Quote of the Day
The past revolutions show us only too well: “the red flag can be waved against the red flag” until the freikorps arrive.
— Theorie Communiste
Word of the Day Top-Down
— Denoting a system in which actions are initiated at the top of a hierarchy. One might think the opposite to be "bottom-up," but this still assumes an "up"; many grass-roots initiatives make this error, attempting to exert leverage through political channels rather than developing the power to achieve their goal autonomously. Better simply to topple pyramids than to attempt to defy gravity. 1553
— Francois Rabelais dies, Paris France. His last will states:
"I have nothing. I owe much. I leave the rest to the poor." 1626
— Death of Francis Bacon, statesman/philosopher. 1754
— New Old World: Letter from Indian slave trader to South Carolina Governor J. Glenn asking for permission to use one group of Indians to fight another:
"We want no pay, only what we can take & plunder, & what slaves we take to be our own." 1802
— Elias Lönnrot lives (1802 - 1884). Collector of folklore, linguist, medical doctor, professor in Finnish philology. Compiler of the Finnish national epic Kalevala for which he traveled among the Lapps, the Estonians & the Finnish for about 10 years interviewing & writing down their stories, poems & songs.
He also compiled a Finnish-Swedish dictionary & began the first magazine in Finnish, Mehiläinen
(The Bee). Not enough: he also wrote & arranged psalms. 1821
— Charles Baudelaire lives (1821-1867), Paris.
One of the great 19th century French poets, who formed with Stéphane Mallarmé & Paul Verlaine the so-called Decadents. His translations of Edgar Allan Poe made Poe better known in France than the US. He became addicted to opium & hashish, & contracted syphilis, which proved lethal, while in law school.
When his Les Fleur du Mal
appeared in 1857 all — author, publisher, & printer — are prosecuted & found guilty of obscenity & blasphemy.
After a lecture tour in Belgium he became seriously ill & died in Paris in his mother's arms.
"Genius is childhood recaptured." 1834
— France: In Lyon, the insurrection of the Silk workers begins. It is the beginning of the "Sanglante semaine" (Bloody Week). 1839
— Eadweard Muybridge, pioneered study of motion in photography, lives, Kingston upon Thames, England. 1859
— US: Caution? Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) is licensed as a Mississippi steamboat pilot in St. Louis after his two-year apprenticeship. 1865
— US: Civil War ends with Lee's surrender at the Appomattox courthouse. Over 500,000 lay dead (out of a 35 million population). 1866
— US: Congress passes a bill — over the veto of Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Andrew Johnson — guaranteeing the same civil rights to all persons born in the US (citizenship for all — except Indians, of course). The prez is empowered to use the Army to enforce the law. 1874
— US: Crapshoot? Muckleshoot Indian Reservation established (Washington State). (The casino came much later.) 1877
— Louis Rimbault, French anarchiste & vegetarian, lives (1877-1949). 1879
— William Claude Dukenfield, a.k.a. W. C. Fields, lives (or Jan 29?).
"Taint a fit night out for man nor beast..." 1880
— Maria Jotuni (1880 - 1943) lives, Kuopio. Novelist, playwright, one of the classic feminist authors in Finland. Jotuni was influenced by postnaturalism & impressionism, expressed in her choice of form: short stories, fragments of prose, impressions & dialog. She often shows society from a woman's point of view, as in her major novel, Huojuva Talo
— France: During this month, début de la parution, à Paris, sous la direction de Jean Grave, de la deuxième série de l'organe anarchiste Le Révolté
— France: Hunger revolt in Lyons. 1898
— US: American Renaissance man Paul Robeson lives, Princeton, New Jersey. Football star, actor, singer, black liberation fighter.
During the Cold War, Robeson was not allowed to leave the Land of the Free & the Blacklist virtually destroyed his career. (Oddly, seemingly the same rightwingers who deny the Holocaust ever happened also deny existence of the Blacklist.)
Exiled communist, with a voice so international that it could be heard on the only juke box in the only public bar in the only hotel in Ulan Bator, Mongolia during the bad old days of Stalinism.
