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IMAGE USED: Rise Like Lions...poem by Shelley
Rise Like Lions...poem by Shelley, anarchist poet

Emma Goldman, Ben Reitman, Battle of Matewan, Malcolm X, Lucien Tronchet, International Situationists, Paris Uprising 1968, Shelley, anarchist, encyclopedia, anarchiste, on this day in recovered memory / history, May 19

MAY 19

Petty criminal, prisoner, convert to Islam, one-time spokesman for Elijah Muhammad. Embracing a more enlightened orthodox Islam, he was assassinated by the FBI or Black Muslims. Revolutionary genius & martyr.

Brittanny: PARDON OF THE POOR: Pilgrimage of poor to shrines of St. Yves.

1536 -- Beheading of Anne Bolyn.

1649 -- England: "Commonwealth" declared by the "Rump" Parliament.

1713 -- New Old World: Bread riot in Boston.

Long day turning into darkness
1780 -- New Old World: ConEd? About midday, near-total darkness descends on much of New England, turning day into night. To this day it's cause is still unexplained.

1795 -- James Boswell, Dr. Johnson's biographer, dies in London.

1798 -- George Gordon Byron (the poet) succeeds to the barony.
Source: [Robert Braunwart] [Hereafter attributed with symbol: Source=Robert Braunwart]

1815 -- England: Luddites. [Bootle's Committee?] Report on Parish Apprentices; only able to look at apprentices within the Bills of Mortality (London,Westminster & some Middx & Sry parishes).
Source: [Luddite Chronology]

1835 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Canada: Newfoundland journalist Henry Winton, an opponent of the clergy's interference in politics, is waylaid by ruffians, who cut off his ears.

1850 -- US: Four thousand Mexican workers gather in Sonora, California, to protest the "Foreign Miners' Tax," which was enacted to drive them from gold fields...
Further details / context, click here[Text continues...]

1855 -- Source=Robert BraunwartShanghai: US troops land, to "protect American interests" (-c. 5/21).

1858 -- US: Charles Hamilton, leader of a paramilitary proslavery band from Georgia, shoots 11 prisoners he had captured during a raid in Kansas.

1862 -- US: Homestead Act becomes law, provides cheap land, properly stolen from Native Americans, for white settlement of the West.

1864 -- American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne dies.

1865 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader CSA President Jefferson Davis is captured by Union Cavalry in Georgia.

1890 -- Vietnam: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Ho Chi Minh lives, Kim lien.

"A while back I started writing a novel called Ho Chi Minh in Harlem. He was a shortorder cook there in the '20s before he went back to Viet Nam — it's a documented fact. That excited me there for a minute."

— Bob Dylan

1891 -- US: Populist Party founded.

1893 -- Norway: Heavy rain wash "quick clay" into a deep valley, kills 111.

1895 -- Cuba: Revolutionary José Martí dies, Dor Rios.

Shortly before dying in combat, José Martí writes his political testament:

I lived in the monster & I know the entrails.

In Spanish, see

In English, see

1896 -- Dimple-producing machine patented.

1897 -- anarchist diamond Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.

London is too full of fogs & serious people.

Whether the fogs produce the serious people or
whether the serious people produce the fogs, I don't know.

Mining accident illustration
1902 -- US: Explosion in Coal Creek, Tennessee kills 184 miners.

1904 -- Daniel Guérin lives (1904-1988). One of France's best known revolutionary activists & thinkers, libertarian communist, anti-colonialist, Gay Rights activist, anti-militarist. See the Anarchist Encyclopedia page,

1906 -- Canada: Métis leader / guerrilla Gabriel Dumont dies. Adjutant general in the provisional Métis government declared in Saskatchewan, & commanded the Métis forces in the North-West Rebellion or North West Resistance of 1885.

1910 -- Nicaragua: "We're Baaaaack!!" US Marines land in Bluefields & Corinto, to "protect US interests." The US invaded earlier, in 1907, when the "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate was set up. They leave (Sept. 4), then come back again in 1912 for some serious 10-year plan protection.

1911 -- Fingered?: The first person to commit a crime & be convicted through the use of fingerprints turns out to be Caesar Cella.

1913 -- EG, anarchist feministUS: Emma Goldman accompanies Dr. Ben Reitman, obsessed with returning to San Diego, to the place of his abduction by vigilantes the previous year. See tomorrow's entry for more in the continuing Southern California saga.

