9.12.2016 Day in History

Today in the United States, for those who want to indulge whimsy, is National Chocolate Milkshake Day, while for those who subscribe to more New Agey sorts of sensibilities, this date marks National Encouragement Day, as, around the world, the United Nations commemorates South-South Cooperation Day; on the Grecian Peninsula, amid its fractious internecine clans, two thousand five hundred and six years ago according to current tradition, the Battle of Marathon took place, and the Athenians and their allies emerged triumphant over the first ancient Persian incursion; seventeen hundred and three years subsequently, in 1213, the Albigensian Crusade continued as Simon de Montfort defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret; ninety-six years after that, in 1309, a somewhat related conflict unfolded in the context of the Spanish Reconquista as the forces of Castile of Spain defeated the caliphate’s troops in the battle for Gibraltar; precisely three centuries in the future from that conjunction, in 1609, navigator Henry Hudson, aboard the good ship Halve Maen, ordered his crew and mates to begin their exploration of the Hudson River; just a single year short of three quarters of a century later, in 1683, normally fractious European countries joined together to fight off Ottoman takeover of Austria at the Battle of Vienna; two hundred four years back, a male infant cried out who would mature as Richard March Hoe, the inventor of the rotary press and its crucial advance of mediation; thirty-four years onward from there, in 1846, across the Atlantic in England, Elizabeth Barrett, despite her infirmities, eloped in the middle of the night with Robert Browning to have a poet’s wedding; more or less precisely a year after that, in 1847, in America’s predatory war with Mexico, the battle for Mexico City at Chapultepec; ten years hence, in 1857, a couple of thousand miles to the Northeast, off the coast of North Carolina, a transport ship that carried close to 15 tons of California gold sank with all hands, a mystery that to this day remained unsolved; a dozen years thereafter, in 1869, the legendary English wordsmith and thinker Peter Mark Roget gave up on his final lexicon; eleven years after that passing, in 1880, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the estimable wordsmith and critic H. L. Mencken; three decades further along the temporal stream, in 1910,Gustav Mahler oversaw more than a thousand singers and orchestra in debuting the premiere of his Eight Symphony in Munich; a thousand ninety-six days further along, in 1913, a male infant cried out who would mature as the renowned athlete Jesse Owens; half a decade subsequent to that, in 1918, to the East in Atlanta, Eugene Debs entered prison for the crime of opposing mass murder; three hundred sixty-five days further forward in time, in 1919, across the wide Atlantic in Germany, an entirely different sort of political drama unfolded when Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party; another two years onward in space and time, in 1921, further to the East in the Soviet Union, a male infant entered our midst en route to a life as the thinker and creative writer Stanislaw Lem;seven thousand Southwest, two years yet later on, in 1923, the British sought to continue the imperial project that World War One had ended by annexing Rhodesia, what is now Zimbabwe; eight years even nearer to the here and now, in 1931, thousands of miles to the West and North in the USA, a male child opened his eyes who would rise up as the iconic singer of country and nation, George Jones; a year past that auspicious instant, in 1932, to the north in Toledo, OH, hungry unemployed workers marched on the downtown commercial district and liberated food for themselves rather than face continued starvation; another year henceforth, in 1933,  back across the Atlantic in England, Leo Szilard conceived of the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction as he daydreamed at a traffic light in London; three hundred sixty-five additional days in the direction of now, in 1934, a baby male entered the world in standard fashion on the Korean peninsula who would grow up as the thinker and academic Jaegwon Kim; halfway around the world another year beyond that, in 1935, the United Rubber Workers came into existence in Akron, Ohio; a thousand ninety-six days even closer to the current context, in 1938,  across the Atlantic in Central Europe, Adolf Hitler demanded ‘autonomy’ for the Sudentenland, the German majority region of Czechoslovakia; two more years on time’s path, in 1940, to the West in France, locals of Lascaux were the first modern people to come upon a vast complex of ancient cave paintings, and back across the ocean in North America, a huge explosion claimed 51 lives at a black powder plant in New Jersey; three years afterward, in 1943,  back in Europe, German troops rescued Benito Mussolini from house arrest at the hands of Italian activists, while roughly half the planet away in Sri Lanka, a baby male was born who wuld become the renowned writer and storyteller Michael Ondaatje; a year still more proximate to the present pass, in 1944,  a male baby first cried out on the Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas who would mature as the thinker and activist and freedom fighter Leonard Peltier; one thousand four hundred sixty-one days still later, in 1948,  halfway around the world in Southwest Asia, opportunistic Indian leaders ordered the invasion of Hyderabad a day after the prominent Pakistani politician’s death; half a decade past that conjunction, in 1953, an erstwhile happier event transpired when Senator John F Kennedy,

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the scion of Prohibition money and Wall Street scams, married the wealthy French heiress, Jacqueline Bouvier; another five years down the pike, in 1958, communications engineer Jack Kilby demonstrated the first fully functional integrated circuit;a year in even greater proximity to our present point in time, in 1959,the National Broadcasting Corporation premiered Bonanza, the first television program all in color; three years after that, in 1962,  now President John Kennedy affirmed in a speech in Texas that the United States would send a man to the moon by the end of the decade; a dozen years more toward today, in 1974, the longstanding Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie faced a coup that removed that removed him from power; a thousand ninety-six days onward, and six thousand miles south at the tip of Africa in 1977, murderous police beat and killed journalist and activist Steve Biko, and across the wide Atlantic in the United States, under less horrific circumstances, the poet Robert Lowell breathed his last; three years thereafter, in 1980,  in a more successfully orchestrated CIA coup, the government of Turkey fell to plotters; three hundred sixty-five days even closer to the current context, in 1981, Nobel laureate Eugenio Montale lived out his final stanza; nine years further along time’s path, in 1990, the four powers with the capacity to dispose of the issue signed paperwork to permit the reunification of Germany; two years yet nearer to the here and now, in 1992, the chief leader of the Shining Path guerillas of Peru fell into the clutches of the nation’s special forces, and most of the rest of the rebel’s high command fell soon after; half a dozen years forward from that, in 1998, New York City designated a prominent plaza as Union Square in honor of the first Labor Day a century prior; another year past that, in 1999, Indonesia, without acknowledging its genocidal fury of decades past, permitted United Nations peacekeepers into East Timor;one thousand four hundred sixty-one days still later, in 2003, U.S. forces in Iraq ‘mistakenly’ shot and killed eight Iraqi policemen, the United Nations agreed to lift sanctions on Libya after it promised to take responsibility after the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103 and to compensate the victims’ families, and iconic voice of country music Johnny Cash

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sang his swan song; a further four years forward in time, in 2007, around the globe in the Philippines, former president Estrada faced the music for the crime of plundering his own people; an extra three hundred sixty-six days more in the direction of today, in 2008, the esteemed, relatively young, writer David Foster Wallace died tragically; an additional year subsequent to that, in 2009,  a much older human champion Peace Price winner Norman Borlaug breathed his last;  the very next year, in 2010, after eight decades that included some of France’s finest films, the screen writer, performer, and director Claude Chabrol lived through his final scene;  half a decade more proximate to the present pass, in 2015,after a nine-decade run that included both film and drama credits, the estimable Frank Gilroy died.