8.16.2016 Day in History

china tang asiaVermont on this date commemorates Bennington Battle Day; when an early Han Emperor, Ai of Han, died without issue, Wang Mang seized control and two thousand seventeen years ago had his minions declare him Marshal of State; three hundred thirty-eight years ahead of today, the English poet, author, and bon vivant Andrew Marvell exited the earthly scene; twenty-seven years later, in 1705, the estimable mathematician and natural philosopher Jacob Bernoulli, from a well-known family of numbers geniuses, solved his final theorem; eighty-seven more years along the temporal arc, in 1792, Maximillien Robespierre made a bit to consolidate his control of legislation and administration with his demand for the establishment of a Revolutionary Tribunal; the very next year, in 1793,the National Convention in Paris decreed a Levee en Masse to conscript soldiers for a revolutionary army; just shy of two decades in the direction of today, in 1812, the American troops at Fort Detroit surrendered to the British who surrounded them without a fight; seven years further along in space and time, four thousand miles or so to the East in 1819, English cavalry led a succession of fierce charges into massive crowds of tens of thousands of protesters near Manchester, who were demanding electoral and social reforms, resulting in as many as a score of deaths and well over 500 serious injuries, in what came to have the name of the Peterloo Massacre; twenty-two years after that, in 1841, back in the U.S., President John Tyler vetoed the establishment of a second Bank of the United States, which so enraged his Whig opponents that they rioted violently on the White House grounds; another seventeen years thereafter, in 1858, President James Buchanan inaugurated the first transatlantic cable by exchanging telegrams with England’s Queen Victoria;half a decade still more in proximity to the present point, in 1863, to the South in the Dominican Republic, elite rebels took the first step toward driving out the recently reestablished Spanish suzerainty by raising the National flag in Santo Domingo, beginning the Dominican Restoration War;half a dozen years subsequent to that conjunction, still further into the Southern Cone in 1869, giant Brazil’s ‘empire’ in the so-called Battle of Costa Nu crushed the fleeing forces of Paraguay, many or perhaps even most of whom were children and young teenagers; just shy of two decades hence, in 1888, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the promoter of empire and Arabic nationalism, T.E. Lawrence; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days beyond that passage, in 1892, a male child bounced into the world who would become the illustrator and

CC BY-NC-ND by infelix

storyteller Otto Messmer, whose creations included Felix the Cat; two years past that happy entry, in 1894, an infant male shouted out who would grow up as the longstanding labor leader George Meany; an additional seven hundred thirty-one days in the general direction of the here and now, in 1896, two prospectors in Northern Canada panned significant quantities of gold along a tributary of the Klondike River, thereby inaugurating the gold rush of the same name; six years yet nearer to the now, in 1902, a boy baby entered the world in standard fashion who en route to a life as an autoworker and early leader of the industrial union, the United Autoworkers; nine years farther down the pike, in 1911, a German male infant gazed at his surroundings on the path to a life as the thinker and writer and teacher, E.F. Schumacher; two years yet later still, in 1913, on the other side of the planet, Japan’s Tohoku University became the first academic center to admit women for advanced degrees; another half decade’s march forward, in 1918, a Czechoslovakian Legion, having illegally invaded Russia, managed to do significant damage to Red Army fortifications on Lake Baikal before they withdrew; two additional years beyond that juncture, in 1920, perhaps a thousand miles to the West in a substantially ruined Germany, a baby boy entered our midst whom fate had selected to grow as the estimable thinker and poet and author, Charles Bukowski; a year less than a decade henceforth, in 1929, to the South in the Levant, Jewish and Palestinian combatants rioted in British Mandatory territories, killing hundreds and wounding untold additional bystanders and insurgents; in lighter developments a year precisely past that, in 1930 Los Angeles, Metro Goldwyn Mayer released the first cartoon that displayed both color and sound, Fiddlesticks; another two years even closer to the current context, in 1932, a Nigerian baby boy came along who matured as the beloved poet and Biafran martyr, Christopher Okigbo; half a decade later still, back in the U.S. in 1937, Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Act; another eight years on time’s path, in 1945, on the other side of the world in Vietnam, the predecessor assemblage to the National Assembly met for the first time to discuss independence, anti-colonial organizing, and so forth; a mere year forward from there, and a bit further West in the Subcontinent in 1946, a huge upheaval occurred, the Kolkata Riots that claimed hundreds of lives at least in pitched battles between Hindu and Muslim activists, while at the same time the All-Hyderabad Trade Union Congress came into being with the state goal of uniting workers of all nationalities and faiths; eight years past that, in 1954,

CC BY-NC by DavidErickson

on the opposite side of the globe, Sports Illustrated published its first issue, and a male baby cried out in Canada who would grow up as the screenwriter and filmmaker James Cameron; three hundred sixty-five days yet more proximate to the present pass, in 1955, an initial court date in Paul Robeson’s appeal to restore his passport failed to do so, and the brilliant and world-renowned performer and supporter of anti-fascist and socialist causes was still unable to leave the country; three years on time’s amble toward today, in 1958, a girl child gave voice who would end up as the monumental rocker and writer whom we now know as Madonna; four years afterward, in 1962, France and India formally ratified the transfer of France’s colonial holdings that, in practice, took place eight years before;two years onward, to the East in Vietnam in 1964, a coup unfolded, orchestrated from the U.S. Embassy, that resulted in a military government and a more imperially favorable Constitution; an addition seven hundred thirty days en route to the present, in 1966, halfway round the world in Washington, the House Un-American Activities Committee held hearings to examine the growing protest, and movement, against the increasingly bloody and unpopular intervention in Vietnam; seven further years along time’s trail, in 1973, across North America in 1973, during a march in support of the second grape boycott that the United Farmworkers conducted against both the growers and Pig_animal Middle_Farm,_Sussexwhat the UFW viewed as a sellout contract by the Teamsters, a grape picker died of gunshot wounds that a strikebreaker inflicted; eleven years hence, in 1984, one of history’s stranger trials ended when a Federal Court jury acquitted automaker John Delorean of all the cocaine trafficking charges against him; five years advanced from that passing moment, in 1989, a large solar flare caused a geomagnetic storm that caused a complete collapse of functionality in the Toronto stock market;an additional four years further along, in 1993, the Debian, open-source Linux operating system first became available for use; a dozen years still nearer to our day and time, in 2005, the estimable fiddler and performer and songwriter Vassar Clements breathed his last; seven years after that, in 2012, more or less eight thousand miles South and East in South Africa, police opened fire on striking miners, wounding nearly eighty of them and outright killing thirty-four; two years more on time’s merry way, in 2014,the German journalist and adventurer Peter Scholl-Latour lived out his final paragraphs.