6.16.2016 Day in History

Charles Tsevis My African star flickr
Charles Tsevis My African star flickr

Today is the International Day of the African Child, and, in South Africa, Youth Day, while this date is when Argentina celebrates Engineer’s Day, and, also on this day, everywhere on Earth where appreciation of James Joyce is manifest commemorates Bloomsday; attesting to the deep roots of conflict over Persia, Turkey, and the Levant, sixteen hundred fifty-three years back, Rome’s Emperor Julian ordered his army’s fleet of supply ships burned as they began engaging Persian forces in the Italian, Roman imperial bid for expanded hegemony; in a related development a few centuries on, one thousand three hundred eighty-four years before the here and now, the last pre-Muslim ruler of what is now Iran rose to the Sasanian throne, a mere eight year old boy with the name of Yazdegerd, the third of that appelation; six hundred nine years ahead of today, Ming Chinese invaders, in one of many incursions into what is now Northern Vietnam, captured the Ho Dynasty king and his son; just a year less than eighteen decades onward, in 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots designated Spain’s second Philip as her formal replacement; two hundred ninety-three years back, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the estimable thinker and critic of capitalism, Adam Smith; fifteen years hence, across the wide Atlantic in 1738, a female child called out to her postmaster father en route to a life as one of early America’s first female publishers and postmistresses, Mary Katherine Goddard; an additional seven years toward today, in 1745, one of capital’s early ‘world wars,’ the War of the Austrian Succession, resulted in hostilities in North America in which New England marauders permanently captured parts of Nova Scotia for England; a mere decade afterward, in 1755, in the global conflagration of the Seven Years War, which in America had the title French and Indian Wars, the same territory was again in contention, and this time the British captured the region permanently, shipping out Acadians to Louisiana; two dozen years later, in 1779, Spain and France took advantage of Britain’s focus on retaining its American colonies by investing a massive siege of the English fortifications at Gibraltar on this day, a three year action that in the event failed; twenty-seven years after that to the day, in 1806, a baby boy was born who would grow up as renowned British medical thinker, Edward Davy; another decade along the temporal pathway, in 1816, at a rented villa near Geneva, Lord Byron read his Fantasmagoriana to his fellow writers and storytellers and challenged all of them to come up with credible ‘Ghost Stories,’ which resulted in the creation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John Polidori’s tale, The Vampyre; thirteen years henceforth, in 1829, six thousand miles or so West in the land of the Apache, a male infant uttered a first cry on his way to life as the leader, Geronimo; seven years more down the road, in 1836, the London Working Men’s Association—a central pillar of Chartism and supporter of the 1838 People’s Charter—took shape as a step toward working class engagement under the early auspices of Victorian bourgeois power in Britain; twenty-two years subsequent to that moment, in 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered his House Divided presentation in Illinois’ capitol at Springfield, and around the world in India, the Battle of Morar—one of the final engagements in England’s crushing the first Indian War of Independence—unfolded in Britain’s favor; thirteen years later, back in the imperial center in 1871, Parliament itself passed legislation that removed religious tests as a requisite for entry into universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham; just shy of two decades more on time’s forward march, in 1890, a male child stared at the world in wonder en route to life as the comedian, actor, and screenwriter, Stan Laurel; three years farther down the pike, and thousands of miles South and West in 1893, the United States and Hawaii finalized the former ‘Republic’s’ annexation, which would eventually pave the way to Statehood for the islands; eleven years nearer to now, in 1904, James Joyce consummated his love for Nora Barnacle, subsequently book-Joyce Ulysses2using the day as the benchmark for his monumental tome, Ulyssesseven years subsequently, in 1911, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company came into existence in New York en route to its manifestation of International Business Machines; seven additional years along the temporal arc, in 1918, the indefatigable courage of Eugene Debs showed as he spoke against the predatory plutocracy of the American state in a speech that questioned the validity of conscription and war and mass murder and thereby landed him in prison; eleven years yet later on, in 1929, a prime mover of the American Studies canon, Vernon Louis Parrington, drew a final breath; four years thereafter precisely, in 1933, the U.S. Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act as an attempt to ameliorate capital’s profound and deepening crises; four further years closer to today, in 1937, the Segal family welcomed a new member, Erich, who would mature as the promulgator of a beloved, if superficial, Love Story; three hundred sixty-five days more proximate to the present pass, in 1938, a girl infant made her way into the world in standard fashion on her way to a life as the powerful thinker, critic, and writer, Joyce Carol Oates; two years still later, in 1940, Lithuania became a Communist country briefly, prior to Germany’s invasion and another brief imposition of fascist dictatorship, and the trust-fund Charlestonian and creator of Porgy, Dubose Heyward, had his final day on Earth; four years after that juncture, in 1944, across the Atlantic in France, Marc Bloch, the historian who insisted that social and economic assessments were equally as important as political and individual annals, died as a victim of a Gestapo firing squad that executed him for his work in the French Resistance, and in an even more Nazi-inspired murder back in the U.S., South Carolina electrocuted fourteen year old George Stinney for the crime of being a Black boy in the wrong place at the wrong time; a thousand four hundred sixty-one additional days more proximate to the present, in 1948, halfway round the globe, another group of resistance fighters rose up in Malaysia, to which the British imperial response was a thoroughgoing terror against any such expression of a struggle for freedom; a half decade nearer to now, in 1953, a jury in Honolulu, under the auspices of the fascist Smith Act, convicted International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union President Jack Hall and six labor ‘comrades’ for the ‘crime’ of communism; seven hundred thirty days hence, in 1955, in another uprising—this time by reactionary forces in Argentina—hundreds died as a result of air force bombing of a rally for Juan Peron, whom elements in the military were seeking to overthrow; across the Atlantic three years hence, in 1958, Hungarian leaders who had sought to overturn their country’s Communist leadership faced swift and brutal capital punishment for their actions; a thousand ninety-six days past that conjunction, in 1961, the ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union; two years later precisely, in 1963, just to the East in Russia, Vostok 6 launched into orbit with the first woman space traveler; half a dozen years subsequent to that, in 1969, a male infant bounced into the world who would mature as the rapper, MC Ren, a founder of the group Niggaz Wit Attitude; two years beyond that conjunction, in 1971, a radical mother gave birth to her boy child, whose musical and communication talents would soon enough Pixabay Image 1201697blossom into the work of Tupac Shakur; half a decade afterward, in 1976, a peaceful protest against viciously substandard schooling in Soweto, South Africa turned into a riot when police fired on the 15,000 marchers, killing scores or more; another year toward today, in 1977, the Software Development Corporation incorporated on its way to becoming the present-day Oracle firm; eleven years past that precise passage, in 1988, the iconic interlocutor of Puerto Rican narrative and drama, Miguel Pinero, drew a final breath; twelve years later, in 2000, Israel withdrew from almost all of the Lebanese territories that it had occupied for more than two decades in contravention of International Law and United Nations mandates, and the Inacom computer dealership sent over five thousand e-mails to its employees telling them that their jobs no longer existed; five years after that exact instant, in 2005, the ninety-nine year old Puerto Rican critic, writer, thinker, and teacher, Enrique Laguerre, lived out his final day; another half decade even more in the vicinity of today, in 2010, Bhutan became the only State completely to outlaw tobacco use.