Heroes

17th May 1978 the Death of Armin T Wegner

Armin T. Wegner

This date is reserved for German humanitarian hero Armin T. Wegner, whose courageous actions on penalty of death bore undeniable photographic evidence of the systematic genocide of over one million Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. … Continue reading

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21st February 1934 the Death of Augusto César Sandino

"We will go to the sun of freedom or to the death; if we die, our cause will continue living." - Augusto Sandino

A tribute to the Nicaraguan freedom fighter and anti-imperialist hero Augusto César Sandino –  murdered on this day – will appear here soon.

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25th November 1968 the Death of Upton Sinclair

"I don't know whether anyone will care to examine my heart, but if they do they will find two words there: 'Social Justice.' For that is what I have believed in and fought for." - Upton Sinclair

A tribute to Upton Sinclair – radical writer, lifelong crusader for social justice, and victim of the first ever American political smear campaign – will appear here shortly.

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12th November 1924 the Death of E.D. Morel

E.D. Morel

A man who helped to bring about the end of a brutal empire, whose tireless campaigning laid the groundwork for groups like Amnesty International, and who defeated Winston Churchill in an election – but who nobody has heard of – … Continue reading

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5th July 1833 the Death of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

images

Look at the camera and say ‘cheese’ and ‘thank you’ to Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who died on this day in 1833, for it was Niépce who changed the way we view the world. Born in France 1765 into a middle-class family Niépce … Continue reading

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7th April 1836 the Death of William Godwin

William Godwin

A tribute to William Godwin – the father of philosophical anarchism – will appear here shortly.

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29th March 1912 the Death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott

Captain Robert Falcon Scott 100th Anniversary of his Death

In the 1960s space was the final frontier. But just half a century earlier, the final frontier was the South Pole. And one hundred years ago today – his two companions lying frozen to death next to him – 43-year-old … Continue reading

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11th February 1650 the Death of René Descartes

René Descartes

Today, on the anniversary of his death in 1650, we remember the life and work of French philosopher and mathematician, René Descartes. Although not overtly political, the work of Descartes succeeded in redefining much of philosophical thought, to the extent … Continue reading

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10th February 1778 the death of Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus

The Bible, Genesis 2:20, states: “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field”. But actually it wasn’t Adam. It was a Swedish botanist: Carl Linnaeus. My dad … Continue reading

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3rd February 1468 Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Revolution

800px-Featherbed_Alley_Printshop_Bermuda

As befits such a momentous world-shifting event, On This Deity proudly presents two overviews to mark the occasion of the death of Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Revolution he begat.  These days we are constantly told that the Internet is the … Continue reading

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17th December 2010  The Self-Immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi

Mohamed Bouazizi

What a magic carpet ride it’s been in recent years for our brothers and sisters in North Africa and the Middle East. Egypt’s Mubarak-led police state deposed, Libya’s mad dog Gaddafi fittingly gunned down in a sewer. And the struggle … Continue reading

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30th November 1994 The Revolutionary Suicide of Guy Debord

Guy Debord

On the evening of November 30th 1994, in the remote French village of Champot, revolutionary and avant-gardist Guy Debord enacted his final spectacle of deconstruction when he shot himself through the heart. He was 62. For the prime mover of … Continue reading

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22nd October 1941 The Execution of Guy Môquet

Guy Môquet

It happened in a quarry behind a prison camp on the outskirts of Châteaubriand. In three groups of nine, twenty-seven men were lined up. Behind them a pit to fall into. Before them a row of German guns. It was … Continue reading

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5th August 1895 the Death of Friedrich Engels

Friedrich Engels: "Marx's General"

Today we recall the social theorist and world-changer – Friedrich Engels – chiefly known as the lifelong friend, literary executor and “junior partner” of Karl Marx. One of the most remarkable collaborative relationships in history, together Engels and Marx wrote The … Continue reading

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3rd August 2006 the Death of Arthur Lee

Arthur

Today we honour Arthur Lee – the African American protest singer, metaphysical poet and leader of LA’s pioneering psychedelic refuseniks Love – who quit this planet seven years ago after an arduous battle with cancer. Like Lou Reed, Arthur’s work … Continue reading

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30th July 2006 the Death of Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin

