Five years ago, 2018
January 29: Disney’s Black Panther opens, directed by Ryan Coogler with a Black star, Black writers and largely Black cast; it will be is the second-highest-grossing film of the year.
Feb 14: A mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida kills 17 and injures another 17, leading to a national student strike March 14 and the March for Our Lives in Washington on March 24, led by Stoneman students. The nation takes bold action with thoughts and prayers.
May 25: Ireland repeals its ban on abortion.
Aug 20: Greta Thunberg, 15, begins staying home from school to protest the lack of action on climate change.
Dec 1-8: Paris is paralyzed by Yellow Vest protesters demanding institutional reform and economic justice.
Ten years ago, 2013
Nick DeMarino incorporates and begins publishing 5enses magazine. Yay us!
Feb 15: A meteor explodes over Chelyabinsk in Russia, causing widespread damage.
April 15: Three bombs explode at the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 183.
June 30: A wildfire near Yarnell turns suddenly, overruns and kills 19 local wildland firefighters.
July 11: Sharknado is released, spawning five sequels.
50 years ago, 1973
Jan 22: The Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade, establishing the right to abortion; former president Lyndon Johnson dies.
Jan 27: Newly reelected President Richard Nixon signs the Paris Peace Accords and ends the military draft.
Feb 12: Ohio becomes the first state to post metric distances on road signs. Hardly anyone notices.
Feb 27: Representatives of the American Indian Movement occupy Pine Ridge Reservation in Wounded Knee, SD, till their surrender May 8.
Apr 3: Motorola employee Martin Cooper in Manhattan places the first handheld cellular phone call, to Bell Labs HQ in New Jersey.
April 4: The twin towers of the World Trade Center open in New York City as the world’s tallest building at 110 stories.
Aug 11: The first recording by DJ Kool Herc founds the hiphop genre; George Lucas releases his first feature film by, American Graffiti.
Sep 26: Concorde makes its first nonstop crossing of the Atlantic, DC to Paris in 3hours, 33minutes. https://time.com/3398174/concorde/
Nov 17: Amid the Watergate scandal, which has consumed the headlines all year, President Nixon tells AP reporters, "I’m not a crook." Four days later a Nixon attorney reveals the 18-1/2-minute gap in a relevant Oval Office recording. 25 years later on January 26, President Bill Clinton tells the investigative committee, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” 45 years later, in October 2018 alone, The Washington Post Fact Checker blog found that President Trump made 1,104 statements that were entirely or partially untrue.
Dec 15: The American Psychological Association deletes homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in its DSM-II standard manual.
Dec 28: The Endangered Species Act passes Congress.
100 years ago, 1923
Jan 9: The American Birth Control League opens the (Margaret) Sanger Research Institute and a birth-control clinic in New York City; Sanger persuades ABCL President James Cooper and associate Herbert Simonds to start Holland-Rantos, the first company to manufacture the rubber diaphragm, the first contraceptive for women.
Jan 24: Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico is established.
Feb 16: British Archaeologist Howard Carter finds Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s inner burial chamber and sarcophagus.
Mar 9: Vladimir Lenin retires as chairman of the just-established Soviet Union following a stroke.
March 14: 29th US President Warren G. Harding is the first president to pay income tax. On August 2 he dies and Calvin Coolidge becomes president, setting the stage for the Great Depression.
Apr 6: Louis Armstrong makes his first recording, “Chimes Blues,” with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band.
Apr 15: Insulin becomes generally available for diabetics.
May 28: US Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty rules it legal for women to wear trousers anywhere.
July 20-21: The National Woman’s Party meets in Seneca Falls, NY to draft the first equal-rights amendment to the Constitution, dubbed the Lucretia Mott amendment. The work goes on.
Sep 1: The Great Kanto Earthquake kills over 100,000 in the Tokyo region.
Sep 29: The League of Nations parcels out the Middle East, establishing the British protectorate of Palestine as a new homeland for the Jewish people.
Oct 16: The Walt Disney Co. is established.
Oct 29: The Black revue Runnin’ Wild opens and starts a national dance craze with its song “Charleston.”
Oct 29: Turkey becomes a republic under Kemal Ataturk, ending the Ottoman Empire.
Nov 8: The Beer Hall Putsch in Munich kills 20 and eventually sends its leader Adolph Hitler to jail, where he will write a book.
Dec 29: Vladimir K. Zworykin files his first patent, in the US, for “television systems.”
Through the year: Major US automakers introduce the practice of annual model changes, making older models stylistically obsolete and eventually driving smaller competitors out, inaugurating the age of planned obsolescence.
200 years ago, 1823
May 10: The first steamboat to navigate the Mississippi River arrives at what would become Fort Snelling, near what is now St Paul, MN.
Sep 21: Joseph Smith has a vision of the Angel Moroni.
Dec 2: Fifth US President James Monroe declares the Monroe Doctrine opposing European colonialism in the Americas, arguing any European political intervention in the New World would be a hostile act against the US. Good thing we didn’t start doing that ourselves.
500 years ago, 1523
Pedro de Gante establishes one of the first indoctrination centers (“schools”) for Indigenous people in Mexico, aimed at converting Indigenous leaders and communities to Christianity.
Spanish adventurers bring a new kind of wild bird from the New World to Spain, which when introduced in Britain is mistakenly named after the eastern-Mediterranean merchants of guinea fowl from Africa: the turkey.
800 years ago, 1223
The people who would become Ukrainians spend the entire year defending against invaders from the east.
1000 years ago, 1023
The Danish noble Siward, aka Sigurd, is appointed Earl of Northumbria, which included what’s now lowland Scotland. He’ll go on to conquer most of what’s now northern England, including defeating the Highland Scottish king Mac Bethad mac Findlaích (‘Macbeth’), earning him a featured role in a certain Scottish play.