8.05.2016 Day in History

Pixabay Image 67755One thousand nine hundred ninety-one years ago, Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor, restoring the Han dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin dynasty; one thousand one hundred and six years ago, the last significant Danish Viking force to attack England lost the battle of Tettenhall and withdrew in defeat; not quite three decades subsequently, in 939, as part of the Islamic challenge for the Iberian Peninsula, Islamic forces won a big victory near Cordoba; seven hundred thirty-eight years ahead of today, Christian forces suffered a defeat at Algeciras in their efforts to reconquer Spain at the hands of the Granadian Emirate; twenty-eight years beyond that date, in 1305, rebel William Wallace fell into the hands of English, leading to his execution weeks later; four hundred thirty-three years prior to the present pass, the first English colony to take root in the ‘new world’ came into being near St. John’s, Newfoundland; two hundred eighty-one years before the here-and-now, the significant freedom-of-the-press case against John Zenger resulted in his acquittal for seditious libel; one hundred and sixteen years later, in 1850, across the ocean in France, the French baby who became Guy de Maupassant was born; eight years afterward, in 1858, workmen of Cyrus Field completed the first transatlantic cable, which operated only one month; three years beyond that juncture, in 1861, the U.S. levied its first income tax, in order to pay for the war effort; one hundred thirty-four years back, Standard Oil of New Jersey first incorporated; a decade and a half further along the temporal road, in 1876, the female infant entered our midst who would mature as the prominent historian and democratic activist Mary Beard; thirteen years hence, in 1895, Karl Marx’s collaborator Friederich Engels died; eleven years beyond that juncture, in 1906, the baby boy was born whose destiny it was to act , direct, and write for the movies as John Huston, and across the Atlantic, the infant who grew up to be the Nobel Prize laureate economist, Wassily Leontief, gave a first cry; one hundred and two years in advance of the current moment in time, Cleveland installed the world’s first traffic light; twelve years later on, in 1926, Harry Houdini spent ninety-one minutes underwater in a sealed container; half a decade after that moment in time, in 1931, fascist police forces rout 1,500 unemployed men who had stormed the Fruit Growers Express Co’s job_unemployment_bigplant in search of jobs; two years further on, in 1933, President Roosevelt established the National Labor Board, which ultimately became the National Labor Relations Board; three hundred sixty-five days henceforth, in 1934, the young boy child who became the renowned philosopher and poet Wendell Berry came into the world; a decade thereafter, in 1944, Nazi exterminators in Poland began the slaughter of up to 100,000 civilians and war prisoners; fifty-eight years back, American bandstand debuted on ABC; half a decade after that moment in time, in 1962, Nelson Mandela went to an Apartheid jail, where he spent the next twenty-eight years; three hundred sixty-six days nearer to now, in 1963, the U.S., U.S.S.R., and Great Britain signed the first atmospheric nuclear test-ban treaty; thirty-five years ahead of today’s dawn, Ronald Reagan inaugurated a new era of ‘labor discipline’ when he fired over 11,000 air traffic controllers because they refused his order to give up their rights and their union and return to work; eight years subsequently, in 1989, the first legitimate election in modern Nicaraguan history resulted in a convincing Sandinista victory; four years later, in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act took effect; four years ago, the iconic actress and songwriter, Chavela Vargas, Frida Kahlo’s paramour, breathed her last; two years hence, in 2014, acclaimed Russian author Vladimir Orlov released a final agonal sigh.