Thursday, August 09, 2012

On This Day in Radical, Anarchist, Literary History

Selected highlights for August 9th from The Daily Bleed, compiled and created by Recollection Books


Investigator of the paranormal, Poet of the damned.

Gloucestershire, England: CRANHAM FEAST. Parade, feasting, bowling for pigs, coconut shying, dancing. 


ST. LAURENCE (BIDS WAGES): working for St. Laurence is a customary excuse for skiving off work tomorrow. Enjoy yourself this evening & fear not the consequences.
 1593 -- Izaak Walton lives to fish, Stafford, England. Author of The Compleat Angler, a classic guide to joys of fishing which has had over 300 printings.
Walton drew his work on Nicholas Breton's fishing idyll Wits Trenchmour (1597).
"His landscapes are enameled like the meadows about the feet of Medieval saints. His innkeepers are both gentle & jovial. His barmaids are as wholesome as the ale they serve."

— Kenneth Rexroth, Classics Revisited 

1631 -- Poet/critic John Dryden lives. At the vicarage of Aldwinkle All Saints, Northamptonshire, England.

1779 -- US: General Clinton & 1,500 American troops break a dam to flood Iroquois towns & fields in upstate New York; troops then burn & ravage settlements for 12 days. 

What we like to call "civilizing the savages..." 

1792 -- France: The revolutionary Commune is established in Paris. 

1842 -- Novelist Herman Melville escapes from the Typee Valley cannibals with whom he has spent a month in captivity in the Marquesas Islands.
1851 -- US: Cathlamet tribe cede lands at mouth of Columbia where Fort Astoria & Fort George had stood, in exchange for food. Another area tribe, the Clatskaniene, sign a treaty ceding their northwest Oregon land; the treaty was never ratified.

1855 -- México: Battle of Acapulco during Mexican Liberal uprising.

1874 -- American paranormal chronicler Charles Fort lives, Albany, New York.
Fort, father of the modern study of strange phenomena, had many views about blood falls which he discussed at length in his writings. In his first book, The Book of the Damned, he wrote the following bizarrely lyrical passage about red rains:
"Or that our whole solar system is a living thing: that showers of blood upon this earth are its internal hemorrhages — Or vast living things in the sky, as there are vast living things in the oceans — Or some one especial thing: an especial time; an especial place. A thing the size of the Brooklyn Bridge. It's alive in outer space — something the size of Central Park kills it — It drips."
1889 -- Charles Cros dies. French poet, inventor of the phonograph.

Charles Cros, the inventor of the phonograph, was the most popular poet-singer of this kind in mid-nineteenth-century Paris, & his poems spoke for a way of life completely unassimilable by the money-crazy, hypocritical, debauched, & puritanical society of Louis Napoleon’s gimcrack Second Empire.

It is out of people like Charles Cros, simple, sensuous, lyrical, & sarcastic, that poets like Verlaine come, & all of those that he, Verlaine, first called “poètes maudits,” the cursed, the outcast poets, Germain Nouveau, Arthur Rimbaud, Alfred Jarry, Tristan Corbière, Jean Richepin.

All of these poets are still sung.

— Kenneth RexrothSubversive Aspects of Popular Songs
 1892 -- US: A group of Hatfields tie three McCoys who'd killed a Hatfield in an election day brawl the previous day to a tree & shoot them; the killings send the legendary feud into high gear, Pike County, Kentucky.

1914 -- Tove Jansson lives. Swedish-Finnish artist & children's book writer, famous for Moomintrolls which have found friends world wide.
Her father was sculptor Viktor Jansson & mother drawer Signe Hammarten Jansson. Studied art in Helsinki, Stockholm & Paris, worked as a cartoonist & illustrator.
Also wrote plays set in the Momin Valley, adult fiction, short stories & memoirs. Among her illustrated fantasy works for other authors are translated editions of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in WonderlandThe Hunting of the Snark& J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
See other fantasy worlds: C.S. Lewis (Narnia), J.R.R. Tolkien (Middle-Earth), Lewis Carroll's Wonderland.
 1922 -- British poet Philip Larkin lives. Became the unofficial British poet laureate, a racist who wrote of stringing up strikers.

1927 -- US: Louis Armstrong records "Chicago Breakdown." 

1930 -- US: Betty Boop lives! Boop-Boop-de-doo!
A cartoon character named Betty Boop debuts in Max Fleischer's animated cartoon "Dizzy Dishes."

Created by Grim Natwick, Betty Boop is originally a female dog with a secondary role. Over time, her popularity grows & she becomes the main star & is given a human form.

