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February 16

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February 16 is the 16th day in February.


1844 -- James Guillaume (1844-1916) lives. Historian of the First International, active in the Swiss Jura Federation. Aligned with Bakunin, with whom he was kicked out of the International in a Marxist coup. [1]

1848 -- Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917) lives. Prolific short story writer (1,200!), novelist, anarchist, antimilitarist, dramatist. A founding member of the Académie Goncourt. [2]

1916 -- US: In the Land of the Free, the Emma Goldman is arrested in New York City for lecturing on birth control.

1916 -- US: On or about this day in Chicago Chef Jean Crones (pseudonym for Nestor Dondoglio) discovers he needs to refine one of the recipes in his cookbook. [3]

1934 -- US: Thousands of Socialists battle Communists at a rally in New York's Madison Square Garden.

1939 -- Jacques Vallet lives. Journalist, poet, art critic & libertarian author. [4]

1952 -- Jan Kerouac lives. Beatster Jack Kerouac's daughter with Joan Haverty. Meanwhile, during this month, Jack K. & Carolyn Cassady get intimate. Also during this period Kerouac has first psychedelic experience when anarcho-surrealist poet Philip Lamantia gives him peyote.

1970 -- Mexico: Pedro Vallina Martinez (1879-1970) dies. Outstanding figure of Andalusian anarchism. Medical doctor, labor movement militant, imprisoned & exiled for his opposition to Spanish fascism. [5]

1977 -- "Italian Spring," thousands reject authority, universities occupied throughout Italy. Students eject Communist union bosses from Rome campus. Started as a protest against university reform, evolved into generalized criticism of all forms of alienation — especially bureaucrats, unionists, & political parties.

1996 -- Brownie McGhee dies at 80. Blues Performer, Singer/Guitarist, Pianist, Kazoo, Songwriter, of Brownie & Sonny.

2001 -- US: NY City's #1 art critic is at it again. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a noted adulterer who married his cousin, dumped his second wife on live television, parades about town with his mistress at taxpayer expense & violates the US Constitution — as if doing so was a form of yoga — now wants to create a decency task force to police the Big Apple's art museums. From his first days as Mayor Giuliani has engaged in a relentless attack on artists & free speech. This creep should run for President.

2006 -- US: Paul Avrich (1931-2006) dies this evening. Devoted & sympathetic biographer & historian of anarchism. Among many notable books, "Anarchist Voices" gathered 200 interviews over a 30-year period, allowing "anonymous" militants to avoid oblivion, opening the way for innumerable works of research & reflection. Avrich was a trusted friend to many of the older members of the movement, putting them in touch with each other, following their reunions, & visiting them regularly. [6]

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