Monday, January 2, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JANUARY 2


On this day in 366, the Alemanni (an early Germanic tribe) cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.

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On this day in 533, Mercurius becomes Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.

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On this day in 1492, the Christian "reconquista" succeeds in conquering Granada, the final Moorish stronghold in Spain. This brings to an end nearly eight hundred years of Muslim presence - and four hundred years of Muslim dominance - in the region. And some people say the Spaniards are soft on terror!

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On this day in 1860, the discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France. Vulcan's existence (between the Sun and Mercury) has since been mostly disproven. Mostly. Some still believe it exists, however.

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On this day in 1920, in excess of six thousand people are arrested in the mostly-forgotten Palmer Raids. They joined nearly fifteen thousand more who had been previously rounded up in one of the most shameful episodes in all of American jurisprudence. Social activists, union members and progressives were arrested without warrant despite committing no crime, denied access to their families and legal counsel, detained without trail for prolonged periods, and even deported to the Soviet Union. The Bush II Era's Ashcroft Raids share a startling number of similarities with this seminal example of 20th century police-state excess. It was a lucky thing for the then-Witchfinder General that his targets are easier to pick out of a crowd than the commies ever were, brown shoes or no.

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On this day in 1955, Panamanian president José Antonio Remón Cantera is assassinated. His assailants were never apprehended, but American authorities seem to think American gangster non pareil - and Operation Underworld figurehead - Lucky Luciano may have been behind it!

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On this day in 1967, Hollywood actor and cigarette pitchman Ronald Reagan is sworn in as Governor of California.

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On this day in 1974, US President Richard Nixon signs a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo.

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