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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August 29, 1657
Death of John Lilburne, the English political radical who coined the term “freeborn rights” to signify his belief that human beings have rights that are inherently theirs, as opposed to being bestowed on them by government or law. Because of his radicalism, Lilburne was at various times arrested, flogged, confined to the pillory, imprisoned, and tried for treason.
Related Topics: Human Rights
August 29, 1786
An armed rebellion by poor farmers in Massachusetts breaks out. The revolt, known as Shays’ Rebellion, is a reaction to crushing debts which result in poor farmers being confined to prison while their property is seized by the state. The rebels see themselves as acting to preserve the goals and principles they had fought for in the American Revolution, which had ended three years earlier, in 1783. Shays’ rebellion, which lasts for several months, convinces the American elite of the necessity of a strong government with sufficient power to put down threats to the privileges and property of the wealthy.
Related Topics: Revolts
August 29, 1844
Birth of Edward Carpenter, an English socialist and advocate for homosexual rights. One of Carpenter’s best-know works is Civilisation, Its Cause and Cure, which argues that civilisation is a form of disease that human societies pass through. In 1908, he publishes The Intermediate Sex, which argues that same-sex attraction is natural for people of a ‘third sex’. His radicalism embraces socialism, women’s liberation, sexual freedom, vegetarianism, and labour rights. In 1892, he helps found the Independent Labour Party.
August 29, 1907  
75 workers are killed when a bridge under construction near Quebec City collapses. 33 of the dead are Mohawks from Kahnawake.
August 29, 2005  
Hurricane Katrina strikes Louisiana, devastating New Orleans and other coastal areas.
Related Topics: DisastersHurricanes

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: