Cicadian rhythms
History shmistory -- let's molt

As Naomi Lewin points out on NPR, the last time Brood X came to visit, Iran-Contra dominated the news. Before that it was 1970, and the U.S. had just invaded Cambodia. Which got me to wondering: What does history look like to Brood X? The bugs have only come out 117 times in the past 2,000 years. I'm not geek enough to go all the way back, but I did figure out the hatchings since the Europeans liberatee the inhabitants of the western hemisphere. I'm limiting my overview to what the cicadas might have seen if they had read newspapers in North America, so please pardon the Atlanticist bias. All the dates and events below were lifted from Timelines of History and the History Channel, and any errors may be mine.

1987 This would be the first time Brood X saw personal computers. The Soviets were still occupying Afghanistan.

1970 U.S. invades Cambodia. Four students killed at Kent State. 'Catch-22' enters the English language.

1953 Korean War ends in stalemate. Lung cancer linked to smoking. Watson and Crick decipher DNA.

1936 Spanish Civil War begins. Mussolini and Hitler form Rome-Berlin axis. Chaplin stars in 'Modern Times'.

1919 U.S. prohibition begins. Afghan/British war. British massacre at Amritsar.

1902 U.S. gains control of Panama Canal. Women gain right to vote in Australia.

1885 Benz builds gasoline engine. Marx publishes 'Das Kapital' vol. 2.

1868 Ulysses Grant becomes U.S. president. Disraeli becomes British prime minister. Queen Isabel II of Spain is deposed.

1851 'The New York Times' begins publishing. Melville publishes 'Moby Dick'. Louis Napolean leads coup d'etat in France.

1834 End of the Spanish Inquisition. Charles Babbage invents the principle of the 'analytical engine'. France at war in Algeria.

1817 Spanish colonies in Latin America fighting for independence. Turkey grants the Serbs limited sovereignty.

1800 Eli Whitney makes muskets with interchangeable parts. Napolean kicking butt left and right.

1783 Britain declares formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America. Montgolfier brothers launched their first hot-air balloon.

1766 Samuel Wilson, the future Uncle Sam, born in Menotomy Mass. Menotomy later became Arlington. Samuel moved to Troy, New York, where he and his brother set up meat packing plants which later provided food for the US Army during the War of 1812.

1749 The Georgia Colony rules slavery to be legal. King George commissions Handel’s 'Music for the Royal Fireworks' to highlight the end of the War of the Austrian Succession.

1732 Benjamin Franklin starts publishing 'Poor Richard's Almanac'. Stanislaw II August Poniatowski, last king of Poland, George Washington and Joseph Haydn born.

1715 In the Americas, Yamasse Indians rampage in South Carolina. In France, the Sun King dies of gangrene. In Russia, Peter the Great holds a funeral for his favorite court dwarf.

1698 Abenaki Indians and the Massachusetts colonists sign a treaty ending the conflict in New England. Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards. Wagner born.

1681 William Penn becomes sole proprietor of colonial American territory of Pennsylvania. Huguenots emigrate to England. Last dodo seen. Treaty of Radzin ends five-year war between Turks and allied countries of Russia and Poland.

1664 British drive Dutch out of New Amsterdam. Black Plague rages in London. French and German troops defeat Turkish army at St. Gotthard, Hungary.

1647 First Salem 'witch' executed. Pressure cooker invented. Treaty of Ulm.

1630 First criminal executed in Britain's American colonies. Fork introduced to American dining. Kepler dies.

1613 Pocahontas marries John Rolfe in Virginia. Afghan warrior-poet Khushhal Khan Khattak initiates national uprising against the foreign Moghul government.

1596 First Jewish author in Americas falls victim to Spanish Inquisition. Sir Frances Drake dies. Shakespeare writes 'King John'. Descartes born.

1579 Sir Francis Drake claims New Albion for England. Roshan of Afghanistan killed in battle with Moghuls.

1562 England enters the slave trade. Ferdinand I signs 8-year truce with Suleiman I of Turkey.

1545 In Mexico, Bishop Fray Bartolome de las Casas champions Chiapas Indians. Typhus epidemic in Cuba and New Spain. Counter-Reformation begins at Trent.

1528 Spanish expedition invades Florida; all but 15 die. Wheat introduced to New Spain. England establishes first colony in New World. England, France declare war on Spain.

1511 King Ferdinand of Spain: "Get gold, humanely if possible, but at all hazards - get gold." Portugese capture Malacca; discover the dodo.

1494 First Roman Catholic Mass in New World. Columbus arrives at Guantanamo Bay, enslaves Indians. Ottoman sultan Suleiman I the Great born. First reports of Scots making whiskey.


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