6.20.2017 Day in History

Today around the globe, quite pertinently, is World Refugee Day; as Roman imperial power declined and imploded fifteen hundred and sixty-six years ago, the fighters of Flavius Aetius grappled with the forces of Attila the Hun at the Battle of Chalons, in what is now France, the Romans sanguine to declare ‘victory’ when Attila’s troops temporarily withdrew; just three years shy of eight centuries subsequently, in 1248, a first intellectual bastion of a lineal descendant of Roman imprimatur, Oxford University, obtained a Royal Charter in Norman England; in a sort of ‘reverse crusade’ three hundred eighty-six years before this point in time, the Irish town of Baltimore suffered a sacking at the hands of wide ranging Algerian pirates; two years beyond nine decades after that, in 1723, a male child came into our midst in standard fashion who would become the philosopher and thinker, in a sense a kind of ‘grandfather of sociology,’ Adam Ferguson; thirty years more in the direction of today, in 1756, British East India Company military faced the horrors of the black hole of Calcutta when temporarily ascendant Indian forces captured them; twenty-six years later, in 1782, the soon-to-be-victorious colonies adopted the Great Seal of the United States; half a decade beyond that moment, in 1787, in another USA branding exercise, Oliver Ellsworth introduced a resolution to call the new country officially the United States; seven hundred and thirty-one days henceforth, in 1789, across the wide Atlantic in France, a little girl opened her eyes who would rise as the doyenne of Romantic poetry, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, and this infant’s radical countrymen declared their solidarity in regard to a Republican France by taking the Tennis Court oath; thirty years afterward, in 1819, a United States vessel departed North America as the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, albeit most of the trek occurred under sail; twenty-one years henceforth, in 1840, Samuel Morse received his important, if for  only a brief time, patent for telegraphic communications; eighteen years past that exact date, in 1858, a baby boy was born who would mature as the popular and prolific storyteller and writer Charles W. Chesnutt; five years further along time’s march toward the present, in 1863,  western Virginia turned the tables on their seceding confreres and seceded from Virginia to become the state of West Virginia; fourteen years further down the pike, in 1877, Alexander Graham Bell celebrated Morse’s patent by opening the world’s first telephone service in Ontario, Canada; sixteen years thereafter, in 1893, Eugene Debs led the way in the creation of the US’s first industrial union, with the formal establishment of the American Railway Union; two years beyond that precise moment, in 1895,  across the Atlantic in Germany, the world’s busiest canal way opened on the Jutland Peninsula; another half decade subsequent to that, in 1900,  China’s dowager empress gamely declared war on Japan, the United States, and many imperial predators of Europe in the opening stages of the Boxer Rebellion; five more years toward today, in 1905, the female child gave a first cry en route to her life as popular writer and incisive thinker, Lillian Hellman; two additional years along time’s inexorable march, in 1907, a male baby took a first breath ho would grow up as the songwriter and iconic country performer, Jimmy Driftwood; a decade and a half yet later on, in 1920, murderous representatives of capital shot down fourteen

CC BY-ND by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher

striking Wobbly miners in Butte, Montana; a mere three hundred and sixty-five years past that, in 1921, around the world in India, the inherent conflict between labor and capital took the form of an initiation of a months long strike against Buckingham Mills; two additional years along time’s arc, in 1923, in Germany, a male baby first looked around on his way to life as the historian of Freud and a wide swath of intellectual and social life, Peter Gay; three hundred sixty-six days nearer to now, in 1924, across the Atlantic, another baby boy was born who would mature as the iconic singer-songwriter of Country Western music Chet Atkins;three quarters of a century back,  Henry Ford broke his vow and recognized and acceded to a United Auto Workers contract at his company’s factories; seven hundred and thirty days hence, in 1943,  striking Black auto workers at a Ford plant confronted a particularly vicious divide and conquer tactic when Ku Klux Klan and other fascist elements rioted in protest against Black and White workers united in a union, resulting in two daysof mayhem, thirty-four deaths and well over 1,000 arrests; two years even closer to the current context, in 1945, the United States government formally approved bringing Werner von Braun and other Nazi rocket scientists to the United States without any vetting or penalty, and a different sort of emigre, prominent storyteller and writer and anti-Nazi scribe Bruno Frank breathed his last in California; two years later still, in 1947,  Harry Truman, in one of his final moments, rose to the occasion of vetoing the fascistic Taft-Hartley amendments to the National Labor Relations Act, which were to  fatally undermine union organizing when congress overrode his veto, and notorious gangland dandy Bugsy Siegel died in a hail of bullets while he sat in a stylish Hollywood home; another year along the path to the here and now, in 1948,  network Television premiered one of its most stalwart ‘hits’ with the opening of Toast of the Town,  which would soon enough become the Ed

Braun HF 1
Braun HF 1

Sullivan Show; a dozen years more proximate to the present pass, in 1960, Mali gained nominal independence from France; a thousand ninety-five days past that juncture, in 1963, having learned a lesson from the proximity of annihilation that accompanied the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the United States and Soviet Union inaugurated a communications protocol – the “red hotline” – that would make thermonuclear mass collective suicide slightly less likely; nine years thereafter, in 1972, another Washington occurrence, much different from the telephone to the Soviets, happened when investigators in the Watergate investigation discovered a nearly 20 minute section of a key tape that was blank; the very next year, in 1973, roughly 5,000 miles South in Buenos Aires, fascist snipers, in league with various imperial masters, opened fire on progressive Peronistas, killing 13 or more and wounding hundreds; in a convenient development of mediated culture, two years after that, in 1975, Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece of terror and horrific unstoppable forces of nature, “Jaws,” opened in theaters around the United States; another seven hundred thirty-one days hence, in 1977, oil from the recently completed Alaskan pipeline began to

"Solar panels in Ogiinuur" by Chinneeb - Own work.
“Solar panels in Ogiinuur” by Chinneeb – Own work.

flow; two additional years in the direction of this exact day, in 1979, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter oversaw the final installation of solar voltaic panels at the White House (which Ronald Reagan summarily removed as soon as he got into office), and several thousand miles South in Nicaragua “our good friend in Managua,” mass murderer Anastasio Somoza unleashed his ‘National Guard,’ who proceeded to shoot down and kill an ABC cameraman covering events there; twenty-two years in the future from that point in space and time, in 2001, hyper-medicated, hyper-Christian Houston mother Andrea Yates ‘saved her five children from Satan’ by drowning them one by one; in slightly better news two years subsequently, in 2003, activists in Florida created the Wikimedia Foundation; three years still more proximate to our present passage, in 2006, the iconic and stalwart labor lobbyist for the International Ladies Garments Workers Union and others, Evelyn Dubrow, departed our midst at the ripe old age of 95 years old.