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December 10

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December 10 is the 10th day in December.


1593 — Italian archaeologist Antonio Bosio first descends into the subterranean Christian burial chambers, located under the streets of Rome. Bosio was dubbed the “Columbus of the Catacombs” and his books long remained the standard work on the underground tombs of the early Roman Church.

1777 — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe hikes up the Brocken, the highest summit in the Harz mountains (Germany), in spite of the cold and snow. He reports the climb in a letter to his friend, Charlotte von Stein. It also inspires his famous poem “Harzreise im Winter.”

1787 — Thomas H. Gallaudet, pioneer of educating the deaf, lives.

1805 — Abolitionist, journalist William Lloyd Garrison lives. Daily Bleed Saint 1997

1824 — George Macdonald, Scottish novelist (Lilith), lives.

1830 — Poet, recluse Emily Dickinson lives, Amherst, Massachusetts. “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” [1] [2]

1865 — August Spies lives; one of the Haymarket anarchists, labor agitator, victim of anti‐anarchist repression. [3] [4] [5]

1869 — United States of America: Wyoming is first territory to grant women the right to vote.

1879 — Ernest Shepard, the illustrator for A. A. Milneʼs Pooh books, lives, London.

1891 — Nelly Sachs lives, Berlin. German poet and dramatist, Nobel prize winner (“O the Chimneys”). Transformed by the Nazi experience into a poignant spokesperson for her fellow Jews. Her most famous work is “O die Schornsteine” (“O the Chimneys”), in which Israelʼs body drifts upward as smoke from the Nazi death camps. Recipient of the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature (shared with S. Y. Agnon). [6]

1896 — Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, dies.

1896 — “Ubu Roi,” Alfred Jarryʼs obscene farce, opens in Paris. Scatological references, pompous style, and bastardized French cause audience to riot. “Ubu Roi,” a grotesque farce about Père Ubu, a gluttonous, greedy, and cruel individual who slaughters the royal family of Poland, opens in Paris. The playʼs scatological references, pompous style, and bastardized French cause the audience to riot. Yesterday a riot occurred at dress rehearsal during Jarryʼs curtain speech.

1898 — In France, the Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Spanish‐American War and granting the US its first overseas empire. Spain cedes the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the US.

1901 — The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The awards were devised by Alfred Nobel, who regretted the damage he had done mankind through his inventions of dynamite and other explosives. [7]

1903 — Childrenʼs writer most famous for her series on the Borrowers, Mary Norton, lives, London, England. The complete miniature universe Norton creates earns her comparison to such imaginative writers as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Lewis Carroll.

1903 — Author William Plomer lives.

1904 — Russian doctor Ivan Pavlov wins Nobel Prize for Physiology. Known for his inhumane experiments.

1904 — United States of America: The first and single number of “LʼEffort” appears in San Francisco, California. Published by the French anarchist group Germinal, intended to replace the French language supplement to “Protesta Umana” which folded with the death of its publisher, Giuseppe Ciancabilla. “LʼEffort combat les grands mots creux, tels que Dieu, Religion, Patrie, Drapeau, Gouvernement, Honneur, etc. qui ont maintenu depuis des siècles, les hommes à lʼétat dʼenfants en tutelle et les fit toujours se dévorer mutuellement.” — Extrait

1906 — United States of America: Industrial Workers of the World sponsors first sit‐down strike in the US, at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York. The method was adopted by the labor movement in the 1930s, with the Flint Sit-Down Strike being one of the most famous. [8] [9]

1907 — Novelist Rumer Godden (Black Narcissus; In This House of Brede) lives, Lydd House, Aldington, Kent.

