Monday, May 22, 2006

Henry VI Defeated; Hall Visits Moscow

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May 22nd, 2006

in 1455, Yorkists usurpers defeated King Henry VI at the Battle of St. Albans, but the King escaped and rallied his supporters to drive Duke Richard of York away in the Battle of London. The remainder of King Henry’s desperate reign was marked with constant warfare against the Yorkists, ending only in his death in 1469 in a boating accident. The Yorkists lacked the support to put their leader, Edward, on the throne, but the marriage of old Richard of York to Henry’s widow Margaret did put an end to the fighting.

in 1807, former Vice-President Aaron Burr was tried and convicted of treason for his plan to create his own republic in the American southwest. He was executed by firing squad for the crime, the first elected official in the new country to be killed by judicial order.

in 1841, Philadelphia craftsman Henry Kennedy received a patent for his reclining chair, a device which was outlawed the next year because of its promotion of sloth and laziness. Even though its great evils have been denounced from pulpit and altar, many Americans are still arrested with these instruments of indolence every year.

in 1856, after reportedly threatening him for weeks, South Carolinian Representative Preston Brooks attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner for a speech Sumner made deriding Brooks' cousin, Senator Andrew Butler. Unfortunately for Brooks, Sumner had started carrying a gun because of the threats, and shot Brooks dead. When Sumner was acquitted of the killing, the south erupted in outrage.

in 1965, Pete Best’s eighth consecutive number 1 hit, Passport To Your Heart, hit the top of the charts in America. It was knocked off the top spot the next week by Best’s next release, Tell Me How You Feel.

in 1969, Apollo 10’s lunar module, just a few miles above the moon’s surface, experienced an instrument failure and crashed. Although astronauts Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan survived, NASA had no way of rescuing them. Before his oxygen ran out, Stafford, commander of the mission, became the first man to set foot on the moon, saying, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind.”

in 1972, Comrade President Gus Hall arrived in Moscow to finalize several agreements with the Russian royal family. Comrade Hall’s last years in office were spent attempting to mend some fences between the Soviet States of America and the capitalist monarchies of the eastern hemisphere; it paved the way for Comrade President John Anderson’s historic visit to Brazil later in the decade.

in 1977, newly-elected President James Carter declares humans rights “inconsequential” in a speech at Notre Dame University. Carter's somewhat harsh approach to foreign policy, such as the bombing of Iran when they tried to take the American embassy staff hostage, was seen as a reaction to America's loss in the Vietnamese conflict

in 1995, after the Laverne & Shirley 20th Aniversary special, director Penny Marshal and actress Cindy Williams decide to revisit the series and create Laverne & Shirley, the next generation. The new series shows the two friends in their later years as grandmothers in the 1980’s, and is a huge hit among nostalgic baby boomers.

in 2002, the remains of intern Chandra Levy were found in a park in the Washington D.C. area. Conclusive evidence found with the body showed that she had been kidnapped by a rapist who had been preying on women in her neighborhood, rather than by suspect Congressman Gary Condit. Red-faced conservative commentators who had been flogging Condit apologized profusely for their suspicion, and Condit easily won reelection later that year.

Timelines in today's post: Pete Best and Communist America

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