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December 5

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December 5 is the 5th day in December.


1349 — Jews are massacred at Nuremberg in Black death riots.

1484 — The pope establishes severe penalties against German witches and magicians; over the next 300 years perhaps 200,000 accused witches are executed. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1770 — Six of the British troops involved in the Boston Massacre found innocent, largely due to defense attorney John Adamsʼs intimation that Crispus Attucks, Americaʼs first black hero, may have caused “the dreadful carnage of that night” with his “mad behavior…at the head of…[a] rabble of Negroes…”

1784 — Phillis Wheatley dies, aged about 31 years, Boston.

1791 — Masonic conspirator Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dies, Vienna, Austria. [1]

1804 — United States of America: Thomas Jefferson re‐elected US president, George Clinton is his vice-president.

1830 — Poet Christina Rossetti lives, London. Sister of fellow poet Dante Gabriel and historian William Michael Rossetti. [2]

1848 — France: Eugène Thennevin (or Tennevin), anarchiste, lives (1848 — 1908). [3] [4]

1854 — Folding theatre chair patented.

1860 — Beadleʼs publishes its only half‐dime novelette, “Myrtle: The Child of the Prairie.” [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1880 — Italy: Anarchist Congress convenes at Chiasso (Tessin), presided over by Carlo Cafiero. Among participants is Kropotkin and G. Herzig, Malatesta and Merlino, Johann Neve, Joseph Lane, Louise Michel, Emile Gautier, Victorine Rouchy, Chauviere, Miss Lecomte, Tchaikowski, etc.

1885 — United States of America: American sex/pol radical Louise Bryant lives, Reno, Nevada.

1890 — Filmmaker Fritz Lang lives, Vienna, Austria.

1896 — France: Henry Poulaille lives, Paris. Novelist, anarchist, publisher of proletarian authors, director of éditions Grasset, the journal “Le nouvel âge littéraire,” founder of “Le musée du soir.”

1896 — Henrik Ibsen play “Emperor and Galilean” premiers, Leipzig. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1897 — Jewish mystic Gershom Sholem lives, Berlin, Germany.

1897 — Nunnally Johnson lives. American screenwriter, producer, director, who made scripts to such film as The Grapes of Wrath (1940, directed by John Ford), The Woman in the Window (1944, directed by Fritz Lang), and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), starring Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and Betty Grable. [5]

1899 — England: The anarchist historian and collector Max Nettlau reads “Responsibility and Solidarity in the Labour Struggle” to the Freedom Discussion Group. This became one of his favorite works.

1901 — Animator, amusement park builder Walt Disney lives. Fascist symp and Federal Bureau of Investigations informer on Hollywood “subversives.”

1901 — Bavaria: Theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg probably lives, Wurzburg. German quantum theorist who may have helped slow Nazi progress in development of atomic weaponry.

1908 — First football uniform numerals used, University of Rome. [6]

1908 — Bulgaria: The newspaper “Acratie” first appears, in Razgrad. Founded by Varban Kilifarski, it represents the largest diffusion of anarchist and anarcho‐syndicalist thought in the country before the First World War. The last number appears on 1911 January 27.

Three issues of the paper were published clandestinely in Tirnovo in 1924-1925, by Gueorgui Cheitanov. Cheitanov was eventually captured and executed, along with his companion Mariola Sirakova and others, by the fascist government during a crackdown on leftists.

1910 — Abraham Polonsky lives. American director, screenwriter, novelist, who wrote essays, radio scripts and several novels before starting his career in Hollywood.

1912 — General Strikes in both Germany and US in response to declarations of war yesterday — no one will go to war — forcing cancellation of the war within the week. (Jack London, The Iron Heel.) [7]

1916 — United States of America: Having conquered Puerto Rico in 1898, the Jones Act is today approved.

1918 — Theodore Schroeder, letter, to: Editor, League for The Amnesty of Political Prisoners, sending copies of letters to Wilson appealing for release and letter by Hutchins Hapgood. TL, 1 p. [8]

1919 — United States of America: Representative Isaac Siegel, after a trip to Ellis Island yesterday, declares he has discovered how anarchists are made. “Books in our public libraries help to make anarchists,” he said.