Today we pay tribute to one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century – social critic, anarchist, utopian and eco-pioneer, Murray Bookchin – who died eight years ago aged 85. For twenty-five years, he was the most prominent American proponent of … Continue reading

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29th July 1890 the Suicide of Vincent van Gogh

Vincent

On 27 July 1890, Vincent van Gogh, an unkempt, unknown 37-year-old Dutchman, walked out of his lodgings in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, just north of Paris, where he had been living and working since May. That day instead of his … Continue reading

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8th July 1822 the Death of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Shelley

Today we lament the tragically early death of Percy Bysshe Shelley, drowned when his schooner sank in a sudden violent storm in the Gulf of La Spezia. He was twenty-nine years old. Ten days later, his body washed ashore and, … Continue reading

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7th July 2006 the Death of Syd Barrett

The beautiful Syd Barrett

Today we pay tribute to the legendary Syd Barrett, erstwhile leader of the Pink Floyd and Psychedelic Frontiersman # 1, who quit this planet eight years ago after decades of reclusive living and battles with mental illness. WebRep currentVote noRating … Continue reading

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6th July 1934 the Death of Nestor Makhno

Nestor Makhno

Today we recall the Ukrainian revolutionary leader, Nestor Makhno, who died 80 years ago on this day in poverty, illness and oblivion. Fellow exiles who’d watched Makhno drink and cough himself to death in the slums of Paris could scarcely … Continue reading

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4th July 1980 the Death of Gregory Bateson

Gregory Bateson

There is no shortage of events to remember on July 4th. So I’m extremely pleased that On This Deity finds room today to celebrate the life and commemorate the death of Gregory Bateson. The first time I encountered Gregory Bateson’s … Continue reading

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3rd July 1971  the Death of Jim Morrison

Mr Mojo Risin'

Today we honour that great poet and masterful singer, Jim Morrison, whose life was taken from him forty-three years ago today as he lay sleeping in his bath. He packed the life of an adventurous seventy-year-old into his twenty-seven short … Continue reading

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1st July 1876 the Death of Mikhail Bakunin

“No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker.”

Today we contemplate the extraordinary life and legacy of Mikhail Bakunin, the revolutionary colossus and leading spirit of 19th-century anarchism who – one hundred and thirty-eight years ago today – died in poverty and defeat at the age of sixty-two. Out-manoeuvred and … Continue reading

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29th June 1975 the Mysterious Tragedy of Tim Buckley

Tim Buckley

Today we lament the tragic and untimely passing of rock’n’roll’s most revolutionary vocal stylist  – the beautiful Tim Buckley – wrenched away from this planetary existence thirty-nine years ago aged just twenty-eight. Had he survived his tragic fate, who knows what … Continue reading

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28th June 1936  the Death of Alexander Berkman

Alexander Berkman

On this day in 1936, Alexander Berkman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. Suffering from poor health and broken dreams, it was a sad and discomfiting end to the noble life of this seemingly inexorable revolutionary who, … Continue reading

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22nd June 1939 the Death of Benjamin Tucker

"I have never claimed that liberty will bring perfection, only that its results are vastly more preferable to those that follow authority." - Benjamin Tucker

Not with any spectacular knock-out blow did today’s subject achieve his legacy in the pantheon of American anarchist luminaries. He wasn’t a “propaganda-by-the-deed” anti-hero like Alexander Berkman; nor was he an inspiring, fiery, superstar orator like Emma Goldman. Despite being … Continue reading

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13th June 1381 the Peasants’ Revolt

Wat Tyler leading the Peasant's Revolt

On this day in 1381, 20,000 peasants and townsmen from Kent and Essex stormed into London, led by John Ball an itinerant priest and Wat Tyler a craftsman. They had come to present the young King Richard II with a … Continue reading

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12th June 1963 the Assassination of Medgar Evers

Medgar Evers

On this day in 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home while his wife and young children watched in horror as he bled to death on the doorstep. Lynchings were still an ugly … Continue reading

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8th June 1809 the Death of Thomas Paine

Erased from official history, the man named "The United States of America"

Today we celebrate and give thanks to Thomas Paine who, in his lifetime, contributed profoundly and fundamentally to the American and French Revolutions. His words crystallised and brought to the forefront the struggles of Britain’s Industrial Revolution working class. His … Continue reading

