Wednesday, 26 October 2016

History Fun Facts October 26th


On This Day in History, October 26th, 899, Alfred The Great died.
By many historians, Alfred the Great was considered to be the first King of England. His cause of death  is not known, however, due to accounts of his life and his symptoms, it is thought he may have had Crohn's disease.
[Writer's personal note: I find that interesting as I have Crohn's disease.]
It is also thought Alfred's grandson also suffered from Crohn's.
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871, and later, King of England, if you don't count the parts he wasn't. Which we don't. He was also the only English monarch to be officially called "Great." Obviously we don't count Cnut the Great, as he doesn't count. As he was a right Cnut.
Alfred the Great's father, Aethelwulf, was King of Wessex, as were three of his older brothers, Aethelbald, Ethelbert, and Ethelred. Alfred became king by default of not dying young.
Legend has it, after Alfred's army was defeated by the Viking invaders, they dispersed and Alfred fled into the countryside. He came across a old woman, not like that you sicko, who was baking some cakes in her hut.
Alfred was starving and in need of food. He begged the old woman for food and shelter. She took pity on the King, although she didn't actually know he was the king, but thought he was just and withered man in need of help.
She instructed him to watch her cakes, baking in her oven, whilst she milked her cow. Not a euphemism. He promised her the cakes were safe in his hands.
However, he had much on his mind. Not least, how to rebuild his army, formulate a battle plan, and defeat those Viking invaders, so he could reclaim his kingdom.
The woman returned after satisfying the cow to find her cakes smoking in the oven.
"You lazy little fecker," she screamed. "You were given one flipping job to do and you couldn't even do it."
She hit him over the head with a stick and the king went hungry into the night.
Not long afterwards, Alfred the Great gathered his new army and battled the Vikings, defeating them and winning back his throne.
On the 26th of October, 1775, King George III of Great Britain, the nutso-crazy-bonkers king, went before the British Parliament and declared the American colonies in rebellion, authorizing a military response to destroy the American Revolution.
Not saying being crazy, nutso, bonkers and declaring war on the Colony were connected, but it's possible.
On the 26th of October, 1776, Benjamin Franklin left for a nice holiday in France.
Not, of course, to try and get French support for the American Revolution. He just liked croissants and frogs legs. Also, the wine. Oh, boy, did he like the wine.
On the 26th of October, 1881, in a little place called Tombstone in Arizona, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral raged, killing three ducks and a turkey.
On the 26th of October, 1999, Britain's House of Lords voted to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Parliament.
It was around the same time the smell of urine disappeared from the House of Lords. Not sure if that's a coincidence.

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