Sunday, June 11, 2006

Escape From Alcatraz

The state of TIAH

June 11th, 2006

in 684, the prophet known as The Beast forces another village to accept his mark or be killed. The triple-6 is burned into their foreheads and right hands, and most of the Christian villages around shun them for their surrender to The Beast. A few timid peasants in the countryside around The Beast's stronghold begin to brand themselves in hopes of staving off an attack by the barbarians he commands. Word reaches Rome of this leader, and Pope Benedict II declares that Christianity faces the Armageddon, and The Beast must be killed so that the Church may survive. He offers a bounty of 10,000 pieces of silver for the head of The Beast. When this news reaches the prophet's ears, he makes a counter-offer – 10,000 silver for the head of the pope.

in 1509, King Henry VIII of England married Catherine of Aragon, his brother Arthur's widow. They had met 8 years before, when Henry had filled in for her father in her wedding to Arthur. There was quite a bit of speculation that the teenaged Catherine, very unsatisfied with Arthur, befriended the young Henry and convinced him to slip poison to his older brother. After Arthur's death, Catherine remained in England and her friendship with Henry grew into love; she pushed him to marry her in 1505 when he was finally old enough, but Henry's father, King Henry VII, had lost his desire for a Spanish alliance and forbade the marriage. The young lovers carried on their affair until old King Henry's death in 1509, when young Henry could ascend the throne as Henry VIII and claim Catherine for his queen. Their strong marriage produced only daughters rather than the son Henry always longed for, but their love kept them together, and Henry taught his daughter Mary how to rule after he was gone. On his death in 1547, she ruled the land as Mary the 1st, whose monarchy was renowned as one of the strongest ever in the British Isles.

in 1962, three prisoners escaped from the maximum security facility on Alcatraz Island, across the bay from San Francisco. The desperate men, Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers, John and Clarence, managed to float a raft they had constructed from raincoats across the treacherous waters surrounding Alcatraz to the mainland. Once there, they met up with a cousin of the Anglins, who drove them to Sacramento and set them up with jobs on his farm. After two weeks of the farming life, the three criminals had had enough, and robbed a bank in Sacramento; their successful escape from “The Rock” had made them believe they were criminal masterminds who could pull off any job. Unfortunately for them, the guard at the bank was a quick and deadly shot, and killed all three of them before they could escape the bank.

in 1963, although he wished to make a show of presidential support for the African-Americans attempting to attend the University of Alabama, President John Kennedy is convinced by his advisors to let the matter go. His brother Robert, the US Attorney-General, and his Vice-President, Lyndon Johnson, both ask him to do something in support of these brave young men, but the young president doesn't feel sure enough of himself to force this issue through. Robert Kennedy and Vice-President Johnson coordinate resignations to protest this abandonment of civil rights by President Kennedy, and the pair begin an odd partnership. The next year, the two join forces in a presidential campaign, easily defeating the unpopular Kennedy in the Democratic primaries, and in November, Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy are elected President and Vice-President of the United States.

Today's "Six Degrees of Star Trek" challenge: Connect Escape from Alcatraz to Star Trek. Place your answers in the comments and see the Forum for previous results. For more on 6 degrees games, click here.

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