, in 1927, an Austrian infant first shouted out on his way to life as the University of Chicago historian of 19th and 20th Century Mexico and the Mexican Revolution, Friedrich Katz; another year toward today, in 1928, a baby male came along who would grow up as the mathematician and thinker, John Nash; fourteen years after this blessed event, in 1942, South in the Caribbean, an infant boy first looked around who would turn out to be the historian and theorist of liberation and anti-colonial empowerment, Walter Rodney; twenty-years subsequently, in 1962, Stanley Kubrick’s production of  the ever-controversial story, Lolita, showed up on screens for mass consumption; a further thousand ninety-six days beyond that instant, in 1965, the redoubtable philosopher and critic Martin Buber breathed his last; a single year onward from there, in 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona gave criminal defendants the theoretical, and in reality temporary, right to receive notice that they could have, among other ‘rights,’ an attorney present before talking to the police; one more year along time’s arc, in 1967, Lyndon Johnson nominated U.S. Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall as the first African American Supreme Court justice; three years exactly henceforth, in 1970, “The Long and Winding Road” became the final Beatles song to receive a number one hit status; another three hundred sixty-five days after that, in 1971, the New York Times began its serialized publication of the Pentagon Papers; nine years still later, in 1980, assassins who worked with police and military used a walkie-talkie car bomb to murder activist-thinker Walter Rodney on his birthday; three years even closer to the current context, in 1983, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration craft Pioneer 10, became the first human object to pass beyond the boundaries of the orbits of the solar system’s; eleven years later still, in 1994, an Alaskan jury found the company and the Captain of the Exxon Valdez culpable for history’s worst ship-based oil spill; seven hundred thirty-one days more proximate to the present pass, in 1996, populist militia members of the ‘Freemen’ surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation after an 81-day stand-off; a year after that, in 1997,  a change-of-venue jury near Denver sentenced Timothy McVeigh to death for his part in the horrific Oklahoma City Bombing of the Federal Courthouse; three years further along, in 2000, President Kim of South Korea and President Kim of North Korea met for the first ever inter-Korean summit since the post-World War Two division of the country into two pieces; two years thereafter, in 2002, a U.S. armored vehicle accidentally ran down two young Korean girls and caused a riotous uproar in response, and the United States and, moreover, the United States prepared for Armageddon by withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and Polish-born storyteller and popular children’s and young-adult writer Maia Wojciechowska lived out her final scene; three years onward from that on the dot, in 2005, a California jury acquitted Michael Jackson of all charges that he abused or assaulted young boys and girls in his entourage.