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6th June 1961 the Death of C.G. Jung

Mighty Carl Jung

Today we pay tribute to Switzerland’s Carl Gustav Jung, the analytical psychologist who – like the artist William Blake and the civil rights leader Malcolm X – has risen to become a modern day World Prophet of the West not … Continue reading

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5th June 2002 the Death of Dee Dee Ramone

Dee Dee

Today we pay tribute to the great rock’n’roll hero Dee Dee Ramone, who died twelve years ago aged fifty. What can we do but kneel at the grave of this hoodlum culture hero and give thanks to him for stealing … Continue reading

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31st May 1996 the Death of Timothy Leary

The one and only Dr. Timothy Leary

At 12:44am on the 31st of May 1996, Dr. Timothy Leary sat bolt upright in bed startling the small group of friends and family who had gathered to keep him company during his final days. He had been diagnosed with … Continue reading

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23rd May 2008 the Death of Utah Phillips

Utah Phillips

Today we raise a fist in tribute to folk singer, anarchist, activist, historian and storyteller extraordinaire, Utah Phillips, who died six years ago on this day aged seventy-three. A Mark Twain-meets-Howard Zinn with a guitar, Phillips dedicated himself to unearthing … Continue reading

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22nd May 1885 the Death of Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Today we pay our respects to that towering giant of French letters, visionary poet, epic novelist, revolutionary playwright, Romantic, mystic and political activist – Victor Hugo. An unqualified hero to his countrymen, when he died on this day in 1885 … Continue reading

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21st May 1927 Charles Lindbergh’s Solo Atlantic Flight

Charles Lindbergh arriving in Paris

Today we celebrate, rejoicing with arms outstretched at the audacious and heroic actions of America’s Charles Lindbergh, whose 30-hour flight from America’s east coast to Paris eighty-seven years ago in a single-engine monoplane even shorter than a Spitfire turned him … Continue reading

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12th May 1916 the Execution of James Connolly

James Connolly

It was a bright morning in Dublin on May 12th 1916, and a great crowd had gathered outside of Kilmainham Jail. As spring was turning to summer, a city still coming to terms with the death and destruction of the … Continue reading

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8th May 1903 the Death of Paul Gauguin

Paul Guaguin self-portrait

“In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of ‘revolutionary’; and it is they alone who are masters.” – Paul Gauguin When artist Paul Gauguin’s 54-year-old dead body was lowered swiftly into his grave … Continue reading

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7th May 1763 Pontiac’s Rebellion

Chief Pontiac

On this day in 1763, one of the most significant Indian rebellions in the history of Colonial America began when a confederacy of tribes under the leadership of Chief Pontiac attacked British forces at Fort Detroit. Pontiac’s war would rage … Continue reading

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6th May 1862 the Death of Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau: A Hero for All Seasons

Today we pay tribute to author, naturalist, abolitionist, poet, prophet and unrepentant individual – Henry David Thoreau. When he died on this day in 1862 from tuberculosis aged 44, this giant in the American pantheon was still virtually unknown. Indeed, … Continue reading

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5th May 2011 the Death of WWI’s Final Warrior

Claude Stanley Choules

Early in the morning of 5th May 2011, the last living soldier and genuine veteran of World War One quit this planet at the inspiring age of 110. Claude Stanley Choules signed up to the Royal Navy in 1915 when … Continue reading

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27th April 1882 the Death of Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Sage of Concord

He’s been called the “prophet of his generation,” “America’s Plato,” “the Sage of Concord” and “the single most influential figure in American literary history.” Today we celebrate a true colossus – Ralph Waldo Emerson – who died on this day in … Continue reading

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21st April 1792 the Execution of Tiradentes

Tiradente quartered

On this day in 1792, Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier – better known as Tiradentes – was hanged in Rio de Janeiro, his body then chopped into pieces, which were displayed along the road between Rio and Vila Rica. His head … Continue reading

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19th April 1824 the Death of Lord Byron

Lord Byron on his death-bed

Yes, he was “mad, bad and dangerous to know” – flamboyant, dynamic and notorious for his scandalous love affairs and aristocratic excesses. A proto-rock star, he was the most famous literary figure of his day – capturing the imagination of Europe … Continue reading

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18th April 1955 the Death of Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

