9.27.2016 Day in History

CC BY-SA by Neil T
CC BY-SA by Neil T

People around the planet on this date celebrate World Tourism Day, while the United States marks National Gay Men’s HIV Awareness Day; in late Middle Ages Normandy nine hundred fifty years ago, William, who would soon sport the moniker ‘the Conqueror’, embarked with its invasion force from the mouth of the river Somme toward England and unlucky Edward; four hundred eighty-seven years in advance of today’s light and air, Ottomans neared the height of their imperial expansion with a renewed assault on Vienna, albeit one that was ultimately unsuccessful; fourteen decades after that contentious eventuality, in 1669, Ottoman fighters extracted a Venetian surrender at the fortress of Candia which had been under siege for over two decades; two hundred ninety-four years prior to today, a baby boy was born who would mature as the upper class American ‘patriot’ Samuel Adams; fifty-seven years further along the path to the present moment, in 1779, Sam’s cousin and frequent collaborator, John Adams, received an appointment to act as the chief negotiator who would seek a peace deal with the English;precisely forty-two years after that, church mexico desertin 1821, Mexican nationals succeeded in wresting control of their land from Spanish rule; exactly three hundred sixty-five days henceforth, in 1822, Jean Louis Champollion announced his belief that he had decrypted the Rosetta Stone’s cryptic symbology; three years beyond that, across the English Channel in 1825, the Stockton and Darlington Railway inaugurated the world’s first steam locomotive service;fifteen years thereafter, in 1840, back across the English Channel in Germany, a male infant first cast about who would mature as the estimable and incisive political cartoonist of the United States, Thomas Nast; a fortnight of years later, in 1854, the American Trans Atlantic voyager, the S S Arctic, sank with all hands, costing three hundred lives in the first massive trans-oceanic catastrophe of the steamship age; one hundred forty-five years back, the infant entered our midst who would soon enough write beautiful Italian poetry and win the Nobel Prize as Grazia Deledda; a thousand four hundred sixty-one days subsequently, in 1875, across the Atlantic in Massachusetts, thousands of textile workers went on strike with the demand for food for their starving children and an amelioration of child labor in the mills of Falls River and surrounding industrial enclaves; eighteen years beyond that instant of solidarity, in 1893, members of the typographers union in California began a long-term strike and boycott against the Los Angeles Times, going so far as to encourage competitor William Randolph Hearst to establish a rival newspaper in the area; a dozen years yet nearer to the here and now, in 1905, the physics journal Annalen Der Physik accepted for publication Albert Einstein’s article, “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, which first expressed the equation E=mc²; three additional years onward in space and time, in 1908, back across the Atlantic in Michigan, the first mass produced, assembly-line, interchangeable parts vehicle rolled off Ford’s assembly line in Detroit; also in North America one year in the future from that, in 1909, the strike of garment workers against the Triangle Shirtwaist Company and other dominant firms in the industry, a strike which almost all of the companies – but not Triangle – settled with an agreement to unionize and accept safety demands and wage increases; eight years past the-dance-class-1873-76-2that point, in Europe in 1917, the monumental Edgar Degas filled out his final sketch, and, on the other side of the ocean, the baby boy was born en route to a life as the establishment lawyer Louis Auchincloss; eleven years after and half a world away, in 1928,the nascent and largely fraudulent Republic of China received its first endorsement via United States recognition; a dozen years yet later on, in 1940, the fascist triangle of Germany, Japan, and Italy cemented the Tripartite Act, and, as if in response, the ‘liberal’ humanist and perpetual sad sack about ‘Western civilization’ Walter Benjamin breathed his last; a year further along meanwhile, in 1941, the first of thousands of so-called Liberty Ship splashed into the water from dry dock on its way to convoy duty supplying the Allies in Europe; three years past that noteworthy conjunction, in 1944, one of America’s ‘wildest women’, and most holy-roller preachers Aimee McPherson gave her final breath to God; an additional thousand ninety-five days further along time’s pathway, in 1947, a male infant bounced into the world who would end up writing lyrics and rocking and rolling as the self-named Meat Loaf; two more years hence, in 1949, a plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party approved the design for the People’s Republic of China’s new flag; a half decade farther still in the direction of today, in 1954, comic and commentator Steve Allen debuted Tonight with Steve Allen which in short order became the iconic Tonight Show; half a decade afterward, in 1959, Nikita Khrushchev ended his visit to the United States; three hundred sixty-six days even closer to the current context, in 1960, the iconic champion of women’s rights and suffrage Sylvia Pankhurst gave her final shout in support of equality and justice for women; two years beyond that passage, in 1962, the radical and grassroots populist Yemen Arab Republic came into being out of the former British colony, while five to six thousand miles away, ecologist Rachel Carson published the first copies of her masterwork, Silent Spring; six years down the pike, in 1968, across the North Atlantic in England, a Shaftsbury Theatre Company of thespians opened a production of Hair that would perform nearly four hundred times a year for five years, only closing because the roof on the theatre collapsed; seven years still later, in 1975, Spain executed its final prisoners—in this case for the crime of advocating better governance; four years thereafter, in 1979, the U.S. Congress gave its final nod of approval for the Department of Education to become Uncle Sam’s thirteenth cabinet-level agency; another four years beyond that conjunction, in 1983, Richard Stallman led a team that inaugurated the GNU open architecture project that has since so enriched online life, and the estimable Australian reporter and radical, Wilfred Burchett, lived through his final scene; five years precisely past that point, in 1988, Burmese activists and majority-rule advocates launched the National League for Democracy to resist further entrenchment of their country’s fascist coup leaders; eight years hence, in 1996, Taliban forces entered Kabul, completing their effective takeover of Afghanistan; the giant of the digital age, Google, later adopted this date in 1998 as its official ‘birthday;’an additional three years more proximate to the present pass, in 2001, a disaffected Swiss mental patient with a disability pension armed himself with multiple weapons and attacked the Zug prefecture legislature, killing himself and fourteen others, and wounding nearly twenty other citizens; just a single further track round the sun, in 2002, the Longshoremen went on strike on the West Coast, an action that President Bush crush with an invocation of the Taft-Hartley Act’s mandatory provisions to terminate walkouts; three years beyond that passing injustice, in 2005, the estimable thinker and storyteller, Mary Lee Settle, lived out her final day on Earth; four years more along time’s arc, in 2009, William Safire died, the staunch conservative journalist and prolific writer; two years in even greater proximity to today, in 2011, lyricist and singer Johnny ‘Country’ Mathis sang his swan song.