Our Daily Bleed...
At last I thought the day calmed
its own profanities. The clouds, contempt,
the site made thunderbolts by love’s phrases,
tableware, oil, sweet odors, was all
a cunning propitiation of the enemy,
and I discovered later floating over
the drowned tribes, links of foam tumbling
blindly against the sides of a ship.
– Alí Chumacero, excerpt, "The Wanderings of the Tribe,"
translated by William Carlos Williams
Kyrgystani novelist, diplomat, sly Stalinist critic.
Mexico: FIESTA OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE, greatest of the great Mexican fiestas. Not only is the Virgin patroness of the Mexican Revolution, but has absorbed the cult of the Aztec goddess of earth & of corn. Vestiges of the Aztec ceremonies persist in this fiesta.
Arizona: Hopi Indians begin eight-day-long FAREWELL TO AUTUMN.
Polynesia: FEAST OF REKAREKA, God of Pleasure.
USA: NATIONAL DING-A-LING DAY.
627 -- Byzantine Emperor Heraclius I defeats the Persians at Nineveh. This is the last battle fought between the Roman & the Persian Empires.
881 -- Charles the Fat of Alemannia is crowned emperor by Pope John VIII (-888), briefly reuniting the empire of Charlemagne.
1098 -- First Crusaders capture & plunder (like only good christians can), Mara, Syria.
1398 -- India: Tamerlane massacres 100,000 Hindu prisoners at Delhi.
1531 -- Appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico.
1731 -- Erasmus Darwin lives, Nottinghamshire, England. Turned down an invitation to be a physician to the King. A natural philosopher, physiologist, slave trade abolitionist, inventor & poet.
1776 -- Continental Congress, fearing a British attack on Philadelphia is imminent, votes dictatorial powers to George Washington & flees to Baltimore.
"Let Congress take care of the Rich, & the Rich will take care of the Poor."
— Daniel Webster
1792 -- Cheap at twice the price?: Beethoven pays Haydn 19 cents for his first music lesson.
1812 -- Death of Sacajaweya, native guide for Lewis & Clark Expedition.
1812 -- England: Luddites.
Home Office notified of a Congress of Woolcombers to be held in Aug 1813 at Coventry.
Source: [Luddite Chronology]
1821 -- French writer Gustave Flaubert lives, Rouen. See Kenneth Rexroth's Classics Revisited.
GUSTAVE FLAUBERT 1998 Patron Saint
Dedicated his life to writing the perfect sentence.
1830 -- US: State of Georgia makes it unlawful for Cherokee to meet in council — unless it is for the purpose of "giving" land to whites.
1830 -- England: When Swing rioters set fires outside Carlisle, a mob assembles to prevent them being extinguished by throwing buckets into the flames, cutting the pipes, harangues & general obstructionism.
Source: [Calendar Riots]
1838 -- Got Connections? US & British opium dealers try to prevent the execution of a Cantonese opium dealer, leading to large anti-foreign demonstrations.
1863 -- Yikes?: Norwegian printmaker/painter Edvard Munch screams for first time. One of the hordes of smiley-faced-Scandinavians.
Illness, insanity & death are the black angels that kept watch over my cradle & accompanied me all my life.
— Edvard Munch
1874 -- England: Disraeli wants Queen Victoria to bestow honors & pension upon Thomas Carlyle. The aged writer refuses: "titles of honour, of all degrees, are out of keeping with the tenor of my poor life."
1874 -- Volter Kilpi lives. Finno-Swedish essayist/novelist. A pioneer of Finnish modernist literature.
They found no clue to home or name,
But tied with ribbon blue
They found a package, & it held
A baby's tiny shoe.
Half worn & old, a button off,
It seemed a sacred thing:
With reverence they wrapped it close
& tied the faded string...
— excerpt, "The Dead Tramp"
from The Alarm, December 12, 1885. Vol.II, no.9.
1889 -- Robert Browning, 77, dies in Venice on the day "Asolando" is published in England. Since the little cemetery where his wife has lain for 28 years is closed to further burials, he is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Best link of the day has to be "Find a Grave" (Nummer 1 son says I have weird connections):
1899 -- George F. Grant of Boston patents golf tees.
1900 -- US Negro anthem "Lift Every Voice & Sing" is composed, by J. Rosamond Johnson & author James Weldon Johnson.
1907 -- Zulu King Dinizulu surrenders to British.
1909 -- US: Anarchist-feminist Emma Goldman speaks on "Will the Vote Free Woman: Woman Suffrage" to an audience of 300 women, many of whom are suffragists. A collection is taken for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, recently sentenced to a three-month prison term resulting from her arrest during a free-speech battle in Spokane, Washington.
Another of her famed lectures is "White Slave Traffic," which she delivers in NY City on the 26th, before embarking on her western tour.
1912 -- Henry Armstrong lives. The only boxer to hold world titles in three weight classes simultaneously.
1915 -- Ford Madox Hueffer [Ford] writes his poem "What the Orderly Dog Saw."
