January

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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1st January 1804 The Black Jacobins and the Haitian Revolution

Toussaint L’Ouverture:  Leader of the Haitian Revolution

On New Year’s Day in 1804, Haiti proclaimed its independence: After ten years of struggle, an army of former slaves led by their charismatic leader Toussaint L’Ouverture had fought the French and British to a standstill. After the British colonies … Continue reading

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2nd January 1920 The Palmer Raids

Industrial Workers of the World offices ransacked during the Palmer Raids

  On this day in 1920, in an attempt to rid America of its “moral perverts”, federal agents under the direction of U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer raided pool halls, restaurants and private homes in thirty-five American cities and, … Continue reading

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3rd January 1894 the Death of Elizabeth Peabody

Elizabeth Peabody

Today we pay tribute to Elizabeth Peabody – author, publisher and education pioneer – whose progressive and intellectual contributions played a pivotal role in igniting and facilitating the American Transcendentalist movement. Born into a poor but intellectually rich family, Elizabeth was … 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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5th January 1937 the Death of Lou Andreas-Salome

Lou Andreas-Salome

Sigmund Freud called her “the great understander”. Friedrich Nietzsche said of her: “I found no more gifted or reflective spirit … Lou is by far the smartest person I ever knew.” Rainer Maria Rilke sang of her: “…all that I … Continue reading

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6th January 2006 the Death of Comandante Ramona

Comandante Ramona (with Subcomandante Marcos)

Today we pay tribute to Comandante Ramona – the diminutive, barely literate peasant-turned-revolutionary leader and heroine – who died eight years ago on this day at the age of 47 following a decade-long battle with cancer. A high-ranking officer of … Continue reading

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7th January 1649 The Re-Discovery of Avebury

Avebury Stone Circle today: with its ditches excavated, unsightly cottages demolished, and unnecessary enclosures removed, it’s difficult to imagine the snarl of domestic chaos that greeted John Aubrey’s visionary gaze that January morn.

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 365 years ago. For Aubrey’s heroic retrieval of this vast … 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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9th January 1996 The Third Battle of Newbury

The Battle for the Trees at Tot Hill, 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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10th January 1776 Thomas Paine publishes ‘Common Sense’

Thomas Paine's '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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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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12th January

Nothing as yet occurred on this day that falls within On This Deity’s remit, so – until tomorrow – here are some excerpts from Emma Goldman’s brilliant and inspiring essay, Anarchism: What It Really Stands For. “Anarchism … is the philosophy … Continue reading

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13th January 2006 The Murder of Joan Root

Joan Root and friends: a fox, a hippo and an aardvark. (Photo by Alan Root)

Eight years ago today, 69-year-old Joan Root lay alone bleeding to death from gunshot wounds at her home on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Whodunnit? Who cut down this Kenyan-born English rose? And why? As a young woman, … Continue reading

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14th January 1977 the Death of Anais Nin

The brilliant and beautiful Anaïs Nin

Today we pay tribute to Anaïs Nin – one of the most important writers of the twentieth century – who died on this day in 1977. Brilliant, beautiful, seductive, promiscuous, flamboyant, provocative, fearless, Anaïs was and remains a source of … 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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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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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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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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19th January 1865 the Death of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Let us cast our mind back to this day in 1865 to remember the death (at the age of 56) and celebrate the life of the world’s first anarchist. Actually, it’s probably stretching things a little to describe Pierre-Joseph Proudhon … 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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21st January 1924 the Death of Vladimir Lenin

lenin

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who, as leader of the Bolshevik Party and architect of the first successful workers’ revolution, unleashed upon the world a new kind of tyranny that substituted dynastical despots for … Continue reading

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22nd January 1905 Bloodsky Sunday

Bloody Sunday outside the Winter Palace

Today marks one of the defining events of the 20th Century, for it was exactly 109 years ago today that a seismic shift occurred that would ultimately end Russia’s seemingly unassailable dynastical certainties – setting the stage for the new … 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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24th January 1965 the Death of Winston Churchill

Mad enough

Today we are duty bound to remember that dreadful old scoundrel, Winston Churchill, who died exactly forty-nine years ago. Racist, royalist, aristocrat, misogynist, opposer of women’s rights, deployer of army weapons against striking miners even; who knows the scores of ways … Continue reading

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25th January 1971 Charles Manson Convicted

CharlesManson

It was forty-three years ago on this day that Charles Manson and three of his female accomplices were finally convicted of those horrendously violent murders which have come to many to represent the symbolic termination of the Swinging Sixties. Undoubtedly, … Continue reading

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26th January 1788 Australia’s “First Fleet”

Australian Aboriginals commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First Fleet as a 'Day of Mourning'

Two hundred and twenty-six years ago today, the “First Fleet” of eleven ships arrived at Sydney Cove, Australia. Its passengers were the first white settlers of this remote continent: some 750 convicted petty criminals and 500 marine guards and officers … Continue reading

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27th January 1967 the Apollo 1 Sacrifice

The incinerated command module of Apollo 1

Today we pay tribute to the three American astronauts of Apollo 1, who died forty-seven years ago when their command module cabin caught fire during a pre-launch test at Cape Kennedy. The flight had already caused controversy when, just days … 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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29th January 1912 the Death of Anna LoPizzo

"Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes; Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!"

On this day in 1912, 34-year-old immigrant mill-worker Anna LoPizzo was shot and killed by police whilst peacefully picketing in the Lawrence Textile Strike. Unlike the majority of heroines recalled here at On This Deity, Anna LoPizzo was in no … Continue reading

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30th January 1649 the Execution of Charles I

Off with his head

Today we commemorate the execution of King Charles I of England, three hundred and sixty-five years ago, executed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell after a trial by the Rump Parliament found the king guilty of being ‘a tyrant, traitor … Continue reading

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31st January 1968 the Tet Offensive

Eddie Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken on the streets of Saigon during the Tet Offensive sent shock waves through America

In the early hours of 31st January 1968, thirteen years into the Vietnam War, 70,000 North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces launched a wave of simultaneous attacks on more than 100 towns and cities in South Vietnam. This audacious operation took … Continue reading

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