World Events

10th January 1776 Thomas Paine publishes ‘Common Sense’

  At the beginning of 1776 the American Revolution was well underway and growing in intensity with each passing week. The Battle of Bunker Hill in June ’75 had shaken the British army so badly they’d been on the back … Continue reading

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9th January 1996 The Third Battle of Newbury

On 9th January 1996 the bulldozers and chainsaws moved in to clear the route of the Newbury bypass. This nine-mile stretch of Berkshire countryside had been under threat since a public inquiry in 1988 approved the building of a four-lane … Continue reading

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7th January 1649 The Re-Discovery of Avebury

Today, we must celebrate John Aubrey’s dramatic rediscovery of Avebury – the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle – whilst out hunting with fellow royalists during the English Civil War, exactly 369 years ago. For Aubrey’s heroic retrieval of this vast … Continue reading

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28th December 1937 The Birth of the Irish Republic

At one minute before midnight on December 28th 1937 the Irish constitution passed into law and the Republic of Ireland (or Éire) was born. Although it has been described as a revolutionary act itself, the passing of the constitution was … Continue reading

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22nd December 1894 The Dreyfus Affair

Post-Nazism, post-Holocaust, it’s easy to forget that it was not Berlin, but Paris – the cultural capital of Europe – that played shameful host to the first outpouring of modern political anti-Semitism. For it was on this day in 1894 that … Continue reading

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20th December 1973  Operation Ogre

On this day in 1973, Spain moved a significant step closer to liberation from its protracted state of fascistic tyranny when General Francisco Franco’s named political successor – the recently appointed prime minister, Luis Carrero Blanco, otherwise known as “the … Continue reading

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29th November 1968 John & Yoko Release “Two Virgins”

Today we commemorate the anniversary of the UK release of Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins – the first artistic collaboration between John and Yoko – for whom, as the Romeo and Juliet of their time, no surnames are required. Eighteen … Continue reading

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28th November 2001 The Collapse of Enron

  The collapse of US energy and trading conglomerate, Enron, played out over several months in 2001 but we choose to note its passing today. For it was on November 28th, 2001 that the scale of the deceit and fraud … Continue reading

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26th November 1976 ‘Anarchy In the UK’ Released

Today we celebrate the release of the Sex Pistols’ debut 7” single ‘Anarchy in the UK’ which caused a public outcry when it first appeared 41 years ago, and heralded the entire regeneration of ‘70s rock’n’roll. A riotous wake-up call … Continue reading

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24th November 1859  Charles Darwin Publishes ‘On The Origin Of Species’

Today we’re looking back to November 24th 1859 and the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Although few of you reading this will be unaware of the significance of this remarkable book, it is worth taking a … Continue reading

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23rd November 1936 Robert Johnson Lays It Down

On this day in 1936, the legendary bluesman, Robert Johnson, made his recording debut in room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas – one of only two recording sessions he would make in his short life, but … Continue reading

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22nd November 1990 Thatcher Resigns

Twenty-seven years ago today, Margaret Thatcher ran crying from 10 Downing Street to a waiting car, having just announced her resignation as Prime Minister of Britain after being forced out of the leadership of the Conservative Party by her own … Continue reading

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16th November 1938 Albert Hofmann Synthesizes LSD

Today is quite an anniversary for psychedelic culture. Exactly eight years ago the world lost one of its most remarkable visionary painters, the Peruvian Pablo Amaringo, whose art documented his shamanic ayahuasca visions. Forty-four years ago saw the death of … Continue reading

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11th November 1918  Armistice Day

Ninety-nine years ago today, the signing of the Armistice in a railway carriage in France’s Compiegne Forest, by the Allied Commander-in-Chief Marshall Foch and Germany’s representative Matthias Erzberger, signaled the end of World War One and the complete defeat of … Continue reading

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9th November 1989  the Collapse of the Berlin Wall

Today we remember the anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall – that 90-mile-long boundary separating two opposing ideologies, that divided a city in half completely cutting off the political enclave of West Berlin from surrounding East Germany. Ever … Continue reading

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8th November 1923 Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch

Ninety-four years ago today, Adolf Hitler – a full decade before actually seizing power – led his young Munich-based Nazi Party in an audacious yet disastrous attempt to force armed revolution upon chaotic post-WW1 Germany, when 600 Nazi stormtroopers gate-crashed … Continue reading

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2nd November 1917 Balfour Lights the Fuse

