It’s the 26th anniversary of a momentous day for time travel, and thank goodness there’s a film that’s cemented its importance.

There are some landmark days in recent history that seem to attract all the razzamatazz and attention, I’ve noticed. Next month alone it’s the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, for instance. We’ve had the 100th anniversary of London’s Imperial War Museum and the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival too. All very noble and worthy.

And yet, on this day in 1994, the American government ratified time travel for the first time. Where’s the celebration of that?

It happened at a testy meeting of a secret government committee in Washington DC. A small gathering of Senators were brought together to be presented with the technology for time travel (pictured below), and had it explained to them that it only worked one way. But, crucially, time travel was now possible, and worse than that, it was already being used.

The presentation was put forward for a Time Enforcement Commission, a new US government agency with the job of, well, protecting time. And whilst I’m partial to a bit of Beethoven myself, I do think we’ve lost our priorities by not recognising this.

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Fortunately, a documentary feature film by the name of Timecop has enshrined this key moment in history. It recalls how the Commission cost “more than a little and less than too much” to set up. But the assorted senators realised that the cost to the economy of not doing something was too great. As was put forward at the meeting, what if “Saddam Hussein finances a trip back to 1944, gets our technology, and Iraq becomes the first country to have the atomic bomb?”.

Times have changed.

Still, the senators looked a bit worried at this though. Even more so when a man called George told them that someone had already gone back in time and caused problems. They had to act now, and put some kind of effective track and trace system in.

Naturally, what swung the committee of senators into backing George’s proposal, as the documentary shows, was that they would “have exclusive jurisdiction over this programme”. They celebrated by this man smoking a pipe.

Today, then, marks the 26th anniversary of this momentous day in human history. As the documentary warns though, one of the senators on said committee is a little bit corrupt, and it takes an innocent Belgian man by the name of Jean-Claude Van Damme to right the wrongs he inflicts on the world.

A subsequent documentary, Timecop: The Berlin Decision followed in 2003, explaining that the Time Enforcement Commission continued following Mr Van Damme’s intervention. These are important educational documents of our times, and deserve to be celebrated as such. Let us give this 26th anniversary the respect it surely deserves.

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