November

1st November 1872 Susan B. Anthony Registers to Vote

A letter from Susan B. Anthony, celebrating her registration and vote

Today we recall an extraordinary episode in the long struggle for women’s suffrage in America, when Susan B. Anthony – one of the movement’s leading lights – launched a bid for the right to vote so clever and audacious it … Continue reading

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2nd November 1917 Balfour Lights the Fuse

The Balfour Declaration

Ninety-six 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 the … Continue reading

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3rd November 1793 the Death of Olympe de Gouges

Olympe de Gouges

Although militant feminism and female agitation were major features of the French Revolution, the woman whose name is most closely associated with this world-shattering event remains the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. But that distinction, by revolutionary rights, belongs in … Continue reading

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3rd November 1918  The Kiel Mutiny

Mutinous German sailors of SMS  Prinzregent Luitpold

Following the stalemate that resulted from the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the German surface fleet was trapped in its home bases whilst only the U-boats continued a losing battle against allied shipping. By the autumn of 1918 the Imperial German … Continue reading

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4th November 1994 the Death of Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith

Fred 'Sonic' Smith

Today we pay homage to Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, rhythm guitarist and songwriter with the revolutionary ‘60s Detroit band MC5: a Visionary Motherfucker who died of ill health at the age of just forty-five. More tragically, Sonic’s MC5 career (and role … Continue reading

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5th November 1605 Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot

fawkes2

Today we commemorate Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which several important English Catholics – led by Sir Robert Catesby – attempted to assassinate the recently crowned King James I, by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during its … Continue reading

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6th November 1990  the Women “Drivers” of Saudi Arabia

"We the Women" declaration

Twenty-three years ago today, 47 women staged a remarkable protest against Saudi Arabia’s unwritten “law of convention” prohibiting women from driving – the only country in the world to violate this basic human right of freedom of movement. In a … Continue reading

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7th November 1913 the Death of Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace

How and why do species change? Why do some occur in some places, but not in others? Why do they die out? These big questions didn’t scare intrepid British explorer, biologist and geographer Alfred Russel Wallace, who died 100 years … Continue reading

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8th November 1923 Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch

München, nach Hitler-Ludendorff Prozess

Ninety 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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9th November 1989  the Collapse of the Berlin Wall

Celebrations as the Berlin Wall falls

Today we remember one of the most epochal world events of the second half of the twentieth century: the collapse of the Berlin Wall – that 90-mile-long boundary separating two opposing ideologies, that divided a city in half completely cutting … 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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11th November 1918  Armistice Day

"If any question why we died, tell them because our fathers lied" - Rudyard Kipling

Ninety-five 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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12th November 1989 the Death of La Pasionaria

La Pasionaria: "They shall not pass!"

Today we recall the “Spanish Joan of Arc”, Dolores Ibárruri – better known the world over by her revolutionary name, La Pasionaria (the Passion Flower) – who died twenty-four years ago at the age of 93. Dolores Ibárruri achieved meteoric … Continue reading

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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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13th November 1949 The Birth of the AK-47

mk03

Sixty-four years ago today, Mikhail Kalashnikov completed his development of the AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle – an invention so reliable, so easy and inexpensive to manufacture and so serviceable that the way was opened up for post-war freedom fighters finally … Continue reading

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14th November 1817 the Death of Policarpa Salavarrieta

"La Pola"

The history of nineteenth-century female revolutionaries unsurprisingly mirrors women’s subjugated status of that century… if their stories are not entirely suppressed or consigned to mere footnotes, they are usually documented as embarrassing radical lunatics – the glory of the heroic freedom … 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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16th November 1938 Albert Hofmann Synthesizes LSD

Albert Hofmann

Today is quite an anniversary for psychedelic culture. Exactly four years ago the world lost one of its most remarkable visionary painters, the Peruvian Pablo Amaringo, whose art documented his shamanic ayahuasca visions. Forty years ago saw the death of 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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18th November 1978 the Jonestown Massacre

Jonestown Carnage

  Today we lament the tragic “revolutionary suicides” in Jonestown, Guyana of over 900 brainwashed victims of the Reverend Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple. Originally based in San Francisco, the enigmatic, almost rock star-like Jones had for decades held his dysfunctional … 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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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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21st November 1927 the First Columbine Massacre

Columbine Mine Massacre Monument

Seventy-two years before the infamous 1999 Columbine Massacre – in which two teenage students shot and killed 13 people at their high school  – there was another massacre to bear the same name that has all but disappeared into the … Continue reading

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22nd November 1990 Thatcher Resigns

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Twenty-three 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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23rd November 1936 Robert Johnson Lays It Down

The Robert Johnson Commemorative Plaque at the Gunter Hotel

Seventy-seven years ago today, 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 whose … Continue reading

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

On the Origin of Species, 1859

Today we’re looking back 154 years 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 … Continue reading

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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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26th November 1976 ‘Anarchy In the UK’ Released

Thorough Motherfuckers

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 thirty-seven years ago, and heralded the entire regeneration of ‘70s rock’n’roll. A riotous wake-up call … 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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28th November 2001 The Collapse of Enron

Healthcare not Warfare

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

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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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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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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