Saturday, February 10, 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The 2nd in 1709 saw the rescue of Alexander Selkirk from an island in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, where he had been marooned for four years and four months. Daniel Dafoe used the Selkirk story as the basis for his novel Robinson Crusoe. On the other hand, perhaps Russell Johnson used it as the foundation of his screenplay for the epic tale Gilligan’s Island. The records are unclear.
The State of Texas had a difficult birth. It declared its independence of Spain on March 2, 1836 and fought a war to insure that independence, a war, which they won on April 21. On December 29, 1845 President James K. Polk, whose catchy campaign slogan was 54’40” or fight (Canada just loved him for that one, but that’s another story), signed a bill admitting Texas as a member of the United States. On February 1, 1861, after being in the United States for less than 16 years, Texas seceded from the Union to become a slave state. Apparently, the State of Texas was then more a state of confusion, a condition that persists to this day.
Oliver Cromwell was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland from December 13, 1653 until his death in 1658. Throughout his tenure, he maintained an uneasy relationship with King Charles I, Parliament, commoners, pretty much everybody that he met. He was a man of many contradictions; a regicide who curried favor with royalty, a man of devout faith who committed some shocking atrocities, the list goes on and on. He was involved in no small measure in the beheading of Charles I on the 30th of January, in 1649. Cromwell weathered all the storms of his life and died of natural causes on September 3, 1658. The wheels of justice may indeed turn slowly, but justice will not be denied. Proof that some people can really hold on to a grudge was clearly illustrated on the 30th in 1661, when Cromwell’s body was disinterred; he was beheaded, his body thrown in a pit, and his head displayed on a pole outside of Westminster Abbey until 1685. To the great relief of passersby his head would be buried in 1960.