Henry Miller, who heard Emma in San Diego in 1913, remarks:

Powys, needless to say, had his own select luminaries whom he raved about. I use the word 'raved' advisedly. I had never before heard any one rave in public, particularly about authors, thinkers, philosophers. Emma Goldman, equally inspired on the platform, & often Sibylline in utterance, gave nevertheless the impression of radiating from an intellectual centre. Warm & emotional though she was, the fire she gave off was an electrical one. Powys fulminated with the fire & smoke of the soul, or the depths which cradle the soul. (The Books of My Life)

1913 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader California Governor Hiram Johnson signs the Alien Land Law, to become effective on August 10, prohibiting "aliens ineligible to citizenship" from owning land.

1919 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Australia: A seaman's strike halts most shipping around the country (-Aug. 26).

1919 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Australia: Broken Hill mines are closed by a strike (to November 1920).

1919 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Canada: Bread & milk delivery resumes during the Winnipeg General Strike.

Battle of Mattewan logo
1920 -- US: The Battle of Matewan.

In January the UMW moved its unionization campaign from Logan to Mingo County, where Mother Jones delivers a speech of support.

Today Matewan Chief of Police Sid Hatfield attempts to arrest detectives hired by coal operators to evict families of fired union miners from company housing. In the shootout that followed, 10 people died including Mayor Cable C. Testerman.

The "Matewan Massacre" makes Sid Hatfield a folk hero to laborers throughout the state & a national celebrity.

See the Stan Iverson Archives,

1921 -- US: Congress sharply curtails immigration, setting up a national quota system.

1921 -- US: Continuing labor organizing leads Governor Morgan to proclaim martial law in Mingo County (where UMWA membership booms following the "Matewan Massacre").

Major Thomas B. Davis, acting Adjutant General, named executive agent to administer the proclamation. Martial & vigilante law reigns for over a year, until September 22, 1922.

God,  if You had but the moon
    Stuck in Your cap for a lamp,
Even You'd tire of it soon,
    Down in the dark & the damp.

Nothing but blackness above
    & nothing that moves but the cars. . . .
God, if You wish for our love,
    Fling us a handful of stars.

— Louis Untermeyer
excerpt from Caliban in the Coal Mines


1921 --

Diary entry, May 19, 1921

Dear Diary,

The hot, steamy, dark, dank coalmine is a terrible place to lose a husband or a son. Many of my closest friends have found themselves a widow, or childless. I believe that's why my John is so sick.

Some of the people who are working in the mines want better pay, & are now aware of the dangers in the coal mining business. This has left all of us evicted from our company-owned homes, & we are now living in tents!

Federal troops have been called in to Mingo, where we are camped out with many other families.

1922 -- US: This month sees the "Treason Trial" at Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia, of union members accused of participating in the march on Logan & Battle of Blair Mountain.

1923 -- Italy: Mussolini incontra Alcide De Gasperi. Ha bisogno dei voti dei popolari per la sua riforma elettorale.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]

1924 -- The Marx Brothers take New York by storm. In one of show biz's great strokes of luck, the opening night of a major dramatic play is canceled, leading all the top New York critics instead to the premiere of a vaudeville revue called I'll Say She Is, starring the unknown Marx Brothers comedy team. The brothers' incredible banter & slapstick astounds the critics, ensuring the Marx's fame.
[Vanessa Collection]

1924 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Bertolt Brecht's play "The Life of Edward II of England" is first performed.

Malcolm Moves, animated
1925 -- US: Malcolm X lives, as Malcolm Little, Omaha, Nebraska.

The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect as human beings, the God-given right to be a human being. Our common goal is to obtain the human rights that America has been denying us. We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans.

"If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, & loving the people who are doing the oppressing."

1925 -- US: Fletcher Henderson records "Sugar Foot Stomp."
[Vanessa Collection]

1925 -- Italy:. La Camera approva una legge per l'epurazione dei burocrati che non si mostrino ligi alle direttive del governo.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]

1926 -- US: Thomas Edison speaks at a dinner for the National Electric Light Association in Atlantic City on this night. When asked to speak into the microphone, he sez,

"I don't know what to say. This is the first time I ever spoke into one of these things ... Good night."

1926 -- Italy: Viene costituita l'Azienda Generale dei Petroli (AGIP). Lo stato invade anche questo campo di attività economica.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]

1926 --

anarchist diamondUS: Robert Brentano lives. Cosmopolitan, humane anarchist & longtime history professor.

Frog that ate Seattle
1928 -- US: First annual Frog-Jumping Contest, Calaveras County, California.

