October

1st October 1949  Mao Zedong Declares the People’s Republic of China

Communism is not love. "Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy." - Chairman Mao

On this day in 1949, following twenty years of bitter and bloody civil war, Mao Zedong stood victorious at Beijing’s Gate of Heavenly Peace and solemnly proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China.  At last, 500 million poor … Continue reading

Posted in World Events | Leave a comment

2nd October 1947 the Death of P.D. Ouspensky

P.D. Ouspensky

Today we pay our respects to the Russian philosopher, teacher and esotericist, P.D. Ouspensky, who died sixty-six years ago on this day. Indisputably brilliant in his own right, Ouspensky is nevertheless best remembered because of another man’s brilliance. For despite … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 2 Comments

2nd October 1958 the Death of Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes

“I have some things to say about sex, which, so far as I am aware, have not yet been said … things which seem to me to be of profound importance to men and women who hope to make their … Continue reading

Posted in Heroines | 2 Comments

3rd October 1873 the Death of Kintpuash

Chief Kintpuash of the Modocs

Today we remember the Native American chief of the Modoc tribe, Kintpuash – known by his foes as “Captain Jack” – hanged by the United States army one hundred and forty years ago today in retribution for killing an American … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 10 Comments

4th October 1798 the Publication of Lyrical Ballads

Lyrical Ballads, 1798

Two hundred and fifeen years ago today, 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 … Continue reading

Posted in World Events | 1 Comment

5th October 1789 the Women’s March on Versailles

The Women's March on Versailles

Two hundred and twenty-four years ago today, an angry mob of nearly 7,000 working women – armed with pitchforks, pikes and muskets – marched in the rain from Paris to Versailles in what was to be a pivotal event in … Continue reading

Posted in Heroines, Revolution | 15 Comments

6th October

I’ve abandoned the entry I’d planned for today because, in context with the others, it wasn’t sufficiently revolutionary. So, until tomorrow, here’s something to think about: “If you reason instead of repeating what is taught you; if you analyze the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

Early Beats

Fifty-eight years ago today, 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 1960s … Continue reading

Posted in World Events | 10 Comments

8th October 1969  the Weathermen’s Days of Rage

Still under the guise of the SDS, the Weathermen hoped to "Bring the War Home!"

Forty-four years ago today, the Weathermen – the newly-formed militant faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) – attempted to “Bring the War Home” with a no-holds-barred direct action in Chicago,  surreptitiously billed “Days of Rage”. The intent was … Continue reading

Posted in Dissent, Revolution | 2 Comments

9th October 1967 The Martyrdom of Che Guevara

Che Guevara, 1959 – in everything, a Man of the Future

Forty-six years ago today, the CIA had Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara murdered in the jungles of Bolivia – the heroic exploits of this Latin American Warrior Poet and future World Prophet having, again & again, rendered the US Government’s many undercover … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes, Revolution | 2 Comments

10th October 1837 the Death of Charles Fourier

Charles Fourier

Today we go back 176 years to pay tribute to Charles Fourier – the French utopian socialist, radical philosopher and eccentric visionary. One of the earliest feminists, and a male at that, Fourier originated the word féminisme in 1827, and … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 1 Comment

11th October 1649 the Sack of Wexford

Drogheda

Today we pay tribute to the 1,500 Irish civilians murdered by rampaging English Parliamentarian forces, during Oliver Cromwell’s controversial siege of the Irish port of Wexford, on this day 354 years ago. Many drowned whilst attempting to escape across the … Continue reading

Posted in Atrocities | 2 Comments

12th October 1492 Christopher Columbus “Discovers America”

Massacre of Arawaks

At 2am on October 12th 1492, a sailor aboard the Pinta by the name of Rodrigo de Triana shouted, “Tierra! Tierra!”  For his sighting of land, he should have received a yearly pension for the rest of his life. But … Continue reading

Posted in Atrocities | 11 Comments

13th October 1909 the Execution of Francisco Ferrer

Francisco Ferrer

The execution of Catalan anarchist and educator Francisco Ferrer, 104 years ago today, was not punishment for the crime of which he had been accused. That the charges against him were fabricated is not in any doubt. Rather, his execution … Continue reading

Posted in Anarchists, Heroes | 4 Comments

14th October 1066 The Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest

Harold

The British Isles has a long history of invaders: Angles, Danes, Saxons, Vikings. But on 28th September 1066, when William, Duke of Normandy, landed at Pevensey in Sussex, an invasion force on this scale had not occurred since the Romans … Continue reading

Posted in World Events | Leave a comment

15th October 1966 the Founding of the Black Panther Party

Bobby Seale & Huey P. Newton

Forty-seven years ago today, in the Anti-Poverty Center in North Oakland, California, two young black American activists composed a “10-Point Program” for their envisaged revolution. Subtitled “What We Want and What We Believe”, this literal call-to-arms represented a significant shift in … Continue reading

Posted in Revolution | 4 Comments

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

"Men like John Brown appear only once or twice in a thousand years..." - Reverdy C. Ransom

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 one hundred and fifty-four … Continue reading

Posted in World Events | Leave a comment

16th October 1902  the Revolutionary Suicide of Ida Craddock

"I maintain my right to die as I have lived, a free woman, not cowed into silence by any other human being."

A tribute to Ida Craddock – mystic visionary, free speech and women’s rights revolutionary – will appear here shortly.

