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The Editor Speaks: Dark days

On May 19th 1780 at around noon, much of New England — meaning much of the new America — went black. At midday, it was midnight.

This was not an electrical blackout, of course; homes and businesses did not have electricity in those years, and were illuminated by lanterns and candles.

Rather, the sky turned a deep, complete and unrelenting black, erasing the sun.

It was not an eclipse. It was not a thunderstorm.

Imagine, in the middle of a day in May, every bit of light suddenly and inexplicably disappearing from your world.

The citizens were terrified. They waited for the darkness to lift. It did not. Minutes began to feel like months.

The blackness would last for the rest of the afternoon, past twilight and into full night. The next day, the sun would return. People hurried to churches to offer prayers of thanksgiving.

Centuries later, scientists would surmise that the Day of Darkness — widely known as New England’s Dark Day — was the result of massive wildfires burning in the forests of Canada.


On August 21st 2017 the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years was witnessed not only by the people there but by millions throughout the world via television and satellite links.

While it’s impossible to know exactly how many people saw it, the Associated Press is reporting that it was the most observed and most photographed eclipse in history.

On September 11th 2001 almost 3,000 innocent people died when the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were attacked. That same day 84 victims killed when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the western side of the Pentagon.

It is still enveloped in my mind as I witnessed it on television as if it was yesterday, even though 16 years has sped by.

On October 2nd 2017 the entire Las Vegas strip went dark in the evening to honour the 59 lives lost and 527 injured in the mass shooting conducted by Stephen Paddock, the deadliest attack in US history.

The famous strip went pitch black as mourners attended a candlelight vigil at the corner of Sahara Avenue.

The Empire State Building and One WTC in New York City also turned out their lights except for an orange halo to honor the victims along with the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Sunday October 1st will be remembered for all time as one of America’s darkest days.

There are so many dark days in history, can one forget the rise of Adolf Hitler? Pearl Harbor?

Assassinations of Kings, presidents, famous people, etc. Terrorist attacks that seem to be a daily occurrence.

Stock market crashes.

Genocide that is still going on.

Hurricanes and earthquakes.

Here in the Cayman Islands September 11th and 12th, 2004, when Hurricane Ivan struck will be remembered as our dark days, especially by those of us who went through it.


Dark days are nothing new.

In the history of the world, several great civilizations that seemed immortal have deteriorated and died.

Dark days do not mean the end of the world is nigh.

Unfortunately, with nuclear weapons in the hands of a young mad man, head of a country where 90% of its population are living in poverty, and an unlikely US President who is intent on provocation, a nuclear war would spell dark days for most of the world.

Hopefully that will not happen but there will be many more dark days.

That is a very easy prediction.

History repeats dark days all the time.

We never learn from them.



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