Our Daily Bleed...
African film director extraordinaire,
novelist, cultural genius.
NEW YEAR'S holiday in 165 nations.Old France: Traditional day for "FEAST OF FOOLS" & election of mock kings & Lords of Misrule (12-15 Century).CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST celebrated in many Christian churches.POLAR BEAR SWIM DAY.Beginning of national NATIONAL WEEK AWARENESS WEEK.JAPANESE NEW YEAR, 2655.Haiti: INDEPENDENCE DAY.Brazil: DAY OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD.Northeastern England: SWORD DANCING & MUMMERS' PLAY.SAME BLOODY MESS AS LAST YEAR DAY.
1489 -- Religious rebel Ulrich Zwingli lives, Switzerland.
1660 -- Skirting the Issues?: Samuel Pepys records the first entry in his Diary: "This morning (we lying lately in the garret) I rose, put on my suit with great skirts, having not lately worn any other clothes but them."
1714 -- Near Gumbinnen, East Prussia, one of the great Lithuanian poets & first to be appreciated outside his country, Kristijonas Donelaitis lives.
1716 -- William Wycherley, dramatist (The Country Wife), dies at about 75, in London.
1752 -- England: Today becomes the official first day of the New Year.
1781 -- Back Sliders?: Many wounded as mutinous Pennsylvania Revolutionary War troops at Morristown, New Jersey rush from their huts, seize arms, ammunition, & horses, secure six pieces of artillery, & — after subduing three regiments of loyal soldiers — march to Philadelphia to demand back pay from Congress.
1785 -- First issue of The London Times is published.
1800 -- Scotland: Socialist planner Robert Owen assumes control of mills at New Lanark.On Robert Owen, see Kenneth Rexroth's chapter in Communalism.
1804 -- Cuban Embargo?: Haitian slaves, led by Jean Jacques Desalines, declare independence. Haiti becomes first free black nation-state in the world; US refuses to recognize Haiti for the next 70 or so years.
1811 -- James Fenimore Cooper, 21, marries Susan DeLancey in Mamaroneck, New York, where Cooper is attempting to farm.
1812 -- England: Luddite property attacks on the Notts/ Derbyshire border.
The Stan Iverson Archives has three pages on Luddites:
1819 -- Arthur Hugh Clough lives, Liverpool. Victorian poet & pal of Matthew Arnold. While studying at Oxford to become a clergyman, he becomes increasingly a skeptic & leaves the university to become head of University Hall, London. At the invitation of Ralph Waldo Emerson, he lectured for several months in Massachusetts in 1852.
1831 -- US: First issue of The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist paper. Garrison promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the US & was a prominent voice for the women's suffrage movement.
1832 -- US: First meeting of the New England Anti-Slavery Society.
1834 -- US: "On the first of January, 1834, I left Mr. Covey, & went to live with Mr. William Freeland, who lived about three miles from St. Michael's. I soon found Mr. Freeland a very different man from Mr. Covey. Though not rich, he was what would be called an educated southern gentleman. Mr. Covey, as I have shown, was a well-trained negro-breaker & slave-driver." Life changes in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, an autobiographical account of slavery by Frederick Douglass.
"Who would be free themselves must strike the blow...I urge you to fly to arms & smite to death the power that would bury the Government & your liberty in the same hopeless grave. This is your golden opportunity."
— Frederick Douglass
1842 -- Afghanistan: Afghan guerrillas defeat the British imperial army at Kabul.
1853 -- US: First practical fire engine (horse-drawn) in America enters service.
1854 -- James Frazer, author of The Golden Bough, lives, Glasgow.
Strange: January Fortean Events Third fall of reddish rain in exact same quarter of Siena (see also Dec. 28, 31, 1860) [Year Book of Facts, 1861-273]
1863 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in all rebel states. Kids, memorize this one?:
"I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social & political equality of the white & black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to inter-marry with white people...& I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."
— Abe Lincoln, 1858, two months after declaring he was opposed to "inferiority" of races.
1867 -- Charles Edward Montague, lives, Twickenham, Middlesex. English novelist, journalist, & man of letters noted for writings published in the Manchester Guardian. Wrote a pre-war novel, A Hind Let Loose (1910) & two works based upon his experiences in WWI: Disenchantment (1922; "War hath no fury like a non-combatant.") & Fiery Particles (1923).
