7.25.2017 Day in History

Today in the Incan tradition was a time to honor the God of Thunder; in what is now Italy a thousand seven hundred and eleven  years ago, the Emperor who would in many ways define the operation of imperial Rome as a positive process, the first Constantine, accepted his ascension to the throne at the behest of his troops; five hundred fifty-nine years beyond that celebratory moment, in 864, a Frankish leader, whom people knew as Charles the Bald, announced various defensive measures against marauding Vikings; two and three quarter centuries thereafter, in 1139, a Portuguese military leader at the Battle of Ourique managed the forces that helped to initiate centuries of Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula from Islamic hegemony; twenty-six years subsequently, in 1165, the at-the-time renowned philosopher and Sufi mystic Ibn Arabi lived through his final dervish dance; ninety-six years onward from that, in 1261, Theodosius_II_solidus_Constantinople antiquity coin goldNicaean army’s recapture of Constantinople allowed for a brief reestablishment of the Byzantine Empire; seventeen years past that precise instant, in 1278, a significant setback for the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula by Christians occurred when the Granadian Emirate forces won the Battle of Algeciras; five hundred fifty years ahead of today, different Italian factions battled each other in the first contest that deployed substantial gunpowder armaments; one hundred twenty-six years onward from that exact moment, in 1593, a fourth French King Henry publicly disavowed Protestant beliefs with which he had formally abandoned Catholicism; two hundred sixty-two years back, those Acadians who refused to swear a loyalty oath and embrace English faced deportation, either to New Brunswick, back to Europe, or to the ‘Cajun’ environments of the lower Mississippi delta; thirty-tree years henceforth, in 1788, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart released his Symphony 40 in G Minor; half a decade more in the direction of the here and now, in 1793, reactionary forces in Europe issued the Brunswick Manifesto to the people of France with the threat of punishment should harm befall the King and Queen; another half a dozen years forward toward today, in 1799, the ascendant Napoleon

"David - Napoleon crossing the Alps
“David – Napoleon crossing the Alps

led forces that crushed an army of 10,000 Ottoman soldiers in Egypt; thirty-five years afterward, in 1834, the poet and writer and thinker Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived out his final stanza; a thousand ninety-six days in the future from that momentous event, in 1837, London hosted the first commercial usage of al electronic telegraph, heralding an age that is still ongoing, albeit in constantly transformed fashion; seven years yet nearer to today, in 1844, a baby boy was born who would mature as the estimable photographer and artist Thomas Eakins; another nine years onward in space and time, in 1853, across the continent in California, the fabled bandido, Joaquin Murrieta, a Hispanic Robin Hood, was shot down by his enemies, his head immediately on display as a demonstration of what opponents of capital had in store; eight years after that, in 1861, back in the District of Columbia, Andrew Johnson co-authored a resolution that advanced the fantastical proposition that the War Between the States only concerned maintaining the Union; civil war history dixie southan additional eight years in the direction of now, in 1869, half a world away in Japan, wealthy landlords began to give up some of their holdings to the Meiji Emperor in preparation for the rise of modern Japan; three hundred sixty-five days on time’s relentless march, in 1870, a baby boy was born who would end up as the popular artist and illustrator Maxfield Parrish; two decades subsequent to that, in 1890, garment workers in New York successfully concluded a lengthy strike seeking union recognition and a closed shop for their organization; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days hence, in 1894, again on the other side of

