6.22.2017 Day in History

university college classroom education teachToday in El Salvador is Teacher Day, and in Croatia, Anti-Fascist Resistance Day; in a battle, in some ways redolent of contemporary struggle, to determine control of what is now Gaza and parts of Palestine, two thousand two hundred thirty-four years ago, a fourth Egyptian Ptolemy led forces that routed Greek fighters under the aegis of a third, so-called ‘Great,’ Antiochus; not quite half a century afterward, in 168 BCE, Roman troops won the day over the armies of Macedonian King Perseus at the battle of Pydna, thereby at once ending the Third Macedonian War and extending Roman hegemony into the Southern Balkans; nine hundred eighty-one years onward from there, in the same region in 813,local fighters under Bulgar direction turned the tables and decimated Byzantine forces at the Battle of Versinikia in what is now Western Turkey; seven centuries and almost a decade and a half subsequently, in 1527, a Romance-language remnant of Roman imperial imprimatur, Portugal, faced the wrath of indigenous Indonesians, and fled what these people now celebrate as the founding of Jakarta; five years shy of a single century after that point, in 1622, slightly further East and North in Asia, Portugal and Holland battled over control of Macau, the result of which was an extension of Portuguese colonial hegemony; eleven years later, in 1633, Galileo Galilei elected to

"Earth-lighting-winter-solstice EN"
“Earth-lighting-winter-solstice EN”

keep his head and therefore recanted his accurate representation of the sun’s central place in the solar system, instead affirming the erroneous Christian dogma that the earth was at the center of the solar system; two hundred twelve years back, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the philosopher of ‘liberal’ revolution and activist of Italian unity and independence, Giuseppe Mazzini; precisely two decades past that precise point, in 1825, Britain’s Parliament passed legislation that abolished all feudal relationships in British North America; a dozen additional years in the direction of now, in 1837, a male infant came into the world who would grow up as Paul Morphy, perhaps history’s most brilliant, if short-lived, chess genius; seven hundred thirty days hence, in 1839, angry Cherokee clan members assassinated three of their erstwhile leaders who had signed the New Echota Treaty, which justified the infamous Trail of Tears dislocation; just barely beyond three decades thereafter, in 1870, in an ironic twist on the travesties of decency and responsibility that took place during Reconstruction, Congress created the Department of Justice; seventeen years after that, in 1887, an old English aristocratic family ushered in a boy baby who would grow up as the biological thinker and sire of literary genius, Julian Huxley; eleven years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1898, American imperial muscle flexed in the initiation of the invasion of Cuba, not to liberate the people there but to change their masters, and across the Atlantic a baby boy was born who went on to write of the horrific carnage of war as Erich Maria Remarque; five years further down the pike, in 1903, the male infant cried out who would live intensely and wildly and violently as the bank-robber and live wire, John Dillinger; a thousand ninety-six days yet nearer to now, in 1906, a female infant first looked about en route to a life as the tragic heroine of wealth and chronicler of elite sensibility, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, while across the Atlantic, a boy child shouted out who would grow up as the journalist, wit, screenwriter, filmmaker and itinerant artist of fame and fortune in Hollywood, Billy Wilder; a dozen years on the dot still later, in 1918, an

"Film strip" by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0
“Film strip” by Bart from New Orleans, Louisiana ,cc 2.0

‘operator error’—in the form of an overworked train engineer on a thirty-hour shift who fell asleep—that was of course really further evidence of profiteering and plunder caused a grotesque train-wreck in which a freight run rear-ended a stopped circus conveyance, killing almost a hundred and injuring more than a hundred others near Hammond, Indiana, not to mention the carnage of cooked flesh among the animals of the act; two years beyond those horrific events, in 1920, a Catholic family brought a boy into the world who would mature as the philosopher, medical doctor, and ethicist, Edmund Pelligrino; two years on the nose yet later on, in 1922, in the United States hinterland an attempt to oppress striking miners with impunity in Illinois ended in carnage, with the death of nineteen strikebreakers and three union miners at the Herrin colliery near Carbondale; fourteen years after, in 1936, a male infant uttered his first cry en route to crooning and scribbling success as the songwriter and performer, Kris Kristofferson; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days more proximate to the present pass, in 1940, France kowtowed to fascist rule with an armistice that established ‘Vichy’ rule in parts of the Southeast;one short year later exactly, in 1941, Germany revealed a fundamental purpose of the Nazi experiment with the invasion of Soviet Russia in Operation Barbarrosa; another three hundred sixty five days along time’s arc, in 1942, on the other side of the Atlantic in North America, the United States bowed to proto-fascist ‘patriotism’ with the Congressional enactment of a requisite Pledge of Allegiance, while back in Europe, Catholic dissident priest August Froehlich, who was serving a sentence for decrying the murder of a pregnant Polish woman, died of maltreatment in the Dachau Concentration jude jewish holocaust genocideCamp; seven hundred thirty-one days beyond that point in time, in 1944, President Roosevelt ushered in the modern intersection between ‘veterans’ and education with his signing of the so-called G.I. Bill, a ‘readjustment act’ the radical intent of which Congress assiduously gutted; two more years subsequently, in 1946, a Cuban male infant entered our midst whose destiny was to write and sing and produce music as Eliades Ochoa; exactly a year henceforth, in 1947, a baby girl gulped a first breath who would eventually make a mark as the prolific writer of science fiction and consciousness, Octavia Butler; an additional three hundred sixty-six days along time’s path, in 1948, a profound shift occurred in English immigration policy as a ship that carried nearly five hundred Jamaicans landed near London with new residents for urban Britain; half a decade beyond that juncture, in 1953, the baby girl was born in America who would mature as the radical rocker, Cyndi Lauper; seven years further along, in 1960, the female infant came into the world who grew up as environmentalist and radical lawyer, Erin Brockovich; four years on time’s march toward today, in 1964, the Supreme Court decided that Henry Miller’s salacious novel, The Tropic of Cancer, was not an obscenity; three hundred sixty-five days even closer to the current context, in 1965, the estimable producer and Hollywood insider David O. Selznick lived out his final scene; another four years thereafter, in 1969, half a continent away in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River caught fire, and the Clean Water Act water river lake drip dropand the Environmental Protection Agency were partial results of this grim parody of nature’s wonders; seventeen years further along, in 1986, a semi-final World Cup match between England and Argentina featured Diego Maradona’s playmaking skills in two decidedly different ways, first of all with the Hand-of-God Goal in which he brought down a rocketing pass at midfield with a handball that led quickly to a shot into the back of the net, and second of all with the miraculous Goal of the Century that won the game for him and his countrymen; another four years still closer to today, in 1990, the closing of Checkpoint Charlie signaled the tearing down of the ‘Iron Curtain’ between the former East Germany and its Marshall Funded Western counterpart; eighteen years in even closer proximity to our own light and air, in 2008, iconic critic and gut-wrenchingly hilarious thinker George Carlin took his final breath.