One hundred years ago today, British foreign secretary and former prime minister Lord Balfour lit the fuse of an almighty powder keg when he wrote to the financier Lord Rothschild, Britain’s most influential Jew: “His Majesty’s Government views with favour … Continue reading

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16th October 1859 John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry in northern Virginia, situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, was chosen in 1794 by George Washington to be the site of the United States Federal Armory. And it was here on this day in … Continue reading

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7th October 1955 Ginsberg’s First Reading of “Howl”

On this day in 1955, a behemoth of incomparable significance occurred that would restore poetry to its rightful cultural position, crystallise the voice of a discontented generation and launch a revolutionary literary movement that set the bar for the explosive … Continue reading

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4th October 1798 the Publication of Lyrical Ballads

On this day in 1798, the English Romantic era was launched with the publication of Lyrical Ballads – the seminal collection of poems, mainly by William Wordsworth but with four (key) contributions from Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In Wordsworth’s “Preface” to … Continue reading

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26th September 1919 Nestor’s Counterattack

On this day in 1919 , anarchist leader Nestor Makhno – outrun, outnumbered and outmanoeuvred – led his Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (otherwise known as the Black Army) to the unlikeliest of victories over the anti-revolutionary and vastly superior … Continue reading

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24th September 1969  the Chicago Conspiracy Trial

24th September 1969 marked the beginning of the infamous and so-called Chicago Conspiracy Trial – the most highly publicised showcase for the opposing political, cultural and generational ideologies that divided America during its explosive Vietnam years. Accused of conspiring to incite … Continue reading

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22nd September

The most revolutionary proclamation ever issued by an American president was announced on this day in 1862. A recollection of this momentous occasion will appear here shortly.

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21st September 1942 Maiden Flight of the B-29

Seventy-five years ago today saw the maiden flight of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, that huge American warplane whose atomic load would, with the bombing of Hiroshima, bring World War 2 to a sudden and dreadful conclusion. Faster, vaster, and with … Continue reading

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19th September 1952 America Banishes Charlie Chaplin

Today we recall the shameful expulsion from America of Charlie Chaplin – the great film-making pioneer and veritable icon – who, with his deft touch of comedy and pathos, brought enduring pleasure to the world and generated millions of dollars for … Continue reading

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17th September 2011 The Birth of the Occupy Movement

On this day in 2011, a group of 1000 gathered in New York City’s financial district to protest corporate power over democracy, the growing disparity of wealth distribution, and the total absence of criminal accountability of the greedy rotters responsible … Continue reading

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16th September 1920  the First Wall Street Bombing

On this day in 1920, a bedraggled horse-drawn wagon made its way along Wall Street in Lower Manhattan – which had recently eclipsed London as the financial centre of the world – and stopped directly in front of its then-most powerful … Continue reading

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11th September 2001 9/11

On this day in 2001, all of America’s postwar bullying, lying, cheating, deceiving, extorting, interloping and specifically self-serving ways resulted in the shocking, gruesome, horrific and utterly tragic massive attack that destroyed the Twin Towers in downtown Manhattan.

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7th September 1872 Bakunin Gets the Boot

Though it is almost impossible to imagine, in light of where Stalin and Mao took their respective communist countries, less than a century before their totalitarian regimes took power, anarchism stood side-by-side with communism as a genuine political consideration for … Continue reading

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4th September 1949  the Peekskill Riots

When I was twelve years old, I discovered that my best friend Liz’s grandmother had, throughout her adult life, enjoyed a decades-long love affair with Paul Robeson. Singer, scholar, Hollywood actor, Broadway star, political activist – Paul Robeson was a … Continue reading

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2nd September 1956 the First World Congress of Liberated Artists

On this day in 1956, a group of around twenty obscure radical artists converged on the small Italian town of Alba, just southeast of Turin, for the First World Congress of Liberated Artists. Revolution was the common denominator among these … Continue reading

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1st September 1939 Germany Invades Poland

On this day in 1939, months of brown-nosing Hitler’s Nazis by the winners of World War One – Britain, France and America AKA the Western Powers – resulted not in a safer Europe but in the Invasion of Poland, when, … Continue reading

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16th August 1819 The Peterloo Massacre

On this day in 1819, during a pro-democracy rally in Manchester’s St. Peter’s Field, utter bloody carnage fell upon the peaceful protestors when the local yeomanry set about the crowd of 60,000 with sabres drawn, trampling and hacking down fifteen … Continue reading

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