1916 -- US: Dr. Ben Reitman arrested in Cleveland for organizing volunteers to distribute birth control information at Emma Goldman's lecture "Is Birth Control Harmful — a Discussion of the Limitation of Offspring."
1918 -- Joe Williams, jazz singer, lives.
1921 -- Henrietta Leavitt cepheid period-luminosity relation discoverer, dies.
1925 -- US: World's first motel ("motor hotel") opens San Luis Obispo, California.
1927 -- US: Bill Clinton?!? Oklahoma Governor Henry Johnston calls out state troops to prevent legislators from conducting an impeachment hearing against him.
1928 -- Helen Frankenthaler, lives — can't be a saint but paints like an abstract angel.
1928 -- Kyrgystani novelist, diplomat Ghingiz Aitmatov lives, Sheker Tallaskoi.
1929 -- John Osborne, playwright, lives to look back in anger. Argued for the cleansing wisdom of bad behavior & bad taste, & combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit.
1934 -- US: During this month Harper's publishes Emma Goldman's "Was My Life Worth Living?" & Roger Baldwin advises Emma that in the current atmosphere of hostility toward alien radicals she is unlikely to be granted a US visa. Today her brother Herman dies.
1937 -- US: The FCC scolds the NBC radio network for a skit that starred Mae West. The satirical routine was based on the biblical tale of Adam & Eve &, well, it got a bit out of hand. So... following its scolding, NBC banned Miss West from its airwaves for 15 years. In fact, even the mere mention of her name on NBC was a no-no.
1938 -- England: John McNair of the ILP & Emma Goldman speak at a poorly attended meeting in London on the crisis in Spain.
Emma Goldman spends much of the month in London completing a report on her visit to Spain for the anarchist press...
[Details / context]
1941 -- France: German occupying army do a house search in Paris looking for Jews.
1941 -- Author Colette's husband, Maurice Goudeket, is arrested by the Germans (-1942).
1944 -- US: ¶ Edie Parker & Joan Vollmer move into communal apartment at 419 West 115th Street in New York. Beatsters Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg & William Burroughs end up living at the apartment, & Herbert Huncke is a frequent visitor.
1946 -- US: Cold Storage? Ice plant collapses, shearing a tenement building & burying 38.
1950 -- US: Washington's Sulgrave Club is scene of a brawl between columnist Drew Pearson & Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Said McCarthy: "I slapped him hard."
Said Pearson: "The Senator kicked me twice in the groin."
The altercation took place in the men's room while Senator Richard M. Nixon looked on helplessly.
Drew Pearson is most remembered for his syndicated column "Washington Merry-Go-Round," written nowadays by Jack Anderson, but Pearson also owned a Potomac dairy farm & sold manure in bags that read:
"Better Than the Column — All Cow, No Bull."
— BleedsterScottL, from deep in the stacks of the Library of Congress
1957 -- US: A Real Flake? The controversy over Elvis's Christmas Album rages on. Disc Jockey Al Priddy of KEX, Portland, Oregon is fired for violating the radio station's ban against playing Presley's rendition of "White Christmas."
1957 -- US announces manufacture of Borazon. Yummy!
1958 -- US: Rev. Maurice McCrackin sentenced to six months in jail for refusing to provide subpoenaed financial documents relating to his war tax resistance. Cincinnati, Ohio.
1959 -- Krishnammachari Srikkanth chirps. Famous cricketer.
1962 -- US: Hizzoner George Chacharis of Gary, Indiana pleads guilty to income tax invasion.
An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, stays bought.
— Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Simon Cameron (Abe Lincoln's Secretary of War)
1963 -- Kenya gains independence from Britain (National Day).
1964 -- US: Solidarity Bookstore opens, Chicago, Illinois, distributing anarchist, surrealist, Wobbly & libertarian socialist literature to the nation for the next 10 years or so. Participants include Penelope & Franklin Rosemont.
“Never doubt that dreams can change the world, in fact, they are the only thing that can.”
— Leonora Carrington
1965 -- US: First pad abort of a manned spacecraft after the engines were fired (Gemini 6).
1967 -- Barred?: A London Appeals Court commutes Brian Jones' nine-month prison stay for possession of cannabis after hearing testimony from three psychiatrists that Jones is "an extremely frightened young man" & could not stand nine months for his boner possession of a vegetable.
1969 -- Italy: Bomb explodes, Banque Nationale d'Agriculture, Milan. 18 die, many injured.
A period of social upheaval, it triggers repression against the autonomy movement & anarchists. Authorities later admit the bombing was the work of fascists. Italian Intelligence & fascist army units (created by US Army from Mussolini's Intelligence) were making bomb attacks & pretending they were by anarchists. See for example, the murder of the railwayman/anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli by police (15 December) & the false arrest of Pietro Valpreda.
"Stai attento, indiziato Pinelli,
questa stanza é giá piena di fumo,
se tu insisti, apriam la finestra,
quattro piani son duri da far."
— "Ballata per l'anarchico Pinelli," attributed to L.Francisci-Anonymous, Eliseo.