1911 — Few men have met and conquered the obstacles Calbraith Perry Rodgers faced in accepting the challenge of a coast‐to-coast flight across the US in 1911 (fewer than 8 years after the Wright brothers made the first successful flights in an airplane). William Randolph Hearst offered a $50,000 prize to the first pilot to cross North America by air in 30 days…Rodgers miraculously survived several crashes, like one in Indiana, where he broke both legs and ankle, and a collarbone, cracked several ribs. He was thrown from the “Vin Fiz” 15 times during the cross‐country flight. Today he taxied the “Vin Fiz” into the ocean with his crutches lashed to the top of his lower left wing; Rodgers was still recovering from a recent crash.

1911 — United States of America: The anarchist feminist Emma Goldman presents a lecture on “Sex, the Element of Creative Work,” in New York City. [Source: flyer reproduced in The Traffic in Women published by Times Change Press]

1919 — Spain: The Madrid Congress of the anarcho‐syndicalist CNT (December 10-20). The questions on the agenda, the quality of the delegates and the sheer number of workers represented (over 600,000) made this the most important congress to date. Dazzled by the Russian Revolution, and despite complaints it was a “political” revolution and did not incorporate the libertarian ideal, the congress voted provisionally to join the Communist International and to send a delegation to the Second Congress of the Third International (Moscow on 1920 July 15).

1921 — Socialist Albert Einstein receives Nobel Prize for Physics. [10]

1924 — Founding of the Society for Human Rights, first Gay Rights Organization.

1929 — Poet and publisher Harry Crosby takes his life. His Black Sun Press in Paris, founded with wife Caresse Crosby, published Hart Crane, Kay Boyle, Rene Crevel, T.S. Eliot, Archibald MacLeish, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce. [11]

1929 — United States of America: Businesses still operating after the Great Crash in October continue to assure people that the future looks rosy. “Never before has American business been as firmly entrenched for prosperity as it is today.” — Charles Schwab, Bethlehem Steel

1931 — Jane Addams (first US woman) named co‐recipient of Nobel Peace Prize.

1936 — Max Elskamp, an outstanding Belgian Symbolist poet, dies in his hometown of Antwerp.

1936 — After a lifetime exploring the subconscious of his characters, novelist and dramatist Luigi Pirandello (Six Characters in Search of an Author) dies in Rome. 1934 Nobel Prize winner. [12]

1938 — Enrico Fermi riceve il premio Nobel per la fisica e da Stoccolma parte direttamente per gli Stati Uniti. LʼItalia non è di certo un luogo vivibile per un cervello come il suo. [Source: Crimini e Misfatti]

1939 — Canada: Emma Goldman spends the first two weeks of this month in Winnipeg and speaks five times, reaching 1,400 people in two weeks: once in Yiddish to a womenʼs organization on Living My Life; to a large audience on the Nazi‐Soviet Pact; a lecture on Hitler and Stalin; a talk to the IWW; and a lecture on “The Jew in Literature in England until the End of the 19th Century” to the Jewish Womanʼs Cultural Club. During this month Emma, with the help of Dorothy Rogers, also attempts to raise $5,000 bail for the anarchist Arthur Bortolottiʼs release.

1939 — United States of America: Bertrand Russell‐Rudolf Rocker reception and banquet held in LA. Impressive Opinions by Important Persons About a Significant Book was published as a souvenir of the event held today. (Los Angeles Rocker Publications Committee, 1939, 20 pages. Republished in 1947, 12 pages.) [13]

1944 — France: The first public anarchist assembly following the Libération (World War II) is staged today. Organized by the editors of the newly revived newspaper “Ce Qu’il Faut Dire” (What Must Be Said) and Charles Auguste Bontemps. [14]

1945 — Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh sends Vietnamese Left Communists and Trotskyists to heaven.

1945 — “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” first published. [15]

1948 — United Nations passes Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [16]

1949 — Roman Strauss gets the death penalty today. [17]

1950 — Ralph J. Bunche (first African American) presented Nobel Peace Prize.

