My tomatoes are riper than your wooden shoes
translated by Cheryl Seaman
MAY 7 — CAMILLO BERNERI Italian-born anarchist philosopher, killed by Spanish Stalinists.
FESTA OF ST. NICOLA in Bari, Italy, celebrates the transfer of his relics to Bari. Religious rites followed by spectacular fireworks displays, honor this patron of orphans, pirates, etc.
1429 -- France: English siege of Orleans broken by Joan of Arc.
1518 -- New Old World: Juan de Grijalva's expedition, sailing the Yucatan coast, reports the Mayan city of Tulum is larger & as grand as Seville.
1606 -- Jacobean dramatist Thomas Middleton delivers The Viper & Her Brood to a creditor in payment of a debt.
1663 -- England: The Theatre Royal opens, London (it is destroyed by fire in 1672); also London's oldest theater, Drury Lane, opens (the first time).
Source: [Robert Braunwart] [Hereafter attributed with symbol: ]
1763 -- Canada/US: The Ottowa (Pontiac) uprising against the British begins; the garrison at Detroit is besieged for five months.
Source: [Calendar Riots]
1774 -- Sir Francis Beaufort naval officer; devised wind force scale.
"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
1792 -- US: Almost provoking a mutiny, Captain Robert Gray discovers Grays Harbor, Washington. Sniped the crew, "he's a grandiose spineless bastard, who sees everything in gray."
1812 -- Robert Browning lives. English poet, noted for his mastery of dramatic monologue. Married poet Elisabeth Barret. His greatest work, The Ring & the Book (1869), is based on the proceedings in a murder trial in Rome in 1698.
1824 -- Beethoven's 9th Symphony performed for first time. He conducts in his last public appearance.
1838 -- US: Gentile mob burns 203 Mormon houses in Jackson County, Missouri.
1840 -- German romantic painter Kasper David Friedrich dies.
1840 -- Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky lives.
1840 -- US: In a strange twist, the largest recorded pre-Civil War tornado touches down at Natchez, Mississippi, sinking at least 60 boats on the Mississippi River & killing 317 people.
1844 -- US: Protestant mob in Philadelphia, shouting "Kill them! Kill them!" burns down over 30 homes in the predominantly Irish suburb of Kensington. Inspires, no doubt, the its motto, City of Brotherly Love.
1851 -- England: Aye, Mate(y)! The first international chess tournament opens, London.
1853 -- Author Harriet Beecher Stowe is received at Stafford House by many of the nobility & statesmen of England.
1861 -- Rabindranath Tagore lives (1861-1941), Calcutta. Bengali author/poet/mystic/educator/translator/painter/composer & perhaps the greatest writer in modern Indian literature.
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1864 -- US: Battle of Wilderness ends; many souls, to state the obvious, lost in the wilderness, can't come home again: USA-17,666; CSA-7,500.
"How could we help falling on our knees, all of us together, & praying God to pity & forgive us all."
— Union General Joshua Chamberlain
1867 -- Wladyslaw Reymont lives. Polish writer/novelist, awarded the Nobel in 1924. Reymont's best known novel is The Peasants, a chronicle of peasant life during the four seasons of a year. Translated into many languages, it has been compared to the best works of Thomas Hardy & Émile Zola. Later novels include The Dreamer (1910) & an occult novel, The Vampire (1911).
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1873 -- Colombia: Root Canal? US Marines land in Bay of Panama during civil unrest (-5/22) to "protect" US interests. American Drug War comes later.
1874 -- Ilmari Kianto (1874-1970) lives. Finnish writer whose depiction of the poverty in the backwoods criticized the empty promises of democracy without idealizing the peasant life as Maila Talvio did in her work.
1877 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Gen. Howard arrests Too-hul-hul-sute for speaking against relocation of the Nez Perces. American "Free Speech" thingie (some gets more than others).
1882 -- Willem Elsschot lives, Antwerp, Belgium. Flemish novelist/poet whose mordant irony & sympathetic reflections on middle-class life win him lasting popularity.
1886 -- Percy Bysshe Shelley's play The Cenci is presented privately by the Shelley Society.
1892 -- Archibald MacLeish lives, Glencoe, Illinois. Poet, playwright, Librarian of Congress, & Assistant Secretary of State under Franklin Roosevelt.
1893 -- Maurice Maeterlinck play Pelléas et Mélisande is produced, Paris. Maeterlinck was praised by anarchist critics, such as Octave Mirbeau (whose review first made Maeterlinck famous), & Emma Goldman, who included him in her famed drama lectures.