He renounced his US citizenship. 1908
— US: Beloved & Respected Comrade leader President Teddy Roosevelt investigates legality of not only barring anarchist propaganda that advocates political violence, but also prosecuting those who produce the material. 1914
— Admiral Henry T. Mayo, acting on his own, provokes an international incident by demanding a special 21-gun salute from Mexicans at Tampico. To save face Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Woodrow Wilson sent an American fleet to Veracruz, & occupied the city in retaliation for the arrest of US sailors in Tampico.
"They sell a little image of us in the markets of Mexico, with a bowie knife in one side of the girdle, & a Colt's revolver in the other, a huge loaf of bread in the left hand, & a slave whip in the right. That is America!"
— Wendell Phillips 1915
— US: Frank Abarno & Carmine Carbone, members of the Italian anarchist Gruppo Gaetano Bresci, accused of planting bombs in St. Patrick's Cathedral & the Church of St. Alphonsus on the five year anniversary (October 13, 1914) of the execution of Francisco Ferrer, are today sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison. 1917
— English poet, Edward Thomas, dies in Arras, France. 1918
— Russia: In Moscow, anarchist black guards confiscate the car of the American ambassador.
The car is seized in an effort to effect the release of political prisoners & trade union militants imprisoned in America. This action serves as a pretext for the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, to mount a sweeping attack on the anarchists on the night of April 11. 1919
— Bavaria: Spartacus League attempts a military coup d'etat
against Bavarian Councils Republic to establish a "proletarian dictatorship." 1919
— Bavaria: Second Bavarian Councils Republic destroyed by "Freikorps" under orders of Social-Democratic government. 1919
— John Presper Eckert, co-inventor of first electronic computer (ENIAC), lives. 1919
— The 8th 'Dada-Soirée', at the 'Kaufleuten-Saal.' During a reading of Walter Serner the audience begins with interjections & finally some of them attack the stage. The whole auditorium is in commotion & Dada-Zurich ends in tumult & chaos — just as it began. 1927
— US: Massachusetts: Death sentences for "those anarchistic bastards" (quote from the trial Judge Thayer during the trial) Nicolas Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti are upheld.
...America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die...
— Allen Ginsberg 1928
— The 20th century's greatest living American classical composer, arranger, musician, singer: Folk singer, protester Tom Lehrer lives.
I'd like to take you now, on wings of song as it were, & try & help you forget for a while your drab, wretched lives.
— Tom Lehrer, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" 1930
— High Seas: IWW organizes 1700 member crew on the Leviathan, then the world's largest vessel. 1932
— Yippie! The 20th century's greatest living American journalist, The Realist
editor Paul Krassner, lives! Accompanied Groucho Marx on his first LSD trip, cofounder of the Youth International Party. Yippie!! 1932
— Rock n' Roll's Carl Perkins lives, to wear Blue Suede Shoes.
"If it weren't for the rocks in its bed,
The stream would have no song."
— Carl Perkins 1936
— Italy: La Società delle Nazioni, riferendosi all'aggressione in Etiopia, accusa lo stato italiano di aver effettuato bombardamenti sulla popolazione civile, di aver condotto operazioni contro obiettivi contrassegnati dal simbolo della Croce Rossa, di aver utilizzato gas asfissianti. Sono accuse gravissime che dovrebbero spingere alla vergogna tutto il popolo italiano che, invece, continua ad esaltare lo stato fascista ed il suo duce. 1942
— Norway: Teachers returning from strike publicly reject Nazification. 1947
— US: First day of Freedom Ride, the "Journey of Reconciliation," sponsored by CORE & FOR, with white & black activists riding (otherwise) segregated buses through four southern states.
April 9-23 Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsors interstate bus ride to test June 3, 1946 Supreme Court ruling that Negro passengers can not be forced to sit at the back; Bayard Rustin, of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Igal Roodenko, & Joseph Felmet serve 30 days on a chain gang. Lynchings in the south have reached 1918 levels, as Negro G.I.s return, talk of getting the rights they fought for. 1948
— Colombia: If they do not kill him, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán will be president.