1875 -- US: Women weavers form a union in Fall River, Massachusetts.
1879 -- US: Hobo King & whorehouse doctor, anarchist, & one-time lover of Emma Goldman, Ben Reitman, lives.
1879 -- E. M. Forster (A Passage to India; Howard's End) lives, London.
1881 -- France: Paris Commune leader Louis-Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881) dies, Paris. A huge crowd attends his funeral. Among delegates & labor figures, anarchiste Louise Michel pays a lively homage to him.Louise Michel, qui prend la parole au cours de nombreux meetings depuis son retour en France assiste aux obsèques de Blanqui dont elle prononce l'éloge funèbre.
Daily Bleed Patron Saint 2002-04Chief architect of the historic Paris Commune of 1871.
1883 -- Chile: Last peace talks held between natives & non-natives at Villarrica, forces Araucanians onto reservation in southern Chile.
1889 -- Nietzsche has a nervous breakdown seeing a horse whipped by cab driver.
"...this time however I come as the victorious Dionysus, who will turn the world into a holiday...Not that I have much time..."
— Nietzsche (from his last "insane" letter to Cosima Wagner)
1894 -- Italy: Gibellina la manifestazione contro il dazio si traduce in 20 morti e diverse decine di feriti; Pietraperzia (EN) pochi giorni dopo i fatti di Gibellina nel corso della manifestazione di protesta sul dazio vengono uccisi 8 contadini e 15 vengono feriti. / A protest against the custom office results in 20 dead & many others wounded.
1895 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader J. Edgar Hoover, "Mr FBI" & one of the world's most famous cross-dressing (dress code?) blackmailers, lives. See 3 October 1955, 18 November & 21 December for some of his finer crime-buster moments.
"All my humor is based on destruction & despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease & violence, I'd be standing in the breadline — right back of J. Edgar Hoover."
— Lenny Bruce
1895 -- England: Rudolf Rocker arrives in London. German militant who became deeply involved in the Federation of Jewish Anarchists, a movement larger than the native British anarchist movement.
Mass meetings were held in the Great Assembly Hall in Mile End & in the Wonderland in Whitechapel, attended by thousands, sometimes five, six, seven thousand. Not Jewish & unable to read Yiddish, little did Rocker suspect that in a few short years he would be editor of "Arbeter Fraint" & immersed in the movement for the next 20 years.
1895 -- Benjamin Otalora, the main character in Jorge Luis Borges' story "El Muerto" (The Dead Man), is killed.
1898 -- Brazil: First Rio Grande do Sul State Congress, January 1-2.
This congress brings together delegates from 10 associations, a periodical & an anarchist group. It is the first formal meeting of workers to take up social ideas in Brazil.
Source: [Arquivo de História Social]
1900 -- England: Emma Goldman attends a Russian New Year party in London where she meets notable Russian revolutionary exiles, including L.B. Goldenberg & V.N. Cherkezov.
During the month Emma travels to Glasgow, Dundee, & Edinburgh, Scotland to lecture. On Jan. 21 in Dundee she lectures on "Authority versus Liberty" & "The Aim of Humanity." In Edinburgh, she meets anarchist Thomas Bell.
1900 --Japan: Daijiro Furuta lives. Member of the Guillotine Society (Girochin Sha), an anarchist terrorist group. Captured on September 10, 1924 in Tôkyô, tried on September 10, 1925 & condemned to death. Refusing to appeal his sentence, he was hanged on October 15, 1925.
1901 -- US: Socialist pol, novelist, orator, social reformer & Atlantean crackpot Ignatius Donnelly dies at 69, Minneapolis.
Successful Minnesota socialist,Atlantean crackpot.
1909 -- When Marcel Proust, on about this date, dips a piece of toast in his tea, the flavor brings back a rush of childhood memories that become the basis for the famous madeleine episode in Swann's Way, from which the structure of Remembrance of Things Past evolves.
1910 -- US: National Urban League founded.
