31 January 2005

Time Considered as a Big Blob of Semi-Precious Stones

The wonderful thing about having only 365 days in each year and thousands of years behind us is that any one day is full of historical surprises, coincidences, echoes, and oddities. Glancing at a site like this sometimes makes me wonder what would happen if we could condense time and make all the events of any one day throughout history actually happen over the same time 24-hour period (well, calendar day, given differences in time zones -- you know what I mean).

So here's today's essentially useless thought experiment: Consider what today might be like if all of the following happened on January 31 of the same year:
Guy Fawkes ("The only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions") executed.

US House of Representatives, by a narrow margin, passes 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery

US federal government orders all Native Americans to move to reservations or be declared hostile.

Henrik Ibsen play "Hedda Gabler" premiers, Munich.

Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters" opens to mixed reception at the Moscow Art Theater in a production directed by Konstantin Stanislavsky. Olga Knipper, Chekhov's wife, plays Masha.

First poison gas attack, Germans against Russians.

The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky.

McDonald’s opens their first restaurant in Russia, in Moscow.

Sir Arthur Sullivan opera "Ivanhoe" premiers, London.

"Drag", a homosexual comedy in three acts by Mae West, opens, Bridgeport.

Italy: A military tribunal condemns Luigi Molinari to 23 years imprisonment as the instigator of the insurrection in Lunigiana.

Jose Marti & others leave NYC to try to liberate Spanish Cuba.

France cedes Naples to Aragon.

Prevented from delivering her lecture today, "Authority versus Liberty," Emma Goldman's comrades print & distribute 5,000 copies of a manifesto containing the text of the anarchist-feminist's barred speech.

Emma Goldman speaks to a crowd of over 2,000 people in San Francisco on "Why I Am an Anarchist."

President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the American hydrogen bomb.

The world's first full daily comics page appears in the "NY Evening Journal".

Scotland: Bloody Friday, The Red Clydeside, Glasgow -- upwards of 60,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square in support of the strike; while a deputation was in the building meeting with Lord Provosts, police mounted a vicious & unprovoked attack on the demonstrators, felling unarmed men and women with their batons.

Erich Maria Remarque novel Im Westen nichts neues is published.

William Faulkner novel Sartoris is published.

William Faulkner completes his novel Absalom, Absalom!.

J.D. Salinger's short story "A Perfect Day for Banana Fish" appears in The New Yorker.

A. A. Milne dies.

Songster Buddy Holly plays Duluth, Minnesota. Bob Dylan is in the audience.

"The Green Hornet" radio show is first heard on WXYZ radio in Detroit, MI.

Lt. Ralph S. Barnaby of the U.S. Navy becomes the first glider pilot to have his craft released from a dirigible at Lakehurst, NJ (where the Hindenberg exploded). Lt. Barnaby’s glider was released at an altitude of 3,000 feet.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara declares: "The war in Vietnam is going well & will succeed."

U.S. planes resume bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause.

Tet Offensive catches South Vietnam off guard as war escalates.

Apollo 14, USA Lunar Manned Lander, launched.

The IRA calls a general strike, the day after Bloody Sunday.

The Clash begin their first North American tour, Vancouver, BC. Bo Diddley is their opening act.

Elias Barahona, official spokesman for the Guatemalan Ministry of the Interior, reveals the President, General Romeo Lucas García, ordered police to set fire to the Spanish embassy with its occupants inside.

West German squatters protest eviction attempts, battle the police in West Berlin.

Funeral scene is shot in Attenborough's "Gandhi", with 300,000 extras.

The longest movie ever made, 85-hour "The Cure for Insomnia", premiers, Chicago.

In Somalia, U.S. troops fire on Somalis waiting for food, killing five.

In Colombo, Sri Lanka, 80 people killed by a massive Tamil Tiger terrorist truck bombing.

"Mystery Science Theater 3000" ends its run on the Sci-Fi Channel.
(In addition to link above, information is from here, here, here and here.)

No comments:

Post a Comment