Lincoln Steffins

1936 -- US: Lincoln Steffens dies. Muckraking journalist & author, born in San Francisco; wrote about city & state government corruption (The Shame of the CitiesAutobiography).

1936 -- Germany: African American Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. Hitler & his superrace are not pleased.

1938 -- EG, anarchist feministEmma Goldman offers IISH (International Institute of Social History) her unpublished sketches & large collection of newspaper clippings as well as Alexander Berkman's diary. She agrees to help IISH obtain other collections of personal papers from her circle of anarchist friends. Several hundred dollars from anarchists in New York & Chicago were sent to her to pay for travel expenses. 

1944 -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery reported missing on a flight over France. 

1945 -- Japan: Coffee, Tea or Me?: American "Fat Boy" drops in, Nagasaki. About 70,000 civilians die immediately. Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Harry Truman drops the bomb to prove to Russia he's tough, & gets the Cold War arms race off to a healthy start.

Richard Feynman was only 24 when he started working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Feynman had written that there were four main questions that needed to be answered before the work could progress
1. How big must the bombs be? What is the critical mass for the material needed?
2. What materials would best serve as a tamper? (A reflection devise to keep all of the neutrons focused on the uranium or plutonium.)
3. How pure would the uranium have to be? (How much work was needed at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee facility?)
4. How much of a shock wave, heat, & light would a nuclear explosion create? 

(from James Gleick, Genius: The Life & Science of Richard Feynman, Pantheon Books, 1992, p. 165).
"The worst was when electrical & telephone wires got twisted around people's legs & they couldn't escape ... & they died in that position, fallen to their knees."
— Yosuke Yamahata

In 1999 a New Mexico Museum reports their bestselling curios are the Fat Boy Bomb earrings.
1960 -- Timothy Leary, 39, tries psilocybin mushrooms in Cuernavaca. 
1962 -- Hermann Hesse dies. German poet/novelist, depicted the duality of spirit & nature, body versus mind & individual's spiritual search outside restrictions of the society. Winner of the 1946 Nobel Prize for Literature. Worked in several jobs, as a bookshop clerk, as a mechanic & as a book dealer in Tübingen, where he joined literary circle called Le Petit Cénacle. 

There is a scene in Herman Hesse's novel, Steppenwolf, where protagonist Harry Haller is invited to attend an:
"Anarchist Evening at the Magic Theatre
For Madmen Only
Price of Admission Your Mind"
 1964 -- Source=Robert Braunwart Songsters Joan Baez & Bob Dylan first share a stage, Forest Hills, NY.

1966 -- US: 200 stage sit-in at New York City offices of Dow Chemical to protest use of napalm in Vietnam.
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
1969 -- US: Manson cult kills five in Los Angeles. Three men & two women, including Sharon Tate & Abigail Folger, found gruesomely murdered in Los Angeles by the "family" of cult leader Charles Manson.
 1971 -- Ireland: British reintroduce internment without trial to Northern Ireland.
Responding to increased activity by the Irish Republican Army, emergency powers of preventive detention without trial are invoked. Begin arresting suspected leaders of the outlawed guerrilla force. By December, more than 1,500 people are in prison. Many IRA inmates, known as "blanket men," refuse clothing & smear their cell walls with excrement after prison authorities deny their political status. During a demonstration in Derry against the arrests, British troops shoot 13 civilians.
1985 -- US: Seven people arrested for blockading the gate to Pantex Nuclear Weapons Assembly Plant, Amarillo, Texass.

1987 -- US: Hundreds arrested in all-day blockade of Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, Golden, Colorado. 

1989 -- US: Twenty-two anti-nuclear activists arrested for trespassing at Nevada Test Site in 110+ degree heat.

1991 -- US: Hundreds of people storm abortion clinic in Kansas protesting new law prohibiting the blocking of access to clinics by pro-life demonstrators.

1992 -- Source=Robert Braunwart England: Gays dressed as nuns disrupt Catholic services at Westminster.

1993 -- Canada: RCMP arrests 300 in protests, begun this summer, against clearcutting of temperate rainforest. Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island. 12,000 people participate in a peaceful blockade & 856 are arrested.

1995 -- Grateful Dead singer, guitarist & spiritual leader Jerry Garcia dies of a heart attack while undergoing drug rehabilitation. He was 53.
"Garcia later!"

2003 -- Canada: Clayoquot Ten Year Anniversary Gathering. Hundreds of Clayoquot arrestees return to the ancient rainforests of Clayoquot Sound this summer to mark the 10-year anniversary of the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience in Canadian history.

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