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the planet in Japan, the first Sino Japanese War began with with the engagement between Japanese and Chinese warships;a thousand ninety-six days after that, in 1897, the nascent literary genius Jack London set out for the Klondike from San Francisco; another single year forward in time, in 1898, back in the Western Hemisphere, the United States initiated the expansion of its own imperial project with the invasion of the just ‘liberated’ Puerto Rico; seven years farther down the pike, in 1905, the male infant entered our midst en route to a life as the thinker and writer and playwright Elias Canetti; a thousand ninety-six days thereafter, in 1908, a Japanese professor, in investigating kombu soup, uncovered monosodium glutamate and developed a process for its mass production; nine years more in the direction of today, in 1917, Canada instituted a ‘temporary’ income tax to pay for war that, because of capital’s addiction to military industrial complex, ended up continuing to this day; three years hence, in 1920, nearly two years after the end of World War One, France ‘captured’ Damascus in its bid to make certain its control of the newly-created ‘state’ of Syria; a half-decade yet nearer to now, in 1925, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, or TASS, first came into existence; not quite a decade onward in space and time, in 1934, two the West in Austria, Nazi killers gunned down Austria’s Chancellor  with plans to follow up with a coup d’état that did not unfold successfully till years later; an additional three years into the future from that, in 1937, fifteen women who were in the process of dying from cancer testified to the Illinois Industrial Commission about how they had followed company protocols in their jobs at a watch dial factory, licking radium-paint-laden brushes in order to speed up their production; three years yet later on, in 1940, across the wide Atlantic, Swiss military authorities promulgated an order that made surrender illegal in the event of any German invasion; three hundred sixty-five days farther along the temporal road, in 1941, Henry Ford, having befriended Adolf Hitler but not a big fan of the results, sent a letter to Mahatma Gandhi extolling the virtues of pacifism, and in Chile, a little baby boy was born who would grow up as the prominent experimental filmmaker Raul Ruiz, whose works have been most popular in France;another year beyond that, in 1942, anti-fascist Norwegians agreed with Gandhi and Ford in calling for nonviolent resistance to the Nazis; three years even closer to the current context, in 1945, at the Potsdam Conference on the future of Europe, Harry Truman, who hiroshima war explosion nuke nuclearregularly described the fission bombs that incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the nation’s “ace in the hole” versus the Soviets, first hinted to Josef Stalin about the new weapon; just a year after that, in 1946, in the South Pacific at the Operations Crossroads series of tests, the U.S. detonated a nuclear weapon under water that ended up causing a much larger and more dangerous radioactive contamination than did air burst weapons; fourteen hundred sixty-one days past that precise point in time, in 1950, a male infant first looked round him on his way to a life as the rocker and lyricist Mark Clark; seven hundred thirty-one days still later, in 1952, more than half a century after its colonial occupation by the United States, Puerto Ricans finally had a chance to adopt a ‘constitution’ of their own, despite the fact that they remained a U.S. possession; half a decade farther down the pike, in 1957, a few thousand miles East in North Africa, Tunisia proclaimed its independence from the colonial dominance of the French; a single year onward from that, in 1958, to the South among France’s Sub Saharan African colonies, both collaborationists and nationalist forces met for the first time as the African Regroupment Party; another three hundred sixty-five day period farther along the temporal arc, in 1959, in Israel, the author and rabbinical thinker and influential Zionist Yitzhak Herzog breathed his last, and a vaccine researcher discovered an vaccine medicineunintended side effect of an experimental tuberculosis inoculation was to impede tumor growth, laying the basis for decades more research and the development of an anti-cancer treatment; two additional years more proximate to the present pass, in 1961, President John Kennedy warned that an attack on Berlin was an attack on all NATO countries; in a major cultural upheaval, four years after that, in 1965,  Bob Dylan discombobulated many of his folk fans when, at the Newport Folk Festival, he plugged in an electric guitar and ‘electrified’ his audience; another year onward in space and time, in 1966, popular poet Frank O’Hara lived through his final verse; three years hence in 1969, less than a year after taking office, Richard Nixon announced a new Presidential Doctrine that would require more participation by Vietnam and other Asian nations in their own ‘defense;’ nine years in even greater proximity to today, in 1978, Puerto Rican police commemorated the twenty-six anniversary of their constitution by assassinating two Nationalist activists in Cerro Maravilla, and the first viable ‘test tube baby’ came into the world approximately eight months after her transplantation into an actual woman’s womb from a Petri dish;  half a dozen years afterward, in 1984,  Blues legend Big Mama Thornton sang her swan song, and a Russian woman became the first female cosmonaut to ‘walk’ in space; a farther pair of years along time’s pathway, in 1986, acclaimed filmmaker and screenwriter Vincent Minnelli died; seven years more toward today’s general vicinity, in 1993, Israel invaded Lebanon in a week long bloodletting; a year further along, in 1994, Israel and Jordan agreed to peace terms that ended a state of war that had guitar music art performanceexisted for the previous forty-six years; a mere year still nearer to the here and now, in 1995, the esteemed and eclectic ‘Silver Fox’ of country music and songwriting, Charlie Rich, drew a final breath; a decade henceforth exactly, in 2005, the labor reform group, Change to Win, published a call to benefit working people more by focusing on organizing and deemphasizing lobbying and Democratic Party politics; five years subsequent to that passage, in 2010, Wikileaks published a huge cache of classified documents that revealed the realities of the war in Afghanistan, much to the chagrin of the American establishment; four years further on, on the dot, in 2014, the hundred three year old writer and teacher and storyteller Bel Kaufman lived out her last scene.