1896 -- Spain: Bomb explodes in a religious procession in Barcelona, killing 11 people; Spanish authorities imprison over 400 people, including anarquistas, suspected of involvement in the bombing. The severity of the punishment sparks international protests.
1898 -- Italy: In Milan the army opens fire on demonstrators protesting high bread prices, killing hundreds. Many are arrested, among them anarchists & socialists. Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader King Humbert I decorates the General responsible for the appalling butchery.
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1905 -- Spain: Helios Gómez lives (1905-1956). Anarquista artist, poet & militant activist; adhiere a la Aliança d´Intellectuals Antifeixistes de Catalunya; contributed to "El Frente" así como de la organización de la mostra homenaje a Durruti en Barcelona.
Gomez saw the struggle in terms of a wider issue which would determine the fate of people everywhere — in Europe, in Russia & Central Asia & in South & North America.
El gran artista andaluz y catalán Helios Gómez, que con su trabajo visitó toda Europa y con su compromiso social todos los juzgados, sigue siendo un rebelde que molesta. Solo así puede entenderse que su figura siga sin recuperarse en el grupo de artistas e intelectuales que dió la II República.
1906 -- Italy: A Torino la polizia di stato spara su un corteo di operai del settore tessile in sciopero : 1 morto e 7 feriti.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1907 -- US: Bloody Tuesday in San Francisco. The Street Carmen were among the most militant of San Francisco workers as they struck in five of the six years from 1902 to 1907, leading to the violent gunfight that erupted.
1911 -- US: Emma Goldman is immensely pleased with success of her tour in Los Angeles, April 30-May 7; holds 11 meetings & raises financial support for the Mexican cause, & likens the uprising to the Paris Commune.
1911 -- México: Followers of the anarchist Flores Magón brothers begin their march from Mexicali to attack Tijuana.
1915 -- High Seas: British luxury liner Lusitania sunk by a German submarine. 1,198 die, including 124 American passengers, who had been warned in advance by Germany, lose their lives.
The US calls it a monstrous act, falsely claiming the Lusitania carried an innocent cargo.
"Actually, the Lusitania was heavily armed: it carried 1,248 cases of 3-inch shells, 4,927 boxes of cartridges (1,000 rounds in each box), & 2,000 more cases of small-arms ammunition. Her manifests were falsified to hide this fact, & the British & American governments lied about the cargo."
— Howard Zinn, The Twentieth Century, p80.
1920 -- Art Gallery of Ontario opens an exhibition titled "The Group of Seven" (Carmichael, Harris, Jackson, Johnson, Lismer, MacDonald & Varley).
1921 -- Palestine: Jews are killed & many are wounded as Arabs attack Petah Tikvah.
1925 -- US: Baseball's Pirate shortstop Glenn Wright makes an unassisted triple play.
1927 -- Lytton Strachey writes a pal about Virginia Woolf's just published To the Lighthouse:
"It really is most unfortunate that she rules out copulation — not the ghost of it visible — so that her presentation of things become little more . . . than an arabesque — an exquisite arabesque, of course."
1927 -- Nicaragua: US troops intervene in Nicaragua — surprisingly — "to protect" US interests.
1928 -- England: Low Blow? England lowers age of women voters from 30 to 21.
1929 -- Germany: Nazi brownshirts throw stink bombs during a performance of Kurt Weill's "Die Dreigroschenoper," Berlin State Opera.
1929 -- US: Batting Cleanup? Al Capone personally kills three of his henchmen with a baseball bat after dinner in Chicago's Hawthorn Hotel.
1936 -- Composer Cornelius Cardew composed, Winchcombe, Gloucester, England.
Daily Bleed Patron Saint 2008
Vanguard modernist composer, Marxist intellectual.
1937 -- Spain: Return to "normalization" in Barcelona. The Republican government had sent troops to take over the telephone exchange on May 3, pitting the anarchists & Poumists on one side against the Republican government & the Stalinist Communist Party on the other. Squads of Communist Party members took to the streets yesterday, to assassinate leading anarquistas, resulting in pitched street battles, leaving 500 anarchists killed.
Today, among those found murdered in the Stalinist purge, is the Italian anarchist Camillo Berneri, an outspoken anti-communist.
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1937 -- Spain: (Friday): "La Batalla" reiterates its appeal, making it conditional upon withdrawal of the security forces & retention of weapons. Transport services are restored & a degree of normality returns. Assault Guards sent by the Valencia government reach Barcelona around 9:00p.m. Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Companys surrenders control of public order. The Control Patrols place themselves at the disposal of the special delegate in charge of public order sent down by the Republican government.
