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Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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October 27, 1810  
U.S. President James Madison issues a proclamation annexing the Spanish colony of West Florida, which the United States has been seeking to take over for the past decade. The move opens the way for American settlers to take possession of the land they want and to institute slavery, which is illegal in Spanish territory.
October 27, 1864  
The founding convention of the International Workingmen’s Association (the First International) adopts its “General Rules” which will express the basic orientation of the International and guide its actions. Written by Karl Marx, they begin with the unequivocal statement “the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves” – an insistence that liberation can only be self-liberation, that it cannot be imposed or bestowed by an outside organization or leader.

October 27, 1900  
Some 4000 Quebec shoe workers are locked out by their employers, who want to break the workers’ union. The lockout continues until December 10, and is eventually settled by arbitration. The settlement recognizes workers’ rights to unionize, but subjects their union’s constitution to oversight by the Roman Catholic Church to quell radical tendencies.
Related Topics: Footwear IndustryLock-outs
March 27, 1917  
The Petrograd Soviet addresses “the people of the whole world” declaring an earnest desire for peace, an end to World War I, without annexations or indemnities. (March 14 old calendar.)
October 27, 1962  
The world comes to the very brink of nuclear war. It escapes only by a hair’s breadth, thanks to a life-and-death decision by a Soviet naval officer.
The Cuban Missile Crisis, which has been building since October 14, is in danger of spiralling out of control because of the illegal and high-risk U.S. naval blockade of Cuba. On this day, reckless U.S. Navy commanders decide to drop depth charges on a Soviet submarine (B-59) present in the area. The targeted submarine is armed with a nuclear torpedo which it is authorized to launch if it is directly attacked. The three senior officers on the submarine are required to agree before a nuclear weapon is launched. Two of them want to launch, but the third, Vasili Arkhipov, refuses to agree, and so the launch is averted. Had the submarine fired its nuclear weapon, it is a virtual certainty that the United States and the Soviet Union would have been plunged into all-out nuclear war.
On the next day, U.S. President Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev agree to an end to the crisis.
Related Topics: Cuban Missile Crisis



January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: