6.14.2017 Day in History

flag american usThe United States on this date celebrates Flag Day, while Armenia commemorates Day of Memory for Repressed People, and people around the planet mark World Blood Donors Day; in China, in a particularly complex Chinese development,  seven hundred and forty-one years ago,  Song Dynasty leaders, in retreat from advancing Mongol forces, held the coronation for a new young emperor; just shy of two decades subsequently, in 1285, the Second Mongol Invasion of Vietnam resulted in a crushing defeat of Mongolian navies; just seven hundred thirty days onward in space and time, in 1287, Mongol emperor Kublai Khan, at the other side of his extensive empire, consolidated rule by defeating more ‘traditionalist’ Mongolian interlopers with his newly more ‘Sinofied’ approach; just half a dozen years less than a century later, in 1381 halfway round the planet in jolly England, a second King Richard stooped to meeting with leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt while rebels swarmed over the Tower of London without resistance; more or less precisely twenty-three years hence, in 1404, the insurgency in Wales under the leadership of Owain Glendwr formally allied with France against England; two centuries and fourteen years forward in time, again more or less exactly, in 1618, across the English Channel in Amsterdam, Joris Veseler oversaw the printing of the first Dutch newspaper; two hundred forty-two years back, the Continental Congress authorized a martial force to act on behalf of the colonies against the crown, thereby establishing, in retrospect, the United States Army; fourteen years father down time’s road, in 1789, around the globe in the South Seas, William Bligh and other survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty arrived in Timor after an open-boat journey of close to 5,000 miles, and an American preacher, Elijah Craig, first distilled spirits that he named after his native county in Kentucky, Bourbon; twenty-two years thereafter, in 1811, a little baby girl opened her eyes who would rise as the champion of freedom and truthful narrative, Harriet Beecher Stowe; nine years farther in the direction of now, in 1820, a male infant cried out en route to a life as an erudite thinker and collector of quotations, John Bartlett; three hundred sixty-five days more along time’s arc, in 1821, roughly five thousand miles Southeast, Ottoman forces consolidated their hold on the Horn of African with the ending of local rule in what is now Sudan; another year toward today, in 1822, Northward in England, Charles Babbage presented a hypothesis to peers for a “Difference Engine” that could

O'Regan, Gerard (2008). A brief history of computing. Springer. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-84800-083-4.
O’Regan, Gerard (2008). A brief history of computing. Springer. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-84800-083-4.

mechanically calculate arithmetical and some mathematical calculations, thereby initiating, in concept anyway, the computational age; eight years yet later on, in 1830, tens of thousands of French troops intruded in Algeria, the initiation of a century and a quarter of exploitative and bloody rule from Paris over this realm of North Africa; in a decidedly more Yankee expression of imperial ‘adventurism’ sixteen years beyond that point, six thousand miles West in California in 1846, Anglo residents near Sonoma proclaimed the Republic of California when they initiated a Bear Flag Revolt; two years less than two decades past that juncture, in 1864, back in Europe, a Bavarian baby boy first shouted out who would mature as the psychiatrist and neurologist Alois Alzheimer, who first discovered a terrible malady that still bears his name; eight years afterward, in 1872, Canada’s Parliament finalized the legalization of trade unions that had begun its formal implementation a few days previously; an additional fourteen years further down the pike, in 1886, the iconic ‘father of Russian theater,’ Alexander Ostrovsky, lived through his final scene; meanwhile, across Siberia in Japan thirteen years subsequent to that passage, in 1899, the baby male entered our midst who would grow up as the spare prose artist Yasunari Kawabata, who would win his country’s first Nobel Literary Laureates; another year nearer to now, in 1900, across the wide Pacific, Hawaii became a U.S. Territory; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days on the march to this moment, in 1904, a girl child came along who would astound the world with her spirit of adventure and her photographs as Margaret Bourke White; three years henceforth, in 1907, Norway legalized women’s suffrage; thirteen further years toward today, in 1920, the estimable sociological theorist and social critic Max Weber died; half a dozen years after that, in 1926, Brazil exited the new League of Nations, and acclaimed painter Mary Cassatt drew a final breath; a year even closer to the current context, in 1927, the British writer and humorist Jerome Jerome had his last laugh; three hundred sixty-six leap days forward in space and time, in 1928, six thousand miles Southwest in Argentina, a male infant looked around on his way to life as the revolutionary and thinker Ernesto, Che, Guevara; half a decade later still, in 1933,

"CheHigh" by Alberto Korda - Museo Che Guevara, Havana Cuba.
“CheHigh” by Alberto Korda – Museo Che Guevara, Havana Cuba.

back in Northern Europe, a baby boy bounced into the world who would soon enough become the brilliant gadfly and storyteller, Jerzy Kosinski; three years again further in the direction of today’s light and air, in 1936, the prolific, popular, and acclaimed chronicler, storyteller, and thinker G.K. Chesterton lived out his final day; four years hence, in 1940, German troops occupied Paris and Polish political prisoners became the first unfortunate ‘residents’ of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp; not quite a decade after that, in 1949, a rhesus monkey rode in a U-2 rocket nearly a hundred miles above the Earth, the first mammal to travel into space; seven hundred thirty days still more proximate to the present pass, in 1951, the Census Bureau inaugurated the computer age more tangibly than Charles Babbage’s theorizing with the dedication of the first UNIVAC-I International Business Machine device; another year afterward, in 1952, a baby boy of Holocaust-surviving parents was born who would grow up as the estimable critic and writer Leon Wieseltier; seven hundred thirty days more toward the present prospect, in 1954, the United States simultaneously held its first ‘civil defense’ drill and followed the statutory insertion of “under God” into the “Pledge of Allegiance;” half a decade later, in 1959, Dominican dissidents who had sought refuge in Cuba returned by boat to their native island with the plan, soon disastrously abortive, of overthrowing the murderous Butcher and darling of Washington, Rafael Trujillo; three years thereafter, in 1962, several nations created the European Space Research Organization, the predecessor of the European Space Agency; four years onward on the path to today, in 1966, the Roman Catholic Church overturned the imprimatur of the centuries-old Index of Prohibited Books, while across the Atlantic the U.S. approved of a different sort of repression by convicting Dr. Benjamin Spock for assisting draft evaders; a mere year past that instant, in 1967, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration oversaw the launching of a fifth Mariner rocket toward Venus, and scientists and technicians of the People’s Republic of China exploded that nation’s first Hydrogen bomb; two years subsequently, in 1968, Italian Nobel Prize poet Salvatore Quasimodo sighed his final stanza; fourteen years further down the pike, in 1982, Argentinean forces in the Falkland Islands surrendered to the English; four years more proximate to the present, in 1986, popular and critically lauded writer Jorge Louis Borges breathed his last; twenty eight years henceforth, or two years before today, in 2014, a Ukrainian military transport crashed as a result of surface to air missile attacks in the Donetsk region, killing the nearly fifty soldiers and crew on board; a single year subsequently, in 2015, the ferocious feminist and atheist and reproductive freedom advocate, Anne Nicol Gaylor, made a final exit after nine decades among the living.