On the 18th of April 1955 Albert Einstein died in Princeton Hospital, New Jersey. He was 76 years old. One of the chief architects of the modern era, there are few other individuals whose impact on human culture has been … Continue reading

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15th April 1865 the Death of Abraham Lincoln

Cometh the hour, cometh the man

Seven score and nine years ago today at 7.22am, Abraham Lincoln died – nine hours after an assassin’s bullet entered the back of his head. This self-educated, rough-hewn lawyer from Illinois with virtually no administrative or military experience had for … Continue reading

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12th April 1989 the Revolutionary Suicide of Abbie Hoffman

“You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.” - Abbie Hoffman

Today we commemorate everyone’s favourite Groucho Marxist – the radical activist, Abbie Hoffman. Co-founder of the Yippies and author of Steal This Book and Revolution for the Hell of It, Hoffman was one of the most colourful and iconic figures … Continue reading

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10th April 1919 the Death of Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata

Today we lament the death of the great Mexican revolutionary, natural anarchist and prophet ­– Emiliano Zapata – tragically betrayed and ambushed ninety-five years ago by federal forces after an heroic 9-year struggle to bring self-reliance and autonomy to his … Continue reading

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8th April 2010 the Death of Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren

Today we pay tribute to that uproarious lord of mischief, Malcolm McLaren, who popped his clogs four years ago today. What more can be said of this tiresome entrepreneurial maverick haberdasher who practiced his trade in the dying embers of … Continue reading

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4th April 1968  the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

"If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. – the inspirational leader, moral arbiter and emblematic martyr of the U.S. civil rights movement.  A prophet who led America out of its Jim Crow darkness, for thirteen turbulent years, this devout Baptist preacher harnessed … Continue reading

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3rd April 2000 the Death of Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna

On this day in 2000 the world lost a great champion of freedom, creativity, and our inalienable right to increase both of these by partaking of nature’s rich pharmacy. Terence McKenna was a thinker, explorer, writer and raconteur obsessed with … Continue reading

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29th March 1772 the Death of Emanuel Swedenborg

The Young Swedenborg

Today we celebrate the extraordinary scholar, philosopher, mystic and prophet, Emanuel Swedenborg, who left this world – just as he had predicted – two hundred and forty-two years ago today. Prophecy it was that brought greatest fame to Swedenborg, probably his … Continue reading

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27th March 1968 the Death of Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

Today we acknowledge the anniversary of the death of Russia’s Yuri Gagarin, the first hero in space, the first human in space. How ironic then it was that such a hero could be dispatched not on a space flight but … Continue reading

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26th March 1892 the Death of Walt Whitman

The portrait Whitman chose to represent himself in the first edition of 'Leaves of Grass' - abandoning the traditional "head an shoulders" pose of the intellectual, here – for the first time – was a poet of and for the people.

In the middle of the 19th century, the barely-United States of America was in grave trouble. Stymied by its inability to reconcile a mandate for economic growth that depended largely on that “peculiar institution” of slavery, the so-called “Land of … Continue reading

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25th March 1969  John & Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace

The newspeople said, "Say, what you're doing in bed?" I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace"

On 25th March 1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon staged their first ‘bed-in’ for peace. Married five days earlier in Gibraltar, the Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton – inviting the world’s press to come and interview them about … Continue reading

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23rd March 1931 the Martyrdom of Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh photographed in prison

We in the West tend to recall only the great Mahatma Gandhi when we think of India’s long and gruelling fight for freedom from the British Raj. But today we pay tribute to another extraordinary Indian Independence revolutionary – Bhagat … Continue reading

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21st March 1991 the Death of Leo Fender

Leo with Fenders

Today we pay tribute to the sustained visionary genius of Leo Fender, whose extraordinary deployment of Edisonian technology catapulted the previously minstrels-only 6-string guitar to the forefront of the post-war rock ‘n’ roll revolution. Yes, it must be understood that … Continue reading

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14th March 1883 the Death of Karl Marx

Karl_Marx

“On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think.” Those were the words of Friedrich Engels at the funeral of his close friend and creative collaborator, Karl Marx. The … Continue reading

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4th March 1888 the Death of Amos Bronson Alcott

A. Bronson Alcott

Henry David Thoreau declared him: “A true friend of man; almost the only friend of human progress.” In his quest for human ascendency, he was more Emersonian than Ralph Waldo Emerson himself. Today we recall one of the nineteenth century’s … Continue reading

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1st March 1969 Jim Morrison’s Miami Mischief Night

"See it? Did you see it?"