1911 -- England: The murder of Leon Beron, a slum landlord, precipitating "The Sidney Street Siege" on January 3 (three anarchists suspected of killing three shoot it out with over a thousand troops), leading to the most notorious murder trial of the day. The case also drags in a callous self-promoting publicity hound, Home Secretary Winston Churchill, amidst allegations of spying & sinister implications involving the "siege" & also the Houndsditch Murders.
"Now Charleth, don't he croth; it wath such fun!" 1912 -- Kim Philby, British spy/Soviet mole, lives.1912 -- US: First running of San Francisco's famed "Bay to Breakers" race (7.63 miles/12.3 km).No women participated until 1940, when Bobbie Burke unofficially entered & finished the race. It was not until 1971 that the first officially registered woman, Frances Conley, crossed the finish line.
1912 -- US: Paul Orleneff, actor, producer & friend of Emma Goldman, returns to the United States for a brief series of dramatic performances.
1914 -- US: First scheduled airline flight, St Petersburg-Tampa (Tony Jannus pilot).
1915 -- US: John Henrik Clarke lives (1915-1998). Afrocentric lecturer & teacher. A significant influence on the search for identity known as the Afrocentric movement.
Daily Bleed Patron Saint 2005
African-American historian, scholar & activist; Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, author, poet.
1918 -- US: Prior to imprisonment by the end of the month, Emma Goldman delivers her last public lectures in Chicago, Detroit, & Rochester (in Yiddish & English).
1919 -- American recluse, author J.D. Salinger lives (Catcher in the Rye).
1919 -- Poet, playwright, balladeer, prominent representative of lively Irish entertainment, Donagh MacDonagh dies in Dublin. His varied literary work includes comedies such as Happy as Larry (1946), God's Gentry (1951), poetry such asVeterans & Other Poems (1941), & several works on traditional Irish ballads.
1919 -- Spain: Sara Berenguer lives, Barcelona. Poet, anarchist member of Mujeres Libres.
Militante anarchiste féminine, et poétesse. Elle est née dans une modeste famille ouvrière, son père est maçon et militant libertaire.
1920 -- US: America's first "Red Scare" begins. Overnight 2,700 people arrested without being charged with any explicit crime. A. Mitchell Palmer, Wilson's Attorney General, & a man with Presidential ambitions of his own, ultimately arrests some 6,000 people on suspicion of "communism." Those who are not American citizens are deported as "undesirable aliens."
"Like a prairie-fire, the blaze of revolution was sweeping over every American institution of law & order a year ago. It was eating its way into the homes of the American workman, its sharp tongue of revolutionary heat were licking the altars of churches, leaping into the belfry of the school bell, crawling into the sacred corners of American homes, seeking to replace marriage vows with libertine laws . . ."
— A. Mitchell PalmerSource: [Vanessa Collection]
1920 -- US: Frances Steloff opens the Gotham Book Mart.
Among those who came to chat to browse & to see if their books & plays were on the shelves were Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, H. L. Mencken & Eugene O'Neill. Customers included George & Ira Gershwin, Ina Claire & Charlie Chaplin, Alexander Calder, Stephen Spender, Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, John Guare & Garson Kanin.
She championed the experimental & challenged the censors.
Strange: January Fortean Events 1921 - Several irregular, black objects that "looked like pieces of burnt paper" crossed the sun [Eng. Mec., 112-276]
1923 -- Senegal: Ousmane Sembéne lives (1923-2007), Ziguinchor. Senegalese labor union activist, writer & film director (often called the "Father of African film"), best-known for his historical-political works with strong social comment.
1924 -- Canada: IWW Lumber Workers IU120 strikes the British Columbia lumber owners, calling for an 8 hour day with blankets supplied, minimum wage of $4 per day, release of all class war prisoners, no discrimination against IWW members & no censuring of IWW literature.
1928 -- George Orwell leaves the Indian Imperial Police.
"When I see an actual flesh & blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the police[man], I do not have to say which side I am on."
— George Orwell
1929 -- US: Yard Sale?: Football's Roy Riegels runs 60 yards the wrong way with Rose Bowl fumble recovery.
1929 -- México: Uprising in Chiapas; EZLN insurgency also begins on this day, in 1994.
1932 --US: The Nation magazine includes Emma Goldman's Living My Life among its list of most notable books of 1931.
