9.19.2016 Day in History

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Reactionary though its roots may be, nonetheless, today round the world is International Talk Like a Pirate Day; in the ever-volatile and conflict-ridden Levant, the ancient city of Damascus changed hands thirteen hundred eighty-two years ago, in 634, when Byzantine armies succumbed to the onslaught of the Rashidun Islamic forces; a thousand forty-two years more in the direction of today, in 1676, the ‘rebel’ Nathaniel Bacon joined together indentured servants, slaves, and genocidal frontiersman in burning Jamestown to the ground in his eponymous uprising;sixteen years later, in 1692, a brave colonial in Salem, Massachusetts refused to plead to the absurd charge that he was a witch and died under the weight of thousands of pounds of stones that sought to force him to say something; two hundred thirty-eight years prior to today, in the midst of its ‘revolutionary’ conflict, the nascent United States Continental Congress passed the first Federal budget; eighteen years onward from that momentous occasion, in 1796, George Washington’s Farewell Address went forth as a pamphlet throughout the United States; one hundred eighty-nine years back, the martially inclined Jim Bowie used one of his eponymous knives—which his brother first designed—literally to eviscerate an opponent when he disemboweled a Louisiana politician in a duel; six years after that, in 1833, having lived through nearly nine decades of dire straits and intense adventure, including a kidnapping by Seneca Indians as vengeance for colonial depredations, the redoubtable Mary Jemison had her final powwow; across the wide Atlantic thirteen years subsequently, in 1846, two French shepherd children hallucinated that they were weeing Jesus’ mother Mary, which transmogrified into Our Lady of La Sallete;twenty-two years past that, in 1868, Spanish Nationalists sought to institute a republic in the reactionary Iberian Peninsula in the Gloriosa Revolution; seven hundred thirty additional days toward our present moment, in 1870, two European sieges began, the first, of revolutionary Italians against the Vatican, the second of dominant Prussian military against the French capital of Paris, a decade and a half thereafter, in 1885, xenophobic American workers acted to undermine their own interests by ejecting Chinese miners from Eastern Washington; eight years henceforth, in 1893, seven thousand miles away in New Zealand, that natin’s legislature became the first to institute universal female suffrage; a dozen years onward in space and time, in 1905, a male infant came into the world in standard fashion whom fate had designated as the legal eagle and key Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski; seven hundred thirty additional days in the genera direction of today, in 1907, another baby boy was born who would grow up as redoubtable lawyer and supreme court justice Lewis Powell; another fourteen hundred thirty-one days along the temporal arc, in 1911, a different sort of creative baby came into the world who would mature as the wickedly insightful storyteller and Nobel laureate William Golding; half a decade further along, in 1916, five thousand miles South in Central Africa, ‘Allied’ forces captured some of the final German holdings that remained viable in Africa; four years still further in the future, in 1920, a baby male first cried out who would go on to write prolifically and popularly as journalist and New Yorker icon Roger Angell; a mere year yet nearer to the here and now, in 1921, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the heroic educator and champion of knowledge for paulo-freirethe masses of people Paolo Freire; eleven years afterward, 1932, one more baby boy bounced into the world en route to a life as the writer and Chicago newsman and commentator Mike Royko; eight years more on time’s relentless march, in 1940, heroic anti-fascist activist Witold Pilecki orchestrated his own ‘capture’ by the Nazis and incarceration in Auschwitz in order to escape with intelligence and leave behind the makings of a resistance movement; five years more proximate to the present pass, in 1945, a baby boy entered our midst who would become the genius lyricist and incredible guitarist and performer of crazy rock and roll David Bromberg; a single circuit around the sun after that, in 1946, after a speech in Switzerland by the reactionary popular leader Winston Churchill, the anti communist Council of Europe took shape for the first time; in yet another legal birthday a thousand ninety-six days yet later on, in 1949, the male baby emerged from the womb on his way to a powerful life in defense of innocence as Barry Scheck; three extra years farther down the pike, in 1952, the United States barred the reentry to North America of popular film star and communist sympathizer Charlie Chaplin; five years subsequent to that reactionary turn of events, in 1957, U. S. advocates of thermonuclear ecocide carried out the first underground test of a nuclear weapon as part of Operation Plumbbob; two years further onward toward today, in 1959, in a slightly lighter aspect of ‘Cold War’ relations, Nikita Khrushchev had to cancel his planned visit to Disneyland because of ‘security risks;’ an additional seven years forward from there, in 1966, growing opposition to the Vietnam war expressed itself in several events that transpired on this date, including the issuance of a ‘minority report’ in Congress in which Republicans publicly questioned the escalating conflict; four years afterward, in 1970, another ‘miracle’ of popular

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culture unfolded with the premiere of the Mary Tyler Moore; one year beyond that instance of expensive fluff, in 1971, halfway around the world in Indochina, CIA ‘allies,’ the Montagnards, turned on ethnic Vietnamese, slaughtering scores of them; seven hundred thirty-one days even closer to the current context, in 1973, back in the United States, iconic lyricist and singer-songwriter Gram Parsons died; eight years still later, in 1981, more than half a million American union members and their working class supporters marched in the District of Columbia to emphasize their belief in a concept of solidarity that was under attack on every front in ‘Reagan’s America,’ and in a wholly different expression of Americana, Simon & Garfunkel reunited for a free concert in Central Park; three hundred sixty-five days more in the direction of today, in 1982, a participant on Carnegie Mellon’s university bulletin board system posted the first documented emoticons – : -) 🙁 — ; three years farther down the pike, in 1985, Senatorial wife Tipper Gore, and some of her upper crust busybody friends, initiated a tax on media access with the understanding that they were ‘protecting’ sensitive juvenile minds, and an Italian storyteller and thinker Italo Calvino lived out his final scene; half a dozen years even more toward today, in 1991, German tourists discovered a neolithic corpse that had for thousands and thousands of years remained frozen under melting Alpine glaciers; nine years further along time’s travels, in 2000,Michael Chabon’s novel about comics first graced commercial bookshelves en route to its Pulitzer Prize; four years later, in 2004, beloved and ‘rooted’ Country singer and lyricist Skeeter Davis sang her swan song; eleven years hence, just one year in the past, in 2015, the writer and storyteller Jackie Collins breathed her last.