Posted in Heroines | Leave a comment

17th October 1961 The ’61 Paris Pogrom

"Algerians are drowned here"

On the 17th of October 1961, just seventeen years after he had expelled nearly 1,600 French Jews to concentration camps to the East, the former Nazi collaborator, Maurice Papon – obscenely and most bizarrely placed as Prefect of the Paris … Continue reading

Posted in Atrocities | 1 Comment

18th October 1977 the Revolutionary Suicides of Baader and Ensslin

Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin

Today we celebrate the twin revolutionary suicides of Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin – co-leaders of Germany’s nihilistic Baader-Meinhof Gang – whose bloody and murderous exploits throughout the 1970s – made as part of Europe and Asia’s larger unhomogenised terrorist … Continue reading

Posted in Revolution | 2 Comments

19th October 1943 the Death of Camille Claudel

Camille Claudel

Today we pay tribute to the brilliant Camille Claudel – widely considered to be the most gifted female sculptor the world has ever known. Her extraordinary achievements have nevertheless been eclipsed by her notorious relationship with Auguste Rodin. While her … Continue reading

Posted in Heroines | 8 Comments

20th October 1926 the Death of Eugene V. Debs

Eugene Debs

Today we pay tribute to Eugene Victor Debs – the most prominent proponent of socialism ever to emerge from the United States. A candidate for president five times under the banner of the Socialist Party of America, under Debs’s leadership socialism … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 3 Comments

21st October 1966 The Aberfan Disaster

"Buried Alive by the National Coal Board"

Forty-seven years ago today, 116 children from the South Wales village of Aberfan were suffocated in their classrooms, buried alive – just yards from their parents’ homes – by a forty-feet-high avalanche of liquefied coal waste that swept down the … Continue reading

Posted in Atrocities | 1 Comment

22nd October 1899 Sigmund Freud publishes “The Interpretation of Dreams”

"The Interpretation of Dreams"

Today we’re stepping back 114 years to the Autumn of 1899. To the day when a small academic printing-press in Vienna produced two advance copies of a book that was to herald a cultural revolution. A book that initially struggled … Continue reading

Posted in Revolution | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Heroes | Comments Off

23rd October 1956 the Hungarian Revolution

Stalin toppled: Hungary 1956

Today marks the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 – the first major anti-Soviet uprising in Eastern Europe and the first armed battle to occur between socialist states. It began spontaneously on the morning of 23rd October when 20,000 students delivered … Continue reading

Posted in Revolution | 8 Comments

23rd October 2006 The Death of Dr Jane Elizabeth Hodgson

Jane Elizabeth Hodgson

There are many reasons why a pregnancy may be unwanted. A woman may have no access to contraception or already have too many mouths to feed. It may endanger her health, even her life. She may have been raped. The … Continue reading

Posted in Heroines | Leave a comment

24th October 2005 the Death of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks being fingerprinted in 1955

Today we pay tribute to the inspirational Rosa Parks – one of the most prominent African American women in history – who died eight years ago aged 92. Rosa’s extraordinary act of civil disobedience – when, on 1st December 1955, she … Continue reading

Posted in Dissent, Heroines | 1 Comment

25th October 1917  the Bolshevik “October Revolution”

The 1920 Re-Enactment of the "Storming of the Winter Palace"

Today we consider the anniversary of Phase Two of the 1917 Russian Revolution, just eight months after Tsar Nicholas II’s regime was deposed and replaced by a Provisional Government. But the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in their so-called October … Continue reading

Posted in Revolution | 7 Comments

26th October 1902 the Death of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Today we pay tribute to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, fearless pioneer of the American women’s rights movement and the first American feminist to synthesise the arguments for women’s equality in employment, income, property, custody and divorce. As the organiser of the … Continue reading

Posted in Heroines | 4 Comments

27th October 1944 Tito’s Partisans Liberate Serbia

Marshal Tito, 1944

Sixty-nine years ago today the Nazi occupation of Serbia ended. And although fighting would continue for several weeks as the retreating axis forces were driven from Croatia and Slovenia, it was on October 27th 1944 that Germany’s “Army Section Serbia” … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 2 Comments

28th October 1959 the Death of Camilo Cienfuegos

Camilo Cienfuego – Cuban revolutionary and proto-rock star

Today we pay tribute to Camilo Cienfuegos – one of the most important revolutionaries in Fidel Castro’s 26th July Movement, whose popularity amongst Cubans rivalled even that of his close friend and comrade, Che Guevara – tragically killed at the … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 7 Comments

29th October 1949 the Death of George Gurdjieff

George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

Today we commemorate the death of the prophet and gnostic George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, who died sixty-four years ago in Neuilly, near Paris, surrounded by a large group of sobbing followers. Somewhat like William Blake’s notion of having been a ‘sent … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes | 2 Comments

30th October 1968  Trans-Love Energies’ Zenta New Year

The MC5, Grande Ballroom, Detroit - October 30th, 1968

Today we celebrate one of the most incendiary events in rock’n’roll history. Forty-five years ago, within the hallowed walls of Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, the MC5 ignited the Zenta New Year. Cosmically calculated by the Five’s Trans-Love Energies commune to signify … Continue reading

Posted in Heroes, Revolution | 5 Comments

31st October 1961 Stalin’s Corpse Demoted

Worker Sweeping Snow From Stone Marking Josef Stalin's Grave

Fifty-two years ago today, the Soviet Union’s policy of de-Stalinisation reached its peak when the tyrant’s body was removed from Lenin’s tomb in Red Square and reburied about 300 feet from that mausoleum, among minor leaders of the Revolution. A … Continue reading

Posted in Curiosities, Tyrants | 3 Comments

31st October 1517 Martin Luther Posts the Ninety-Five Theses on the Church Door in Winnberg

Nailing the Ninety-Five

Despite the best efforts of fundamentalists of all kinds to have it otherwise, most of us are products of a generally secular society. This makes it almost impossible for us to conceive of a time when every expression of thought, … Continue reading

Posted in World Events | Leave a comment