Pinelli was also the focus of the play, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, by Dario Fo
[Details / context]
1973 -- US: Women members of United Steelworkers of America (Local 1066) protest sex discrimination, Gary, Indiana. (& just who named the town "Gary," eh?)
1978 -- France: Suicide of Christian Lagant (b.1926). After passing through the surrealist & "Auberges de jeunesses" movements, Lagant hitches up with the French Anarchist Federation (FAF) & contributes to Libertaire. After a falling out, he helped found "Groupes Anarchistes d'Action Révolutionnaires" (GAAR) in 1955 & collaborated on their review, Noir et Rouge.
12 décembre 1978, mort volontaire de Christian LAGANT. Militant anarchiste français. Ce révolté et éternel dissident est né en 1926. Après un passage par le surréalisme et le mouvement des "Auberges de jeunesses," il milite à Paris dans le groupe du 18e arrondissement de la "Fédération Anarchiste Française" (FAF) et collabore par la plume et le crayon au "Libertaire." Lors de la scission de 1953, il intègre la nouvelle "Fédération Communiste Libertaire" (FCL), mais rentre à nouveau en dissidence avec Georges Fontenis et quitte cette organisation après l'exclusion du groupe Kronstad. En 1955, il participe à la création des "Groupes Anarchistes d'Action Révolutionnaires" (GAAR) et collabore activement durant une quizaine d'année à leur revue "Noir et Rouge."
1979 -- NATO decides to deploy cruise & Pershing missiles across Europe. Annual protests follow.
1980 -- Whip It Good?: Devo's "Whip it" turns gold. The song is misinterpreted to be an ode to masturbation but the group disagrees. Jerry Casale said, "We were writing a can-do, self-help song. Whip it — as in whip it into shape." Duh....
1982 -- England: 30,000 women encircle US cruise missile base, Greenham Common.
1983 -- US: Tacoma, Washington declares refusal to do business with nuclear weapons manufacturers. Or, Takoma Park, Maryland becomes first US city to announce refusal to do business with nuclear weapon manufacturers. Who knows....
1983 -- US: 70 people arrested in Boston outside a hotel where a "New Trends in Missiles" trade conference is being held. Inside the hotel, over 1,000 cockroaches are let loose to symbolize the likely survivors of nuclear war.
1985 -- Rolling Stones' pianist Ian Stewart dies.
1986 -- West Germany: Plowshares activists disarm Pershing missile launcher.
1986 -- Microlite aircraft circles world non-stop.
1988 -- Navy practice missile hits topside of an Indian freighter, kills a crewman. Fired at a target ship, its guidance system locked onto the merchant vessel Jagvivek instead.
1988 -- England: A commuter train stopped to notify control of a malfunctioning signal is hit by a second train; the wreckage blocks an adjacent track & is struck by a third train; 33 die, London.
1995 -- US: Bad Call?: NBA referees return to work after striking.
1999 -- Author Joseph Heller, dead at 76. Now with the Snowdens of Yesteryear.
2000 -- Turkey: 200 rights protesters arrested before they can demonstrate.
2002 -- Dee Brown dies, age 94, Little Rock, Arkansas. Author of the 1971 bestseller Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee & respected historian of the American West. Brown wrote 29 books in his long career but his classic account of Manifest Destiny from the American Indian's point-of-view, gleaned from the records of treaty meetings, massacres & tribal histories, was the hallmark.
2002 -- Korea: North Korea says it will reopen its nuclear-power plants, after the US reneged on its 1994 agreement to supply fuel oil as a substitute. Apparently the US is too busy feeding its own SUVs to worry about North Ikeas....
2002 -- Nicaragua: Congress strips Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader ex-Pres. Arnoldo Aleman of immunity so he can stand trial for stealing $100 million.
2004 -- Spain: 300 people gather on a Sunday morning in a simple & touching act of tribute in memory of Concha Monrás & Ramón Acín Aquilué (anarcho-syndicalist, writer & avant-garde artist), consisting of an inauguration plate at a house where they lived when rounded up & shot by fascists in the summer of 1936. 300 personas quisieron participar en la mañana del domingo en el sencillo y emotivo acto de homenaje y recuerdo a Concha Monrás Casas y a Ramón Acín Aquilué, consistente en la inauguración de una placa en la casa de la calle Las Cortes n°3 de Huesca, donde vivieron y de donde fueron sacad@s a golpes para ser fusilad@s en el verano de 1936
Militant anarcho-syndicalist, writer & avant-garde artist. Involved with the C.N.T., imprisoned for his support of political prisoners, & forced into exile for his involvement in attempted uprisings.
Ramón Acin & his partner Conchita Monrás are among the many rounded up & shot by the fascists in their effort to take over the country in 1936.
2004 -- US: Washington Post reports the Bush administration used wire taps to intercept a number of phone conversations of Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency in hope of finding information that would help remove ElBaradei from his post.
2009 -- Denmark: Police detain 900 people after thousands gather in Copenhagen to demand more action on climate change & global warming honchos at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
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