The current record is held by Rosie the Ribiter from Santa Clara, California. Rosie made the record-setting 21 feet, 5 3/4-inch jump in May of 1986.

Lucien Tronchet book cover
1928 -- Lucien Tronchet, anarchist & Swiss trade unionist, Clovis-Abel Pignat & Vuattolo instigate a 15-day wildcat strike which results in a reduction of working hours, minimum wages, etc.

1928 -- Source=Robert Braunwart US: A coal-mine explosion kills 194, Mather, Pennsylvania.

1929 -- US: Stampede in Yankee Stadium crushes two people to death.

1930 -- Lorraine Hansberry lives, Chicago. American playwright & painter, whose A Raisin in the Sun (1959) was the first drama by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. Superb American playwright of great social conscience.

1932 -- US: Sing For Your Supper? Beloved & Respected Comrade Soprano Congressman Claude Fuller introduces a resolution requiring all Civil Service employees to "sing, write or recite the words to the 'Star-Spangled Banner'" by memory. AuntieCivil flunks.

1933 -- Tom Feelings, illustrator of To Be A Slave, lives.

1934 -- US: 10,000 participate in "No More War" march, New York City.

1934 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle in Saturday Review of Literature. Males who solve the puzzle become members of Baker Street Irregulars.

1934 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi movie "The Black Cat" is released.

1935 -- T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia") killed in a motorcycle accident.

1937 -- US: Founding of Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union.

1937 -- Spain: Issue No. 1 of El Amigo del Pueblo appears.

1937 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Donald Wollheim & John Michel sign the constitution of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association.

1941 -- Ad Amba Alagi (Africa Orientale) le forze inglesi impongono la resa a quelle italiane.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]

1942 -- US: The Steel Workers Organizing Committee formally became the United Steelworkers of America (USWA).

1945 -- Tobias Wolff lives, Birmingham Alabama. Known for short stories & autobiographical writing, such as This Boy's Life(1989).

1950 -- US: Four barges with 467 tons of ammunition blow up at South Amboy, New Jersey, raining shrapnel down upon the town. 30 die & 350 injured. They were loading mines deemed unsafe by the Army & were being shipped to the Asian market (where all good white Americans know life is cheap) for sale.

1950 -- Source=Robert Braunwart France: Paris traffic cops stage do-nothing demonstration in lieu of a strike. Like any other day, where are they when you really need one?

1952 -- Japan: Yoshiro Shirai defeats flyweight champion Dado Marino in Tokyo to become Japan's first world boxing champ.

1952 -- US: Lillian Hellman advises the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) that she refuses to testify against friends & associates.

"I cannot & will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions."

1954 -- US: Modernist composer Charles Ives dies, West Riding, Connecticut.

Postal Jesus
1954 -- US: Postmaster General Summerfield approves CIA mail-opening project in the Land of the Free.

"The highest ambition of the integrated spectacle is still to turn secret agents into revolutionaries, & revolutionaries into secret agents."

       — GUY DEBORD, 1988

"A few years back, a man high up in the CIA name Ray Cline was asked if the CIA, by its surveillance of protest organizations in the United States, was violating the free speech provision of the First Amendment. He Smiled & said: 'It's only an amendment.'"

— Howard Zinn, The Zinn Reader pp412-13.

1956 -- US: Radiation levels rise 10 times above normal caused by a 15-megaton bomb dropped in South Pacific.

1961 -- Source=Robert Braunwart US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Pres. JFK blocks a threatened railroad strike for 60 days.

1964 -- Russia: Speak Up?: US diplomats find at least 40 secret microphones in the Moscow embassy.

1966 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Seamus Heaney's first book of poetry, Death of a Naturalist, appears.

1967 -- US: It's A Rap? Stokely Carmichael turns over SNCC Chair to H. Rap Brown.

La Lutte Continue;  May Uprising, Paris France '68
1968 -- France: May Uprising continues. Two million workers are now on strike.

At the Elysée palace, President de Gaulle says, "La réforme, oui; la chienlit, non."


Our situations will be ephemeral, without a future. Passageways. Our only concern is real life; we care nothing about the permanence of art or of anything else. Eternity is the grossest idea a person can conceive of in connection with his acts...