1919 — United States of America: “Made Anarchists” — Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman — detained at Ellis Island. Goldman and Berkman appear in federal court before Judge Julius M. Mayer, December 8th, who declares that as aliens, they have no constitutional rights. They remain in detention at Ellis Island and are be kicked out of the “Land of the Free” before monthʼs end, sent to Red Russia on a leaking scow that is in danger of sinking with them and 247 other radicals and labor organizers who are also deported to protect American free speech.

1919 — M.L. Polonsky, Bolshevik, commander of a regiment of the Makhnovist army, arrested by the Makhnovist counter‐intelligence under suspicion of planning to kill the anarchist Nestor Makhno, is shot today. “Once a Bolshevik parliamentarian by the name of Polonsky was executed at Makhnovist headquarters. Many members of the general staff were unhappy with this. Voline arrived at the headquarters, and when he heard what had happened he asked: “What does Batko [Makhno] think? If he says it was the right thing to do I wonʼt go into the issue.” Makhno was sitting in the next room and had got tipsy. When he heard his comrades talking he came in and went up to Voline: “So you donʼt give a damn that a man has just been shot? You donʼt even ask why he was executed! As long as Batko approves itʼs alright, huh? But a man can make mistakes, canʼt he, especially when heʼs drunk. What do you say to that, eh?” Voline decided it was prudent not to answer. [9]

1919 — Spain: This evening several cenetistas in Barcelona open fire on the Civil Guard and capture Gregorio Daura, to whom they apply the “ley de fugas.” This is in response to government assassinations and repression of the CNT (nevertheless the city remains under control of the CNT and affinity groups). [Source] http://[10]

1923 — One of the founders of the Irish Literary Theatre, Edward Martyn, dies in Tulira, County Galway, Ireland. Broke with the mainstream of Irish revivalism, but later helped found the Irish Theatre in Dublin. Some of his noted plays are The Heather Field and Maeve.

1925 — American author Joan A. Williams lives.

1929 — United States of America: First US nudist organization, American League for Physical Culture, New York City. Kurt Barthel, a German immigrant living at New York City, founded the American League for Physical Culture with a predominantly German membership, their first outing was a nude picnic in the Peekskills included eight men and four women. Two years later the first “naturist” organization had over 200 members.

1931 — Vachel Lindsay, 52, commits suicide by drinking Lysol. [11]

1932 — German physicist Albert Einstein fleeing Nazi Germany, granted a Visa, after rejection by Amex, Discover, Mastercard. “With his own private horrors further unfolded into an ideology of the mortal and uncontinued self, Brock came to visit, and strangely to comfort, in the half‐lit hallways of the night, leaning in darkly in above her like any of the sleek raptors that decorate fascist architecture.” — Thomas Pynchon, Vineland.

1933 — United States of America: Drinkers toast the end of Prohibition and the end of an era. It had been 14 years between (legal) drinks. The long dry spell ended at 5:32 p.m., when Utah became the last of 36 states to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (repealing the 18th Amendment, that had prohibited all booze).

1934 — Joan Didion lives, Sacramento, California. Novelist (Play It As It Lays) and observer of contemporary mores (The White Album; Salvador). She notes of the writing profession, “Writers are always selling somebody out.”

1936 — “Saturday Evening Post” publishes William Faulkner story “Vendee.” [Source: Robert Braunwart] [12]

1937 — “Lucy Parsons”, a poem by Aaron Kramer, appears in the Sunday Worker today. [13] [14]

1942 — United States of America: Fred Tayama is attacked and seriously injured by a group of inmates at Manzanar. The arrest of the popular Harry Ueno for the crime triggers a mass uprising.

