9.14.2016 Day in History

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Today, as a continuing part of an ongoing Food for the Day streak, today is the National Hoagie Day; and, back in antiquity, a thousand six hundred and ninety years ago, more or less to the day, the iconic Helena of Constantinople asserted her ‘discovery’ of the ‘True Cross’ at the site which supposedly contained the remains of Jesus of Nazareth; exactly three centuries and three years hence, in 629, the Eastern Roman Empire’s forces returned to Constantinople from their defeat of Persian imperial threats to Heraclius’ reign; twelve hundred thirty years back, the famous “Night of the three Caliphs”, in which Harun al-Rashid becomes the Abbasid caliph, took place, at the same tie that his son was born; three hundred seventy-eight years (1638) before the here and now, the relatively youthful founder of Harvard College, John Harvard, breathed his last; one hundred three years later, the iconic composer Georg Frideric Handel finished penning his timeless masterpiece, the Messiah; two hundred sixty-four years in advance of today, around the world, dominions under England’s imperial sway adopted the modern, Gregorian, calendar, thus skipping over eleven days; eleven years subsequently, in 1763, British military forces suffered a brutal defeat at the hand of Senecas in the Battle of Devil’s Hole, part of Pontiac’s War; not quite exactly a half century later, in 1812, France’s Grande Armee marched into Moscow in what turned out to be a pyrrhic victory; two years beyond that, in 1814, in a conflict seven thousand miles to the West and South, Francis Scott Key composed the verses of the Defence of Fort McHenry, penning the words of the U.S. National Anthem; a decade and a half thereafter, in 1829, agents of the Ottoman Empire acceded to the Treaty of Adrianople, ending the Russo-Turkish War; seven years moving forward from then on, in 1836, the baby boy destined to become Aaron Burr, the American politician and victim to a duel, first cried out; fifteen years further on, in 1851, the esteemed author, James Fennimore Cooper, experienced life’s final adventure; nine years henceforth, in 1860, the baby boy first cried out whose name was mountain Mormon_row_barn_grand_teton_national_parkHarlin Garland and whose fate would be to inscribe in fiction the lives of Midwestern rural dwellers, especially small family farmers; eighteen yeas still nearer to now, in 1878, a little girl entered our midst who would mature as the tough-minded and relentless feminist and reformer, Margaret Sanger; one hundred fifteen years back, William McKinley succumbed to an assassin’s wounds from the killer’s attack eight days previously; a decade and a half after that conjunction, in 1916, across the Atlantic in Spain, the Nobel Prize laureate in literature, Jose Echegaray, played out his final scene; a mere year afterward, in 1917, Russia was officially proclaimed a republic; a dozen years closer still to the current context, in 1929, company hitmen murdered a mother of nine, Ella Mae Wiggins, near Gastonia’s cotton mills; three hundred sixty-five days more down time’s stream, in 1930, the male infant came along who would rise as the cultural critic and scholar, Allan Bloom; three years farther down the road, in 1933, growers on Cape Cod began using guns against strikers in the Cranberry bogs, shooting several and arresting scores; three hundred sixty-five days closer to today, in 1934, the baby girl first opened her eyes on her way to become Kate Millett, American author and activist; yet another two years onward, in 1936, the young and prolific producer and screenwriter, Irving Thalberg, died from the effects of congenital heart disease; four years down the line, in 1940, in a fascistic act of ethnic cleansing, the Hungarian Army, supported by local Hungarians, killed 158 Romanian civilians in the Transylvanian village of Ip; sixty-two years back, (1954) in a grotesque duplication of U.S. A-bomb tests, which used soldiers and civilians as unwitting and soon-to-be sick-and-dying guinea pigs, the Soviet Union exploded a 40 kiloton weapon near Totskoye and marched soldiers through ground zero, again dooming many of them and nearby civilians as well; a year on, in 1955, half-a-world away, the baby girl was born who went on to fame and fortune and journalist and storyteller Geraldine Brooks; three years closer to now, in 1958, the first German post-war

CC BY-ND by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher
CC BY-ND by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher

rockets reach the upper atmosphere; twelve months even closer to today’s light and air, in 1959, Democrats and Republicans joined together, per usual, to eviscerate labor and union rights, with the passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act, and the Soviet spacecraft, Luna II, crashed into the moon; a year after that moment in time, in 1960, the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries came into being with the help of the world’s largest banks and oil companies, and, in a somewhat related incident, a ‘left-leaning’ African leader died in a coup that brought mass-murderer and friend of the Central Intelligence Agency Sese Mobuto Seko to power; nine years hence, in 1969, the U.S.’s first draft lottery took place to select inductees for the Vietnam War; a decade even closer to the current context, in 1979, at the same juncture that the United States was creating Al Quaeda and funding Osama Bin Laden, future President of Afghanistan had sitting President Nur Muhammad Taraki assassinated; three years later still, in 1982, talented writer and teacher John Gardner died in a motorcycle accident; three years subsequent to that point, in 1985, the feminist and generally progressive television series, Golden Girls, premiered on NBC; seven years even more proximate to the present pass, in an act that begins to define carnage and mayhem, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the Croatian republic to be illegal; an additional two years in greater proximity to the present point in time, in 1994, a labor strike caused the Major League Baseball laptop computer accountingseason to be cancelled; eighteen years ago, the dotcom bubble inflated to near maximum with the merger of MCI with World Com, a joinder that would soon enough bring scandal and ruin; thirteen years in the past, the American ecologist Garrett Hardin breathed his last; and four years down the road, in 2003, one of the inaugural events of the subprime crisis unfolded when the British Northern Rock bank experienced the first bank run in a century and a half.