Forty-five years ago today, in his hometown of Miami, Florida, controversial Doors singer Jim Morrison finally abandoned all notions of changing society through his role as a pop singer and entertainer. Instead, profoundly inspired by three successive viewings of the … Continue reading

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26th February 1994 the Death of Bill Hicks

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit."

Do you remember where you were when you heard the news that Bill Hicks was dead? I was at the corner of Kentish Town Road and Hawley Road, on my way to a pub in Camden Town. My friend Justin … Continue reading

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23rd February 1821 the Death of John Keats

"I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest." - John Keats (one of The Greatest)

Today we reflect on the brief but luminous life of John Keats – struck down by tuberculosis on this day in 1821 at the age of 25. Little known and lowly regarded in his lifetime, the dying poet – resigned … Continue reading

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22nd February 1943 Beheading of the White Rose

Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst

Seventy-one years ago today, three German students were executed by guillotine in Munich’s Stadelheim Prison for their crimes of high treason against Hitler’s Third Reich. Just four days earlier, 24-year-old Hans Scholl and his 21-year-old sister Sophie were arrested after … Continue reading

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21st February 1965 Assassination of Malcolm X

"Snakes couldn't have turned on me faster than the liberal" - Malcolm X

Today we pay tribute to America’s extraordinary 1960s ‘Black Muslim’ leader and future World Prophet Malcolm X – murdered forty-nine years ago – whose audacious and inflammatory words, infamous autobiography and extraordinary TV appearances as the Nation of Islam’s spokesman … Continue reading

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20th February 1895 the Death of Frederick Douglass

Brilliant, heroic, indefatigable: Frederick Douglass

Today we pay tribute to a true colossus – the abolitionist, writer, orator and America’s first black leader of national stature, the inimitable Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery, separated in infancy from his mother and shunted from one pitiless Maryland … Continue reading

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17th February 1600 the Death of Giordano Bruno

Memorial to Giordano Bruno in Rome

Today marks the 414th anniversary of the death of the Italian Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno. Most of us associate the initiation of modern cosmology with Nicolaus Copernicus (the first to convincingly place the Sun instead of the Earth at the … Continue reading

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14th February 1831 the Death of Vicente Guerrero

Vicente Guerrero

Today we pay tribute to the man known as the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln of Mexico. Vicente Guerrero was one of the leading revolutionary generals in Mexico’s 11-year war of independence and, as the republic’s second president, abolished slavery … Continue reading

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8th February 1921 the Death of Peter Kropotkin

"All things for all men, since all men have need of them, since all men worked to produce them in the measure of their strength, and since it is not possible to evaluate everyone's part in the production of the world's wealth... All is for all!" - Peter Kropotkin

Today we salute one of the turn-of-the-century’s great revolutionary heroes, Peter Alexeyevich Kropotkin. Born into extraordinary wealth and nobility – a Russian prince, no less – Kropotkin surrendered his birthright and all that came with it for the life of … Continue reading

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5th February 1881 the Death of Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle

Today, we commemorate the indefatigable, controversial and visionary Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle, a literary giant of his time whose biography of Frederick the Great so a-flamed the German imagination that it was even studied as part of the … Continue reading

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2nd February 1970 the Death of Bertrand Russell

On the 2nd of February 1970, after a long life in which he travelled far and wide, Bertrand Russell died less than a hundred miles from his Welsh birthplace. To some he was the most important philosopher of the 20th … Continue reading

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28th January 1939 the Death of William Butler Yeats

W.B. Yeats

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the death and celebrate the life of William Butler Yeats. Poet and politician, mystic and modernist, revolutionary and traditionalist, WB Yeats lived a life filled with glorious contradiction. A man of … Continue reading

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23rd January 1976  the Death of Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson

Today we pay our respects to the great singer, actor, scholar, All-American athlete and human rights activist, Paul Robeson, who died on this day 1976. In the 1930s and 40s, this son of an escaped slave was the most famous … Continue reading

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20th January 1900 the Death of John Ruskin