1943 — France: National Plenum of the Regionals of the CNT in Exile held in Marseilles. Originally planned to be held at St Henri, it is held in La Fare (Marseilles) amid the greatest difficulty (the Nazi repression). Those attending included Juanel, Acracio Bartolomé, Sanclemente, Merino, Francisco García (Marseilles), Buenacasa (Free Zone), Germán and Berruezo (Cantal department), Señer (Toulouse), Paulino Malsand (Bordeaux) Cruz and the Béziers committee. [15] [16]

1944 — United States of America: Wildcat strike at Dodge truck plant, Detroit, Michigan. One of many “illegal” wartime strikes. [Source: Calendar Riots]

1946 — United States of America: Alexander Schapiro dies in New York. Russian‐born anarcho-syndicalist and an important figure in the international movement. Secretary of the anti-authoritarian A.I.T. (“Association internationale des travailleurs”). [17] [18]

1947 — British satanist Aleister Crowley is cremated. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1950 — The Danish Baker Street Irregulars (Sherlock Holmes Klubben i Danmark) is founded. The first meeting was held at Buriis on January 5th … [19]

1951 — United States of America: “Dragnet” premiers. [20] [21]

1954 — Author Hanif Kureishi lives.

1955 — United States of America: Two largest American labor organizations merge to form the AFL‐CIO, with membership about 15 million. George Meany president. Asa P. Randolph and Willard S. Townsend, African Americans, are elected vice-presidents.

1955 — United States of America: Montgomery, Alabama civil‐rights bus boycott begins. Lasts for 54 weeks, to end segregation practices. Rosa Parkʼs refusal to give up her bus seat on 1December starts year‐long Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott by 30-40,000 Negro riders (out of a Negro population of 50,000). The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) is formed to coordinate the boycott, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is elected president. Boycott ends in victory 21 December 1956).

1956 — Thornton Wilder play “The Matchmaker” opens, NY (486 performances). [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1957 — William Inge play “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” premiers, NY (468 performances). [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1963 — Ghana: French soldiers stop protest march from Accra against French nuclear weapons tests. Western Sahara, Africa.

1965 — Aircraft loaded with a nuclear bomb rolls off a US aircraft carrier somewhere in the mid‐Pacific. The plane, with the pilot and the bomb, sank in 16,000 feet of water. It has not been recovered.

1965 — Milan Kundera completes his first novel, The Joke. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1967 — United States of America: Dr. Benjamin Spock and poet Allen Ginsberg among those arrested at New York City army induction center, opposing the Vietnam War. December 5-8, “Stop the Draft Week” at Whitehall, NY Army Induction Center. Over 500 arrested. Demonstrations also occurred in Madison, Manchester, N.H., Cincinnati, New Haven. [22] [23]

1967 — England: Opening of Apple Shop, Baker St, London, with murals by The Fool. [24] | [Situationist Resources]

1968 — Dámaso Alonso es elegido presidente de la Real Academia. [25]

1972 — Australia: End of conscription announced.

1974 — Monty Pythonʼs final episode airs on BBC.

1978 — Start of Ken Follettʼs On Wings of Eagles, about an escape from Iran. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1981 — United States of America: Chicago Anarchist Conference.

1982 — Interviewer asks Fran Lebowitz “Do you ever use a thesaurus?” “No. Iʼve never been able to figure out how to use one. I must have been absent that day.” “Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.”

1984 — Taiwan: 93 workers killed in mine disaster.

1990 — Author Salman Rushdie appears in public for first time in nearly two years, London. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1991 — Fernando del Paso wins the Mexican Premio Nacional de Literatur; Ricardo Legorreta, Vicente Rojo and Mario Lavista win Mexican arts prize. [Source: Robert Braunwart]

1997 — Rudolf Bahro stirbt an einem Krebsleiden in Berlin. Dies age 62. (What some call a Watermelon Man…Green on the outside, Red on the inside.) “The Greens are almost worse than useless,” he said. “They have become so much a part of the system that capitalism would have had to invent them if they werenʼt here already.” [26] [27] [28]

2003 — Italy: Memorial meeting (Naples, December 5-7 ) in memory of Errico Malatesta, 150 years after his birth. In spite of his comprehensive and open‐minded temper, for his perseverance in his ideas and in his political praxis Malatesta became — and still is — one of the most remarkable personalities of the Italian and international anarchist movement. He was one of the most famous revolutionaries in his times and he became an icon of freedom for the Italian working class movement. After the Second World War, authorities and “official” history tried to delete all of his life and theories from historical memory. This meeting intends to counter this situation…unofficial history.

2007 — United States of America: Ron Paul became the first Presidential candidate to cross the picket line of striking Hollywood writers so he could appear on ABC show “The View”. [29]

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