1932 -- US: The year begins with a deep sense of foreboding & fear as the American economy begins grinding to a standstill. The unemployed number 14 million, national income has declined by 50%, breadlines now include former shopkeepers, businessmen, middle-class housewives. Charity is overwhelmed — only 1/4 of America's unemployed are receiving any help at all.
"Slow starvation & progressive disintegration of family life."
— description of life in Philadelphia
"What the country needs is good, big laugh."
— Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Herbert Hoover
1932 -- Italy: Vengono arrestati numerosi esponenti del gruppo Giustizia e Libertà di Torino.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1933 -- Nicaragua: Triumph for the Sandinista cause; US invaders, fully bowbed retire from the territory, licking their wounds. The first military defeat of the United States in Latin America.
The North American press laments so many Americans killed during the many years of occupation, but emphasizes the value of the training for it's aviators. Thanks to the war against Sandino, the US has for the first time begun bombardeo en picada, from airplanes Fokker & Curtiss specially designed to fight in Nicaragua.
(& we know who the Fokkers are...)
1934 -- Prohibition ends in US.
1937 -- Songster Fred Neil (1937-2001) is a cry-baby. American folk musician & writer best known for his "Everybody's Talkin," "The Dolphins," "The Other Side of This Life," "Candy Man," "Crying," etc. Founder of the Dolphin Project, with marine biologist Richard O'Berry, in 1970.
Everyboy's talkin' at me,
I don't hear a word they're sayin'I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin'Through the pourin' rain...
1942 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader "Uncle Joe" Stalin proclaimed Time magazine's "Man of the Year." Will Ayn Rand & Tail-Gunner Joe McCarthy accuse Time of being communist?
"I have here in my hand," he states, "the names of 205 men that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist party & who nevertheless are still working & shaping the policy of the state department."
Some years later, he confides the paper was actually an old laundry list.
1942 -- Country Joe McDonald lives. "Gimmie an F...Give me a U.... Give me a C...." He & his 60s band of Fish stopped the war in Vietnam.
F***Country Joe got convicted for obscenity & $500 fine for leading a crowd in his infamous Fish Cheer at a concert in Massachusetts.
1942 -- US: Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) founded by James Farmer.
1942 -- US: Rose Bowl played in North Carolina due to Japanese threat — (Mama-san) Oregon 20, Duke (Nukem) 16.
1945 -- Fritz Brupbacher (1874-1945) dies. A Swiss physician, studied medicine & psychiatry. An antimilitarist, revolutionary syndicalist & libertarian socialist, became in particular the friend of James Guillaume, Pytor Kropotkin, Vera Figner & Monatte. Practiced medicine with his wife Paulette Raygrodski, both active in the néo-Malthusian movement, for the right to abortion & a free sexuality. Fritz wrote the introduction to The Confession of the Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin(translated by Paulette), wrote Marx et Bakounine, Bakounine ou le démon de la révolte, & the autobiography 60 Years of Heresy, as well as numerous pamphlets.
"Bakounine redeviendra actuel le jour où l'homme commencera à trouver insupportables le despotisme bourgeois et le despotisme prolétarien."
1947 -- Canada: Saskatchewan government (CCF) introduces first hospital care program in North America.
1955 -- US: American Army begins training South Vietnamese army. How well they do...
1955 -- US: Frank Smitha motors from Los Angles to México City by motorcycle. See also 1965 below.
1959 -- Cuba: Triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Dictator US Puppet & Free Marketeer Juan Batista, flees the island; Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Fidel Castro's forces enter Havana the next day.
If the Right one don't get you, the Left one will. Mafia, CIA, US, FBI, & rest of the alphabet soup soon gather together to howl about their loss of US "freedom" to plunder the island.
Related interest, see Cuban Anarchism: the History of a Movement by Frank Fernandez (Tucson: See Sharp Press).
1960 -- The Man in Black — singer/ex-convict Johnny Cash — plays San Quentin, the first of many concerts he will perform for to prison inmates.
1962 -- The Beatles fail their audition at Decca Records.
The Beatles perform their first audition for a major record company, Decca, in London. They run through 15 songs, mostly standards for Decca's Mike Smith who also auditions Brian Poole & the Tremeloes the same day. Decca signs the Tremeloes, not the Beatles.
1962 -- In the Modern Almanac published in 1962, author Harry Golden presents his plan for world peace:
"STOP MAKING CARBON PAPER!"