John Ruskin

Today we pay tribute to culture hero, writer and thinker, John Ruskin, who died 113 years ago aged 80. The most brilliant and influential art critic of his age, and arguably any other, Ruskin dared to challenge – and successfully re-defined … Continue reading

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18th January 1803 the Death of Pierre-Sylvain Marechal

Sylvain_Marechal

Today we pay tribute to Pierre-Sylvain Maréchal, the visionary French revolutionary, militant Atheist and proto-anarchist whose iconoclastic and blasphemous new calendar – the “Honest Man’s Almanac” – so outraged pre-Revolutionary France that he was, in 1788, sentenced to jail for … Continue reading

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17th January 1945 the Disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg: A Hero, a True Star

Sixty-nine years ago today, Raoul Wallenberg was summoned to Red Army headquarters in Budapest, Hungary. Before setting off, he confided to one of his closest associates: “I do not know whether I am a guest of the Soviets or their … Continue reading

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16th January 1968 the Release of Blue Cheer’s VINCEBUS ERUPTUM

Paul, Dickie & Leigh: Sonic Revolution

Let us today pay tribute to Blue Cheer’s astounding debut LP VINCEBUS ERUPTUM, their teenage master class in colossally loud avant-garde guitar dynamics released exactly forty-six years ago and arguably the first rock album genuinely deserving of the description ‘Heavy … Continue reading

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15th January 1919  the Murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

Revolutionary leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

The murder of revolutionary leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht on 15th January 1919 at the hands of the proto-Nazi Freikorps marked the end of the Spartacist Week – the failed workers’ uprising in Berlin. Incredibly their murder was ordered … Continue reading

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11th January 1943 The Assassination of Carlo Tresca

Carlo Tresca

Seventy-one years ago on this day, Carlo Tresca – Italian-American anarchist leader and thorn in the side of just about everyone  – was assassinated on the streets of New York City. One of the most colourful figures of the American … Continue reading

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8th January 1972 the Death of Kenneth Patchen

Kenneth Patchen

Henry Miller called him “the living symbol of protest.” In 1957, Kenneth Rexroth wrote that he was the only remaining poetic voice of America’s early twentieth-century revolutionary conscience. Today we are commemorating American poet and novelist, Kenneth Patchen – who … Continue reading

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4th January 1960 the Death of Albert Camus

Albert Camus

  Due to unforeseen circumstances, today’s guest contributor was unable to deliver their tribute to Albert Camus. This piece will be appear at a later date.

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1st January 1994 The Zapatista Uprising

The Zapatistas, 1994

Twenty years ago today, 3,000 indigenous Mayan Indian guerrillas came down from the mountains of the southern province of Chiapas and declared war against the Mexican government. The insurgents – representing some of the poorest and most exploited people of … Continue reading

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30th December 1896 the Execution of Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal

One hundred and seventeen years ago today, José Rizal – the “George Washington of the Philippines” – was executed by the Spanish Army following a false conviction for rebellion, sedition and conspiracy. Rizal had devoted all of his brief adult life … Continue reading

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29th December 1926 the Death of Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke

Today we pay tribute to Rainer Maria Rilke, who died of leukaemia eighty-seven years ago at the age of fifty-one. In the age of disillusionment, Rilke was a mystic who pondered the Big Questions – life, love, meaning and death … Continue reading

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25th December 2006 the Death of James Brown

James Brown

Today we pay tribute to James Brown – the legendary Godfather of Soul and self-proclaimed  ‘Hardest Working man in Showbusiness’ – whose death seven years ago robbed us of a true World Artist and Culture Hero of the highest order, a … Continue reading

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23rd December 1888 Vincent van Gogh Mutilates His Ear

Self-Portrait with bandaged ear

On this day in 1888 in Arles in southern France, Vincent van Gogh performed the most infamous act of self-mutilation in art history. He cut off part of his left ear lobe. From that point on, the world pointed, laughed … Continue reading

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19th December 1940 The Birth of Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs

  The cover of Phil Ochs 1969 album, Rehearsals For Retirement, is one of the most powerful images of any 60s album. Ochs is pictured in front of the flag with a Revolutionary War rifle slung over his shoulder. Beneath … Continue reading

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18th December 2011 the Death of Vaclav Havel

"Truth and love must prevail over lies and hate." - Václav Havel

A tribute to Czech revolutionary hero Václav Havel will appear here shortly.