1940 -- Angela Carter lives (1940-1992). English short story writer, novelist, journalist, dramatist, critic. Representative of magic realism mixed with Gothic themes, violence & eroticism. Carter utilized the language & motifs of fantasy to dramatize her sense of the old orders of the Western world breaking down.
1940 -- US: The ACLU tries board member Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, & later expels her (she may have rights, but then she's a commie, don't you know?).
1941 -- Golden Bough author Sir James George Frazer dies, Cambridge, England.
1942 -- US: The American Dream? Under Civilian Exclusion Order 27, more than 100,000 Japanese Americans, both alien & non-alien, are assigned to US detention camps.
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1942 -- Lithuania: Nazis order the execution of all pregnant Jewish women in Kovno (Kaunas) ghetto.
When the Russians finally rescue Kovno only about 2,000 of the original 30,000 Jews had survived.
1945 -- US: The Buck Stops Here? Bank robber Willie Sutton tunnels out of prison in Philadelphia, but is recaptured almost immediately.
1945 -- Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" wins the Pulitzer Prize for music.
1947 -- Virgil Thomson opera "The Mother of Us All" premiers, Columbia University, NYC (The libretto is by Gertrude Stein).
1951 -- South Africa: Coloreds strike against disenfranchisement.
1952 -- Korea: Communist POWs capture camp commander Gen. Francis Dodd, Koje-do. To secure his release, the UN promises "to stop torturing & mistreating prisoners to make them say they are anti-Communist."
1954 -- Vietnam: Viet Minh forces defeat French at Dien Bien Phu. France pulls out of Indochina soon after so the US can take it's turn at wastin' money & bodies.
1954 -- US: America, joined by France & UK, rejects a Soviet offer to join NATO.
1955 -- US: In Belzoni, Mississippi, Rev. George Lee, active in the NAACP, is murdered for his voter registration activities.
1956 -- MacKinlay Kantor novel Andersonville wins the Pulitzer Prize; Ernst Toch's "Symphony No. 3" wins it for music.
1956 -- US: Jury Finds Wilhelm Reich & Silvert Guilty In 20 Minutes; Sentencing Due May 25.
Certainly, all the various judges who reviewed Reich's case & ruled against him, from the local & district court judges to the US Supreme Court judges, knew they were agreeing to censorship of speech & to the burning of books.
— James DeMeo, Ph.D., Director of Research, Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory
1960 -- US: Government quits lying for a few minutes, admits the U-2 downed over the U.S.S.R. was on a spy mission — but only after Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Premier Khrushchev reveals the Russians have captured both the pilot & the plane.
1962 -- US: Free! Free At Last!? Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Kennedy transfers the administration of the Northern Marianas from the Navy to the Interior Department.
1963 -- US: Thousands of Negro children enter downtown "white" Birmingham, Alabama.
1965 -- US: "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Alabama, as state troopers attack civil rights marchers.
1967 -- Russia: In a strange twist, according to the New York Times, Soviet youths openly defied police last week & danced the twist in Moscow's Red Square during May Day celebrations.
It's the revolution my sweet
You're right, a special game.
It's played in narrow streets,
It's played with paving stones.
De Gaulle's regime is a whorehouse
No one doubts it anymore,
Bureaucrats to the garbage heap,
Without them we might get somewhere.
— Song of the Council for the Maintenance of Occupations
The students declare they are ready for a dialogue on three conditions: withdrawal of police forces from the Latin Quarter; release & immediate amnesty for imprisoned students; reopening the Sorbonne & Nanterre. 431 demonstrators are arrested today. The police restore the anarchist Danny Cohn-Bendit's residence permit (but only for a short period).
7 mai Avant de négocier, les étudiants exigent la libération des emprisonnés, la réouverture de la Sorbonne et le retrait de la police du quartier Latin. Manifestation de la place Denfert-Rochereau ŕ l'Etoile.
1969 -- Grateful Dead & the Airplane perform at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park in Frisco.
Source: [Frisco History Archive]
1969 -- US: Lou Gottlieb deeds Morning Star Ranch (fondly known as the "The Digger Farm") to God.
Morning Star Ranch, owned by Gottlieb, formerly of the folkie Limeliters, along with Ramón Sender, opened the land (32 acres) to anyone who wants to live there.
LA: Sunset Strip scene; Velvet Underground at The Trip.
1971 -- US: 45 of those anti-American traitors arrested in downtown Seattle, Washington during anti-war protests.
1973 -- US: Olga Freidlin Maximoff dies while Boris Yelensky is preparing the pamphlet by her deceased husband, G.P. Maximoff, for publication.
1975 -- The Vietnam War officially ends.
For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning
I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marchin' anymore
Now the labor leader's screamin' when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason,"
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't marchin' any more.
