Thursday, 21 January 2016

On This Day - 21st January

On This Day, the 21st of January 1793, King Louis XVI of France was executed by way of having his head severed from his shoulders by the infamous guillotine.
Louis XVI had been arrested the previous August (13th August 1792) and imprisoned in the Temple, and ancient fortress in Paris. When the National Assembly met on the 21st of September, they had nothing but bad things to say about the king.
In fact, they went as far as saying he was a big poo-poo-pants and that France should no longer have a king because he was a big poo-poo-pants. They declared France to be a Republic and ordered the monarchy be abolished.
At first, they were content to keep the King locked up. But the discovery of the armoire de fer, or iron chest, in the king's bedroom, was the straw that broke the king's back. He was riding a camel at the time. And the camel also suffered the pain.
The iron chest contained compromising documents. Mostly relating to camel porn. And correspondence, mainly to Camel Illustrated, a camel swimsuit magazine, that detailed erotic stories the king had written where he played out his fantasies.
The scandal discredited the king. A lot.
On the 11th of December 1792, the King was escorted from the Temple and brought before the National Convention. He was accused of High Treason and crimes against the State. As well as indecent exposure to a humped animal.
The Convention voted and delivered their verdict on the 15th of January, 1793. To say the King was vexed by the decision they made would be an understatement. They had decided to separate his head from his person. He was well and truly vexed out of his mind.
But, what annoyed King Louis XVI even more than the decision, was that his own cousin, Philippe Egalite, the former Duke of Orleans, had also voted for the King's execution. What-A-Git.
But, there's always a silver lining. Philippe Egalite, the King's cousin and friend, was executed, also by way of guillotine, the following year.
Charles Henri Sanson, the King's Executioner, testified after Louis XVI was executed, that the King, or rather, former King, as they had de-king'd him prior to the beheading, met his fate most bravely. A death worthy of a King. Or former King. Because you can't execute a King. That'd be wrong.
De-King'd Louis XVI gave a short speech at the top of the scaffold before his death. Well, it had to be before, as giving it afterwards would have been scary as hell for those watching.
The de-king'd Louis was gracious and calm as he pardoned "those who are the cause of my death."
He then whispered under his breath, "Apart from my cousin. Guillotine the hell out of that son-of-a-bitch."
Also in the news:
On This Day, the 21st of January 1908, The Sullivan Ordinance was passed in New York City. The Ordinance made it illegal for women to smoke in public.
A bit unfair and sexist if you ask me. And the Mayor of New York at the time agreed. He went on to veto the Ordinance, so now everyone, no matter what sex they are, can smoke in public in New York City. What? They can't? Really? No one? Is smoking bad for you or something?
On This Day, the 21st of January 1968, ONE OF OUR FRIGGING BOMBS IS MISSING. Should we not be worried?
A United States Air Force B-52 bomber from the 380th Strategic Aerospace wing out of Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, flew a secret airborne mission after being put on a nuclear alert.
The bomber was carrying a payload that included four nuclear bombs.
As it flew near Thule Air Base, the plane crashed detonating the high explosives in the units of all of the B28 nuclear bombs. Thankfully, neither nuclear or thermonuclear reactions took place. However, it did contaminate the entire area.
Although the Pentagon maintained, and still does, all four bombs were destroyed, an investigative reporter with the BBC News found that the United States Air Force was unable to account for one of the weapons.
It's gotta be around there somewhere.
Celebrity Birthday
On This Day, the 21st of January 1976, Emma Bunton was born.
Emma is best known for being Baby Spice in the globally successful pop group Spice Girls.
And it was a really successful. However, as a solo artist, after the band split, Bunton wasn't. He debut album peaked at number four in the UK charts and ranked as the 147th best-selling album in 2001.

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