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17th December 1830 the Death of Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar

“I swear before you, I swear before the God of my fathers, I swear by my fathers, I swear by my honour, I swear by my country that I will not rest, body or soul, until I have broken the … Continue reading

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15th December 1890 The Death of Sitting Bull

"I wish it to be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender my rifle." - Sitting Bull

Today we lament the death of Sitting Bull, the legendary Hunkpapa Sioux chief and arguably the most famous-ever Native American, murdered by Indian “police” one hundred and twenty-three years ago today during a bungled effort to arrest the 59-year-old spiritual … Continue reading

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8th December 1980 the Murder of John Lennon

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Today we pay tribute to Beatle John Lennon, who was thirty-three years ago shot to death outside his New York City apartment building. It is not the role of this On This Deity entry to heap upon Lennon’s tragically early … Continue reading

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7th December 1985 The Death of Robert Graves

Robert Graves

Today we pay tribute to the extraordinary English poet, novelist, translator and scholar, Robert Graves  – a literary giant, who died twenty-eight years ago on this day. Seemingly effortlessly, Robert Graves’ career straddled vast tracts of time, his biography featuring … Continue reading

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5th December 1931 The Suicide of Vachel Lindsay

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Today we lament the tragic suicide eighty-two years ago of Vachel Lindsay, the Visionary Illinois poet whose intriguingly itinerant ‘Johnny Appleseed’ lifestyle, visionary essays and paintings, slew of gritty epic, para-religious poems, and the extravagant and declamatory public manner in which … Continue reading

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4th December 1969 The Murder of Fred Hampton

The murderous Chicago Police Officers cannot contain their glee as they carry the body of Fred Hampton

Forty-four years ago today – Fred Hampton, the 21-year-old deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and the most inspiring young African-American leader to emerge in the wake of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. – … Continue reading

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2nd December 1859 the Martyrdom of John Brown

The last moments of John Brown

When is a cause so just that the means justify the end? Today we honour a man who, in response to that conundrum, became a World Martyr. A man so fervently opposed to racism that he was willing to die … Continue reading

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30th November 1718 the Death of Charles XII of Sweden

"Perhaps the most extraordinary man that ever appeared in the world" – Voltaire, 1731

We today commemorate – with wonder, awe and several mega-caveats – the brief bizarre life and equally bizarre death, of Sweden’s controversial King Charles XII, who met death exactly 294 years ago, during his second invasion of Norway.  That Charles’ skull … Continue reading

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27th November 1868 the Death of Black Kettle

Chief Black Kettle

Today we lament the death of Black Kettle, chief of the Southern Cheyenne, killed 145 years ago when Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led the 7th Cavalry in a surprise dawn attack on the sleeping Cheyenne camp – massacring over … Continue reading

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20th November 1936 the Death of Buenaventura Durruti

Buenaventura Durruti

Today we remember the inspirational life of the anarchist military leader, Buenaventura Durruti, who died 77 years ago in a mysterious and hotly disputed shooting accident. For although his death occurred a mere four months into the Spanish Civil War, … Continue reading

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19th November 1915  the Death of Joe Hill

Joe Hill

Today we pay tribute to the legendary labour organiser, protest songwriter and folk hero, Joe Hill, executed 98 years ago in Utah following a notorious and highly controversial murder trial. A prominent and much-loved member of radical trade unionists the … Continue reading

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17th November 1947 the Death of Victor Serge

Victor Serge

Today in 1947, the life-long revolutionary Victor Serge collapsed and died in Mexico City at the age of 57. His health had broken down after many years spent in prison and imposed exile under regimes of various nationalities and political … Continue reading

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15th November 1998 the Death of Stokely Carmichael

Stokely Carmichael

Today we honour revolutionary, civil rights leader and firebrand, Stokely Carmichael, who died from cancer fifteen years ago on this day aged 57. In June 1966, Carmichael was catapulted to worldwide fame overnight when, at a high-profile civil rights protest … Continue reading

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10th November 1891 the Death of Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud

Today we salute the nineteenth-century visionary outsider poet, Arthur Rimbaud – whose brilliant but slender volume of work produced in a mere handful of years is often overshadowed by his magnificently audacious life. The legend of Rimbaud centres around five … Continue reading

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