Day in History 4.22.2016

jude jewish holocaust genocideThis date in Serbia is Holocaust Remembrance Day, while Brazil commemorates Discovery Day at the same time that the United States celebrates Earth Day, which the world marks as International Mother Earth Day; in imperial Rome, amid the depredations of ‘absolute power’s’ many corruptions, the Senate one thousand nine hundred and seventy-six years ago banned the venal and sadistic Emperor Maximinus Thrax and put forward two of its members to rule in the Year of the Six Emperors;fourteen hundred and sixty-two years past that passage of power, in 1500,  a not entirely unrelated extension of colonial imprimatur occurred when Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral ‘discovered’ Brazil, an already occupied land of vast resources and tropical mystery; not quite two decades subsequently, in 1519, another extension of empire’s depredations—again from the Iberian Peninsula that was once the Roman province of Hispania—took place when Hernan Cortes, with plunder the first item on his agenda, oversaw the establishment of a fortified camp at what is now Veracruz, Mexico; seven years further down time’s course, in 1526, the first recorded incident of a slave uprising, less than a decade after Europeans first indulged in this vicious commerce in flesh, happened a thousand ninety-six days precisely hence, in 1529, in a yet more dramatic symbol of a certain sort of inherited imperial imprimatur, the Treaty of Zaragoza purported to divvy up a significant portion of the planet’s land mass between Portugal and Spain according to the Vatican Roman father’s sayso; exactly four centuries prior to today’s light and air, in 1616, the magnificent narrator of imperial fantasy, Miquel de Cervantes, left the realm that he had so immeasurably enriched; six years less past that passing of a fantastical chronicler of empire’s ideological madness, in 1622, a different geographical expression of an up and coming empire on which the sun might never set transpired with the capture of Ormuz by the British East India Company, ousting Portugal from a large part of its presence in exercising dominion over the vast wealth and ancient culture of the Subcontinent; eight and a half decades beyond that juncture, in 1707, the baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the popular and prolific writer and storyteller, Henry Fielding; seventeen years still later, in 1724,another male infant first regarded the world en route to a life as the well-thought-of philosopher Immanuel Kant; thirteen decades thereafter, in 1854, a male child was born whose fate was to learn the law and become a writer who would win the Nobel Prize, as Henri la Fontaine;  another ten years further onward, in 1864, across the ocean in America, Congress mandated that all coins would in the future bear the inscription ‘In God We Trust;’ just shy of another decade along time’s arc, in 1873, the female baby entered our midst who would become the writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Ellen Glasgow; sizteen years additional on the path to today, in 1889, U.S. citizens rushed, ‘sooner’ rather than later, to ‘claim’ land that the U.S. had extorted from Native Americans in the opening of the Oklahoma territory; a decade later on the dot, in 1899, a baby male took his first breath in St. Petersburg who would mature as the innovative and compelling storyteller and thinker, Vladimir Nabokov; five years subsequent to that happy moment, in 1904, another male child first cried out on his way to a life of discovery and research as J. Robert Oppenheimer, whose work concerned nuclear physics and military applications thereof; seven years more proximate to the present pass, in 1911, Tsinghua University opened in China; three hundred sixty-six days henceforth, in 1912, to the West in Russia, Pravda first became available to ‘comrades’ and other readers; three years further down the pike, in 1915, poison gas use expanded with the release of Chlorine gas at the battle of Ypres; a decade and a half additional in the direction of the here and now, in 1930, England, Japan, and the United States agreed to the London Naval Treaty, which, in theory, limited the development of surface and submarine warships; eight years even closer to the current context, in 1938, a massive explosion at the Red Jacket Mine in Virginia snuffed out the lives of forty-five miners for the sake of higher profits; five years afterward, in 1943, the female child took an initial look around prior to maturing as the popular and acclaimed writer, Louise Gluck; three years after that, in 1946, the baby boy came along in the usual way who  would grow up to be the highly unusual filmmaker and writer, John Waters; seven hundred thirty-one days forward from that intersection, in 1948, Jewish forces seized the city of Haifa in Palestine; another half dozen years on the path to today, in 1954, the televised and in the event disturbing Army-McCarthy Hearings began; sixteen years later, in 1970, people around the world first celebrated Earth Day; two years past that particular point in space and time, in 1972, after the U.S. resumed large-scale bombing in Southeast Asia, tens of thousands of protestors turned out, 50,000 in New York City, 30,000 in San Francisco, and more elsewhere; an extra half-decade more towards this instant, in 1977, phone companies first deployed optical fiber cable to convey signals; six years after that, in 1983,across the Atlantic in Germany, Stern Magazine reported that the so-called Hitler Diaries were a doctored fraud; a mere year still later on, in 1984,the iconic nature photographer and thinker, Ansel Adams,

CC BY-NC by Elizabeth Haslam

drew his ultimate living breath; just under a decade still nearer to now, in 1993, the web browser Mosaic issued its Version 1.0; two years even farther along time’s journey, in 1995, the austere and adept poet, Jane Kenyon, lived out her final stanza; a year beyond that to the day, in 1996, the writer and humorist and cultural commentator Erma Bombeck also went to her grave; in an all-too-fascist move four years thereafter, in 2000, U.S. authorities seized a six year old boy, Elian Gonzalez, because he was about to return home to Cuba; half a decade subsequently, in 2005, Japan’s Prime Minister for the first time apologized for the carnage and mayhem that his country had caused in its imperial and martial activities in the 1930’s and 1940’s; a further half-dozen years on the trek to the here and now, in 2011, the beloved voice of labor, Hazel Dickens, sang her swansong.