1965 -- US: The government reportedly denies working visas to British rock bands, resulting in cancellation of tours by the Nashville Teens, Zombies, Hullabaloos, et al, who are in NY with DJ "Murray the K" of station WMCA.
1965 -- US: New Year's Eve costume ball at California Hall to raise funds for the Council on Religion & the Homosexual was harassed by police. It became a turning point in the San Francisco gay rights movement. The ACLU took the case, which was dismissed.
1965 -- Frank Smitha moves to Berkley.
[That fall]... I was the one person that slept in the first floor Vietnam Day Committee office, in the back room, near the rear door. A bomb was placed under that room the one night I was away at a party. The building was destroyed. There were spies working with us — as we discovered years later — including one who was a Berkeley policeman with whom I was working closely & rather liked as a person. Maybe the bomber or bombers were aware of my sleeping there & were kind enough to pick an evening when I was away.
1966 -- "The Sounds of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel becomes the number one record in the US.
1966 -- US: All cigarette packs now required to carry "Caution Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."
1967 -- US: New Year's Day Wail! Angel's party for the Haight in the Panhandle — "First free rock concert in the park," in Frisco, California.
1967 -- US: Steve Durky/Durkee starts to buy land for Lama Foundation, northern New Mexico
1968 -- US: Yippies founded & announces plans to conduct demonstrations the following summer at Democratic convention in Chicago. Whoever called these anarchists "yuppies" yesterday will be beheaded at midnight.
1970 -- US: Menominee Indians seize unused Gresham, Wisconsin Roman Catholic novitiate. (Until 4 February, when the church promises to deed it to them for a tribal hospital.)
1970 -- US: The Pentagon reports 1,403 military desertions since July 1, 1966. See Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage.
1977 -- The Clash headline the gala opening of the Roxy, a former gay disco in London's Covent Garden, circumventing widespread London club ban on punk groups & immediately becomes the place for punk music.
1979 -- After last night's New Year's Eve concert featuring the Blues Brothers & the Grateful Dead, Bill Graham closes Frisco's Winterland Theater. The Dead performed here 48 times.
1981 -- Canada: Vancouver Municipal & Regional Employees Union is on the picket line for 13 weeks. Innovative strike tactics, including the complete shutdown of major tourist attractions like the Planetarium & a propensity to sing labor songs at every rally & picket line won a settlement which was the envy of many a worker.
1983 -- England: Women break into cruise missile base & dance on silos, US Air Force base, Greenham Common.
"There is no way to peace.Peace is the way."— A.J. Muste
1984 -- Augustin Souchy (1892-1984), German anarchist pacifist, dies.
1986 -- US: Arrest of 10 anti-nuclear activists for trespassing at Nevada Test Site culminates a 54-day encampment at the main Test Site gate. The camp establishes momentum for what became a movement of over 10,000 arrests in numerous Test Site protests over the following years.
1986 -- Russia: Another Commie Plot? Gorbachev asks for world ban on atomic weapons.
1992 -- England: & the Beat Goes On?: Women dance on missile silos, US Air Force Base, Greenham Common. (see 1983 above).
1994 -- México: EZLN insurgency begins, same day as the Chiapas uprising in 1929.
1995 -- Switzerland: World Trade Organization (WTO) opens for business (sic) in Geneva.
2000 -- France: Arthur Lehning dies, Le Plessis, Indre. Born on October 23, 1899, he was 100 years old.
Anarchist & anti-militarist, an essayist & the sole editor of the avant-garde journal "i 10". He was, among many other things, a secretary of the anarcho-syndicalist International Working Men's Association in 1932-1935, at a time when the IWMA was closely involved in the revolutionary activities of the Spanish C.N.T. [Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo].
Important figure at the International Institute of Social History.
2006 -- US: American Marxist editor, theorist Harry Magdoff dies, Burlington, Vermont.
Daily Bleed Patron Saint January 1, 2007.
American Indy Marxist,co-editor of Monthly Review.
2006 -- México: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos jumps on a black motorcycle to tour all 31 Mexican states.
2016 -- US: Mark Twain gets a commemorative coin.
"As soon as the generals & the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection."
— Wendell Berry, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"
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