1950 — American novelist William Faulkner receives Nobel Prize. In his acceptance he avers, “I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.” Kenneth Rexroth told Brad Morrow that he had recommended to Laughlin publication of Faulknerʼs Light in August and Sanctuary and Isherwoodʼs Berlin Stories and All the Conspirators. — “An Interview with Kenneth Rexroth” [18]

1956 — Italy: Exhibiting in Favor of Unitary Urbanism, December 10-15th Exhibition featuring work by Sandro Cherchi, Constant, Guy Debord, Jacques Fillon, Giuseppe Pinot Gallizio, Franco Garelli, Asger Jorn, Walter Olmo and Piero Simondo, Turin Cultural Union, Turin. [19]

1958 — United States of America: National Airlines opens the first jet passenger service in the US, between New York City and Miami, Florida.

1959 — The four male members of the Platters are acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation stemming from their August 10 arrest in Cincinnati.

1960 — Italy: La polizia di stato, su mandato del procuratore della repubblica di Genova, Francesco Coco, perquisisce le sedi di Milano e di Genova del giornale comunista lʼUnita. Si cercano lettere di appartenenti alla Guardia di finanza e alla Pubblica sicurezza in cui si esprimono proteste per questioni salariali e di regolamento. Lʼobiettivo è di individuare e incriminare i firmatari. [Source: Crimini e Misfatti]

1961 — United States of America: Clouds of radioactive steam escape underground nuclear test, closing several New Mexico highways. [20] [21] [22] [23]

1961 — United States of America: December 10-15 SNCC Freedom Rider test of ICC ruling in Albany, Georgia leads to five days of arrests of 469-500 students for marching around city hall. Some 350 choose to stay in jail as part of the Albany movement. Sheriff Campbell, inviting me into his office a few weeks after that happened, turned and said: “Youʼre not with the goddam niggers, are you?” I chose not to answer, but asked him about what happened to Attorney King. He stared at me: “Yeh, I knocked hell out of the son‐of-a-bitch, and Iʼll do it again. I wanted to let him know … Iʼm a white man and heʼs a damn nigger.” — Howard Zinn , You Canʼt Be Neutral on A Moving Train. [24] [25]

1962 — United States of America: Hunters Point (Frisco, California) jitney ends service after 50 years.

1964 — United States of America: Several whites sprinkle gasoline over a Ferriday, Louisiana shoe shop, and making certain the black man inside had no possible means of escape, set fire to the place. He subsequently died in a Louisiana hospital.

1964 — Sam Cooke, rocker, slain at Bates Motel. One of the most popular and influential R&B singers of his generation, dies under violent and mysterious circumstances in Los Angeles.

1964 — African‐American Martin Luther King, Jr. awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

1965 — Bill Graham holds second benefit for SF Mime Troupe, at Fillmore (first time there) Fillmore and Geary — 3,500 turn out. Warlocks become “The Grateful Dead,” and debut with the new name for the Mime Troupe Appeal Party. The Jefferson Airplane also appeared. [26]

1966 — Vietnam: US planes over South Vietnam accidentally drop two 250-pound bombs on US Marine company, killing 16, wounding 11.

1966 — Israeli Shmuel Yosef Agnon wins Nobel Prize for literature.

1967 — Composer, singer Otis Redding, “Sitting on the dock of the bay, just watching the time slip away” —for the last time.

1967 — United States of America: The first “commercial” atomic bomb is detonated under the New Mexico desert as part of an experiment in natural gas recovery.

1968 — Trappist monk, writer, poet Thomas Merton (My Arguments with the Gestapo; Zen and the Birds of Appetite; The Seven Story Mountain) accidentally electrocuted, Bangkok, Thailand. [27]

1971 — Frank Zappa breaks his leg and ankle and fractures his skull as he is pushed from a London stage by the jealous boyfriend of a Zappa fan. Zappa spent months in a wheelchair recovering. Wrote such highbrow classics as “Broken Hearts are for Assholes,” “Camarillo Brillo,” “Muffin Man” and “Yo, Mama.” [28]

1971 — United States of America: 10 Friday / MC-5 not invited to “Free John (Sinclair) Now” Benefit Concert, *Crisler Arena*, Ann Arbor . 15,000 people attend. [29] [30]

1974 — United States of America: Representative Wilbur D. Mills, Democrat from Arkansas, resigns as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the aftermath of the first truly public sex scandal in American politics. On October 7 at 2:00 a.m., Mills was stopped by park police… “Fanne Foxe,” or the “Argentine Firecracker,” then proceeded to jump into the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial and had to be pulled out by the cops.

