"Since the First World War Americans have been leading a double life, and our history has moved on two rivers, one visible, the other underground; there has been the history of politics which is concrete, factual, practical and unbelievably dull; and there is a subterranean river of untapped, ferocious, lonely and romantic desires, that concentration of ecstasy and violence which is the dream life of the nation."

Norman Mailer
"The whole work of healing Tellus depends on nursing that little spark, on incarnating that ghost, which is still alive in every people, and different in each. When Logres really dominates Britain, when the goddess Reason, the divine clearness, is really enthroned in France, when the order of Heaven is really followed in China--why then it will be spring."

"This new history of yours," said McPhee, "is a wee bit lacking in documents."

C.S. Lewis

Synchronicities this week

  • June 24 Midsummer/St. John’s Day
  • June 24, 1947 The first flying saucers are sighted over Mount Rainier by pilot Ken Arnold.
  • June 24, 1542 St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet, is born.
  • June 24, 1938 500 ton meteorite lands near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
  • June 24, 1717 First Free Masons' grand lodge founded in London.
  • June 24, 1374 A sudden outbreak of St. John's Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion.
  • June 24, 1314 Battle of Bannockburn; Scotland regains independence from England.
  • June 24, 843 Vikings destroy Nantes.
  • June 23 Midsummer’s Eve
  • June 23, 1972 Nixon & Haldeman agree to use CIA to cover up Watergate.
  • June 23, 1942 Germany's latest fighter, a Focke-Wulf FW190 is captured intact when it mistakenly lands at RAF Pembrey in Wales.
  • June 23, 1888 Frederick Douglass is 1st African-American nominated for president.
  • June 23, 1848 Workers’ insurrection in Paris.
  • June 23, 1713 The French residents of Acadia are given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada. They choose the latter, migrate to Louisiana, and become Cajuns.
  • June 21 Summer Solstice (11:28 a.m.).
  • June 21, 1964 Three civil rights workers-Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James E. Chaney-are kidnapped and murdered by the Klan in Mississippi .
  • June 21, 1948 The 33 1/3 RPM LP record is introduced by Columbia Records.
  • June 21, 1944 Ray Davies of the Kinks born in London.
  • June 21, 1916 Mexican troops beat US expeditionary force under Gen Pershing.
  • June 21, 1877 The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrant labor activists, are hanged in Pennsylvania prisons.
  • June 20, 1947 Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, gangster, the “man who invented Las Vegas,” shot dead in Beverly Hills, Cal.
  • June 20, 1909 Errol Flynn, greatest of the swashbucklers, born in Hobart, Tasmania.
  • June 20, 1944 Congress charters Central Intelligence Agency.
  • June 20, 1943 Detroit race riot kills 35.
  • June 20, 1893 - Lizzie Borden acquitted in murder of parents in New Bedford Mass.
  • June 20, 1871 Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford Miss.
  • June 20, 1837 Queen Victoria at 18 ascends British throne ; rules for 63 years ending in 1901.
  • June 20, 1756 146 British soldiers imprisoned in the "Black Hole of Calcutta." Most die.
  • June 20, 1631 The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.
  • June 20, 1214 The University of Oxford receives its charter.
  • June 20, 451 Germans & Romans beat Attila the Hun at Catalarinische Fields.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This Week in the Secret History: Eisenhower Proposes Interstate Highway System

There were rivers and paths in America that once seemed to be the gate to all good adventure. The Mississippi River, Route 66, all the blacktop two-lanes that led into the groves of America.

After the dolorous stroke in Dealey Plaza, such arteries of possibility dried up. The men to whom fear and money were everything laid over the land a vast grid of concrete in the name of national security, whose purpose was to turn all the places into no-place, so that people no longer knew where they were or where they came from.

These concrete sluices drained the life off half the nation, created an unthinkable continent of ghost towns, and sure enough the ghosts come forth to disturb our sleep. Now the withered spirits blow up and down old Route 66, Timothy McVeigh and the patriots, they own that road.

The act of Dealey Plaza led to this America where the dry souls are stacked like kindling.

The land was given over to the mundane light and the dry electric fever. “Save us from... the fever that strikes at mid-day” the psalmist prays. This was the same mundane light that fell on Dealey Plaza at noon that Friday.

“It will be cool under the underpass”, Jackie thinks as the black car rolls with dreadful slowness down Elm Street. In fact it never got cool again.

That mundane light of Dallas which to the spiritual eye is dreadful darkness, the dunnest smoke of hell. The light on Dealey Plaza is the light of Sunbelt gangsters, is the light on the parking lot of an Arizona savings & loan, is the light of Las Vegas that burns off the top of people’s heads to desiccate the moist brain inside, is the light that evaporates the pools of mystery, the light that shone all over America and burned out every shadow, that makes every photograph from the 50’s black and white, the light that says you’re seeing all there is to see, which is the great lie, the lie of Hitler’s open hand.

Copyright 2009 Christopher Hill

1 comment:

  1. My question is: Where are interstates one through three?