Buy him, they cannot. To what temptation will he succumb who despises the pleasures, who is single, who eats little, drinks nothing & refuses anesthesia to remove a tooth?
The poor & ragged ones adore him, flock to hear him speak. They say when Gaitán speaks it breaks the fog in Bogota.
The arrogant caudillo, tidbit statue face, speaks the naked language of the oligarchy, sitting on the knees of the imperialistic ventriloquist — an oligarchy without its own life, its own words, mouthing agrarian reform & other truths that end a lie.
— ¡Lo mataron! ¡Lo mataron! —
In the street, three shots. Time has run out, Gaitán is left unemployed... Jorge Eliécer Gaitán is assassinated. Listening, earthquake noises, a human avalanche comes to him above. From suburbs & hills, advances a whirlwind, a hurricane of the pain & wrath comes sweeping the city, breaking show windows, upsetting street cars, setting afire buildings...
—Eduardo Galeano, Century of the Wind 1948
— Palestine: Menachem Begin's Irgun & Stern Gang terrorists murder about 120 men, women & children of the neutral Palestinian-Arab village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem (Deir Yassin massacre). 1950
— France: A group of lettrists — including Serge Berna, Jean-Louis Brau, Ghislain Desnoyers de Marbaix & Michel Mourre — perpetrates the Notre-Dame Scandal, when Mourre, dressed as a Dominican monk, reads a sermon prepared by Berna announcing the death of God at Easter mass. 1956
— US: African American songster Nat King Cole is beaten up by a group of racial segregationists in Birmingham, Alabama. 1963
— Winston Churchill, 88, is proclaimed an honorary US citizen by Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Boot-Legger's son, John. Dad Joe Kennedy, Ambassador to England & a notorious WWII right-wing defeatist, rolls in his grave. 1966
— US: Week of Angry Arts Vietnam Mobilization fund raiser at Longshoremen’s Hall, 400 North Point St., in Frisco. 1967
— US: Digger Emmett Grogan arrives in NY (6 week trip, having left someplace about March 1). 1967
— US: Second day of riots in Nashville, following Stokely Carmichael's speech at Fisk University. 1969
— US: Deanie Babies?: Harvard students take over the campus administration building, ousting the deans. 300 led by SDS seize University Hall. More action to come over next few days. 1976
— Folk singer Phil Ochs hangs himself at his sister's house, Far Rockaway, NY. 1979
— Longest doubles ping-pong match of 101 hours, begins. 1981
— Canada: Members of Big Stone Cree end a 250 mile march to Edmonton, Alberta, to highlight economic plight of Big Stone Cree in northern Alberta. 1984
— US: One day after his administration announces it will not recognize the Worlds Court's jurisdiction over the mining of Nicaraguan harbors, Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader acting President Reagan proclaims May 1 as "Law Day USA." 1986
— US: The Sam Goody record chain & top company executive are convicted of trafficking in pirated tapes. 1989
— US: Over 300,000 choice supporters march in Washington, D.C., to defend the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. A 1985 poll showed that 74 percent of the country did not believe that abortion could be outlawed again. But with the right to choose clearly in danger, agitated volunteers have inundated the National Organization for Women, the National Abortion Rights Action League, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union & the Fund for the Feminist Majority. 1992
— Comedian Sam Kinison dies when a pickup truck slams into his car on a desert road between L.A. & Las Vegas. 1995
— US: Over 100,000 at Rally For Women's Lives, Washington, DC. 1997
— Mad Cow Disease — while much of the world shuns British cows, a Cambodian newspaper suggested yesterday that the animals be shipped to Cambodia & allowed to roam free & detonate the millions of land mines littering the country. 1999
— The People's Poetry Gathering, sponsored by City Lore, is scheduled to take place all around Manhattan. (April 9-11) 2002
— Phil Ochs Tribute, Tractor Tavern in Seattle, Washington. Includes local musicians such as Baby Gramps, Reggie Garrett.
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