Wednesday, June 8, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JUNE 8


On this day in 632 AD, the prophet and founder of Islam, Muhammad, dies in Medina. His rule is succeeded by Abu Bakr, who becomes the first Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate.

***

On this day in 793 AD, the Scandinavian invasion of England begins when Vikings raid the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria. These raids would continue for over a hundred years, until the Vikings convert, en mass, to Christianity, and become relatively docile almost overnight.

***

On this day in 1794, French Revolutionary figure Robespierre inaugurates France’s new state religion: the Cult of the Supreme Being! Despite coming complete with large organized festivals to be celebrated all across France, i fails to catch on.

***

On this day in 1949, an FBI report names celebrities Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson as members of the American Communist Party. Meanwhile, in England, George Orwell's prophetic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four lands on the nation’s bookshelves and consciousness with the force of a rogue comet.

***

On this day in the year 1959, the Navy submarine U.S.S. Barbero fires a guided missile carrying 3,000 letters at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Mayport, Florida. "Before man reaches the moon," one official opined at the time, "mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia, by guided missiles." And so it was, and so it always shall be. I mean, can you imagine a world without guided missile-delivered mail?!

***

On this day in 1967, Israeli warplanes launch a savage attack on the USS Liberty, an American intelligence gathering ship, killing 34 of her crew and wounding another 171. Israel tried to claim it was a friendly fire incident… but it wasn’t.

***

On this day in 1972, Associated Press photographer Nick Ut takes his Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a naked 9-year-old Phan Thị Kim Phúc running down a road after being burned by napalm.

***

On this day in 2004, Venus transits across the Sun for the first time in modern history. The previous transit took place over a hundred years previous, in 1882. Because these transits happen in pairs, separated by roughly 8 years, the 2012 transit was the last one of the 21st century. There won't be another for a long, long time.

No comments:

Post a Comment