— Phil Ochs, "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore"
1977 -- US: Longest transit strike in Philadelphia's history, 44 days, ends.
1981 -- Rudy Rucker publishes his sci-fi classic Spacetime Donuts.
"Who Needs Donuts
When You've Got Love?"
— Mark Alan Stamaty
1983 -- August Hoffman performs a record 29,051 consecutive sit-ups. Don't know how long he lived after that...
1983 -- Artist Christo drapes 11 islands with pink skirts, Biscayne Bay, Fla.
[Like John Waters, we prefer Flamingos... — ed.]
1984 -- US: American veterans of the Vietnam War reach an out-of-court settlement with seven chemical companies in their class-action suit relating to the use of herbicide "Agent Orange." 15,000 vets & families to get $180 million.
1985 -- US: City of Philadelphia (The City of Brotherly Love) bombs the house of the radical black group MOVE, killing 11 & destroying 62 others homes in neighborhood. Surviving MOVE members are still imprisoned. Quick! Can you spot the terrorists?
1985 -- Nicaragua: Ronnie Reagan's trade embargo against the country goes into force. A "Free World" thing?
1986 -- US: "When the Layabouts play, people dance."
Metro Times, May 7-13, 1986, p.12
"A Bunch of Layabouts" South End, May, 15, 1986
[Auntie Bleed can testify to this — ed.]
The Layabouts (Detroit): B-Movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPUPWkOO1Ok
1992 -- US: Detroit police chief William Hart is convicted of embezzlement.
1994 -- Norwegian police recover stolen Edvard Munch painting "The Scream" after 4 months.
1994 -- Strung Out? Randy Bachman leads 1,322 other guitarists in playing Bachman-Turner Overdrive hit "Takin' Care of Business" for 68 m 40 s, Vancouver, BC.
1995 -- US: John Zerzan interview with The New York Times appears today; a subsequent article was bad, even by Times standards: a half-inch headline proclaims, "Prominent Anarchist Finds Unsought Ally in Serial Bomber." The first paragraph reads, "When newspapers last week published a letter from the elusive serial bomber in the Unabomber case, at least one person — a rumpled, middle-aged man who lives here in Eugene — found some measure of tempered satisfaction in all the attention given to the writer's pro-anarchist views."
1996 -- Albert Meltzer dies. British militant anarchist. Loved books & boxing.
A boxer, actor (as an extra in Leslie Howard's Pimpernel Smith, after Howard insisted on using 'real' anarchists) fairground worker, theatre manager, warehouseman, bookseller, printer, typesetter, & finally a Fleet Street copytaker for the "Daily Telegraph." Co-founder of the Anarchist Black Cross, with Stuart Christie, & helped found the Kate Sharpley Library. Wrote his autobiography, I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels, as well as books on anarchism.
"Albert Meltzer's ashes will be scattered in the CNT section of Montjuich cemetery in Barcelona on Sunday 20th July."
1996 -- Germany: Water cannon used on 15,000 protesters against import of French nuclear waste to Gorleben.
1996 -- Lebanon: UN says the April 18 Israeli shelling of a UN camp in Lebanon was deliberate — 100 refugees were killed.
1998 -- Denmark: Government tries to impose strike deal. Parliament today discusses a compulsory arbitration law in order to put an end to the strike. This would mean 2 days extra holidays a year, three for workers with children, & some concessions to employers. They pass a law to put an end to the 11 day long strike of 500,000 private sector workers. The strike ends the 12th.
1998 -- Australia: Documents implicating the Australian government in a scheme to train scab dock workers in Dubai are released; some of the 1,400 Australian union dock workers fired resume work.
1998 -- Cormac McCarthy novel Cities of the Plain is published by Knopf.
2011 -- US: "War on Dough"? Latino arrested in North Carolina for driving while intoxicated &
tootin'totin' 91 pounds of cocaine along with other makin's for some very fine tacos. Held under excessive bail for four days, the cops finally admit he wasn't intoxicated & the said "coke" is tortilla dough.
2011 -- England: Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. 60 tables of stalls, 34 meetings & workshops, Bristol Indymedia room, Radical History Zone, a kids space, all day vegan cafe. Accessible to all. Entry free.
2014 -- One seventh of your life is spent on Wednesday!!
Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event.
— Oscar Wilde
(Pianist, New York, USA)
"When I was a girl, it was at home that I heard discussions about unions & strikes & anarchist activities. Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Emma Goldman, & Rudolf Rocker were household names. In the middle 1920's Rudolf & Millie Rocker stayed with us in our home when they came to lecture in Stelton, New Jersey. This made an enduring impression on my brothers Sigmund & David... & me, of course."
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