Report on the Construction of Situations & on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization & Action

Protesters in Paris France

1968 -- England, Laos, Spain, South Vietnam:
  • The British government denies any intention of forcibly returning immigrants who had settled in.
  • The revolt of the students & workers in France was part of a world-wide ferment, said Lord Brockway, addressing the Movement for Colonial Freedom. A disastrous racial war was inevitable in Rhodesia & South Africa, which perhaps might spread to Britain.
  • Hippies are being expelled from Laos. The government is 'disturbed' by the reputation they are giving the country.
  • Hundreds of Madrid students fight the police after 6,000 had attend a performance by Raimon, Spain's protest singer. Banners representing Che Guevara are paraded.
  • Vietcong guerrillas make a rocket attack in the heart of Saigon.

1968 -- US: Students in Berkeley are arrested; a student protest is held in New York; an attack on an ROTC center occurs in Baltimore — the old world seems to be "on the ropes."
Further details / context, click here[Details / context]

1969 -- US: Supreme Court overturns Timothy Leary's conviction for crossing from México to Texass with marijuana & overturns two anti-marijuana laws.

1970 -- England: Wembley Conservative Association firebombed. One of many attacks in England & France during this year, many believed attributable to the anarchist 'The Angry Brigade' or similar anarchist groups.

1975 -- India: Farm truck packed with a wedding party struck by a train, killing 66 in the truck, 40 miles south of Poona.

1976 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Poet Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first black woman inducted into the US National Institute of Arts & Letters.

1977 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Germany: Baader-Meinhof Group revolutionaries, including Andreas Baader, are jailed for life.

1984 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Canada: Newspaper workers end a 2-month strike of Vancouver Sun & Province.

1985 -- France: The whole of Montpellier prison is wrecked & inmates battle it out with the CRS riot police, while outside a sympathetic mob attack the flics from the rear.
Source: [Calendar Riots]

1986 -- South African Army raids Botswana & Zambia.

Nancy Reagan lap-dancing Mr. T at Xmas
1986 -- US: Columnist Nicholas von Hoffman expresses skepticism about Nancy Reagan's anti-drug campaign. Noting the First Lady's "dead eyes & death mask smile," he asks,

"Can you think of a well-known American with less chance to influence the green-haired, angel-dusted, coke-sniffing teen-agers prancing through the school corridors than this prissy inanimate lady?"

1988 -- England: Tomcat Wilberforce, "Best Mouser in Britain," & companion to four prime ministers, dies at age 15.

1989 -- Trinidadian Marxist philosopher C.L.R. James dies. Author of The Black Jacobins (1938), Breaking a Boundary (1963), & volumes of essays involving class & race antagonism, West Indian self-determination, cricket, Marxism, & aesthetics.

... candidates for the Universal Republic are bound together by the fact that they work together on a whaling-ship. They are a world federation of modern industrial workers.

They owe allegiance to no nationality. There are Americans among them, but it is the officers who are American. Among the crew nobody is anything. They owe no allegiance to anybody or anything except the work they have to do & the relations with one another on which that work depends. & we may add that they are not to be confused with any labour movement or what is today known as the solidarity of labour.

      — C.L.R. James, Mariners, Renegades & Castaways


1990 -- Source=Robert Braunwart US: Culver City, California school bans "Little Red Riding Hood" (news report). [We suspect it's because of her porn photos — ed.]

1991 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Kuwait: A man is given 15 years in prison for wearing a Saddam T-shirt.

1992 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Nigeria: Third day of fighting between Christians & Muslims — 300 deaths.

1992 -- Source=Robert Braunwart US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader VP Quayle attacks TV character Murphy Brown for having a baby out of wedlock.

1993 -- Source=Robert Braunwart England: Big Ben clock stops running, at 6:11 p.m.

1996 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Palestine: The Palestinian authority arrests rights activist Dr. Eyad R. Sararaj.

1997 -- Colombia: Two international human rights workers, Mario Calderon & Elsa Alvarado, plus Alvarado's parents, are shot dead in Bogota by paramilitaries.

1997 -- US: "Art & Revolution" anti-corporate procession unexpectedly parades through downtown Seattle with hundreds of dancers, giant puppets, stilt-walkers, street theatre participants & general spectacle.

2002 -- Spain: Anti-Capitalist Globalization March, Madrid.

Pinball machine
2161 -- Outer Space: You Should Live So Long? Syzygy: 8 of 9 planets align on same side of sun.

All are stacked against you.

Yes, you, you misaligned (mal)content!

3000 --

Children ask such obvious dumb questions:

"Why can you buy stuff with real money but not with play money. They're both just pieces of paper."

Monk at the piano
3500 --

anti-CopyRite 1997-3000, more or less
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