1975 — 14 acquitted of “incitement to disaffection” of soldiers over Northern Ireland, Britain.

1977 — Mexico: First 61 of 300 Americans held in Mexican prisons on drug charges released in prisoner exchange.

1980 — United States of America: Second instance of surrogate motherhood reported (Tennessee).

1980 — United States of America: Radio commentator Paul Harvey scoffs at renewed calls for gun control in the wake of John Lennonʼs murder. “Well, now, wait a minute,” he says. “Death has claimed a lot of rock musicians prematurely, and none with guns. Keith Moon and Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix ODʼd on drugs and Elvis Presley and Brian Jones and John Bonham … Plane crashes killed Jim Croce and Otis Redding and Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Ronnie Van Zant. In fact, Lennon at 40 lived much longer than most of those.” So, it turns out Lennon was really kinda lucky to be repeatedly shot in the back.

1984 — South African Bishop Desmond Tutu receives his Nobel Peace Prize. [31]

1986 — Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel accepts 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.

1986 — France: In a festival similar to the ancient Roman festival of Lux Mundi (Light of the World), celebrating the goddess of Liberty, today two police stations are firebombed and cars burnt after an Arab is killed by an off‐duty cop, Paris. [Source: Calendar Riots]

1988 — Armenia: Massive Earthquake kills 100,000 in cities of Leninakan and Spitak.

1992 — Indigenous activist, Mayan indian Rigoberta Menchu Tum is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work opposing US‐sponsored military dictatorships, terrorism and genocide in Guatemala. [32] [33]

1997 — United States of America: Twelve arrested at protest of Lockheed‐Martin arms exports. Nashua, New Hampshire.

1998 — United States of America: In the spirit of the massive Spanish‐American War Centennial celebrations planned all over America today, Little Grey Men from Texass return the USS Maine to port, back from Bermuda Triangle oblivion. [34] [35]

1999 — United States of America: NASA is pleased to announce the discovery of a new feature on the surface of Mars: the Polar Lander Crater.

1999 — Russia: Anarchists Protest Atop Lenin Mausoleum

1999 — American poet Edward Dorn (b. 1929) slings guns no more. Often associated with the Black Mountain poets. Lived in the Pacific Northwest for some years, a mentor and supporter of the musical group Devo, Fulbright lecturer. [36]

1999 — England: Italian/British anarchist, Vernon Richards dies. Companion to Marie Louise Berneri until her tragic death during childbirth. Author, secondhand bookseller, produce seller, Carrara marble trader, civil engineer, photographer, tour guide, and longtime editor at Freedom Press. [37] [38] Photo credit:

2006 — United States of America: Anarchist Anthropology, ongoing discussion group / meetings this month, Jack Pine Center, Minneapolis, Min., partially based on the syllabus worked out by the Anarchist Free University, Toronto, Canada on 2005 September 20. Texts used include Graeber Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology; Franz Boas Social Organization of the Inuit, Kwakiutl; Haida Social and Mythical Discourse; Pierre Clastres Archaeology of Violence, with attention to indigenous cultures such as Inuit, Kwakiutl and Haida societies. [39] [40]

2004 Gary Webb (WP), who revealed for the San Jose Mercury News that the CIA smuggled cocaine, dies of two gunshots to the head, which the investigating physician finds to be "self inflicted"

2006 — Chile: Augusto Pinochet dies.

2007 — [[Netherlands]: A.pple L.iberation F.ront claimed an action which released all mink (about 400) from an illegal mink farm in Zeewolde. [41]

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