The state of TIAH
September 1st, 2006
in 1807, former US Vice-President Aaron Burr flees the young country he helped to found in order to escape conviction on charges of treason. Burr, along with a few hundred followers, establishes his own republic in the former French protectorate of Louisiana. He names himself president, but acts much more like a king. Many Americans who had been on the Tory side of the revolution, on hearing of Burr's new Gloriana, immigrated. Although never large, Gloriana proved to be a thorn in the underside of the American nation as it tried to spread west, constantly harassing the Americans who attempted to settle in the Louisiana Purchase or move through it to Mexico and parts west. In 1823, President James Monroe decided that he could not leave office without handling “this minuscule king, this traitor, Aaron Burr,” and asked for a declaration of war against Gloriana from Congress. The declaration passed swiftly, and Americans across the east coast signed up for the attack on Gloriana. Burr, seeing what was coming, tried to ask Mexico and the native nations around him for aid, but they all refused. The summer of 1823 saw the first border clash between Glorianans and Americans, and the Americans won handily. They pushed on swiftly, and the warm weather of south Louisiana allowed them to keep moving through winter and seize Burr's capitol of New Orleans. Burr himself fled and tried to rally what few Glorianans remained loyal to him at Natchitoches, but a disaffected Glorianan shot him on the way, putting an end to the small nation forever. By the time spring arrived in Louisiana, all the Glorianans had been repatriated into the US, and Burr's legacy was utterly destroyed.
in 1928, the first man to achieve Nirvana in recorded history is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Robert Pirsig studied the classical Greek works for many years before turning to the east and studying the works of the Zen masters. In 1960, he spent several days in a meditative state that his wife mistook for catatonia – she even went so far as to try to have him committed to a mental institution. When the police came for him, he roused himself and spoke to them in perfectly lucid speech, convincing them that he was all right. He then spoke for several hours to his wife, who had been on the verge of divorcing him, and she saw that something special had happened to him. Pirsig soon began lecturing on Nirvana to the student body at the University of Chicago, where he was a graduate student at the time. His lectures drew dozens, then hundreds of students, teachers and curious onlookers, and had to be moved outside because U of C had no rooms large enough to contain all those who wished to hear Pirsig. As those who heard him speak spread news of his philosophy around the country, Pirsig was asked to speak at other places, and soon was in demand everywhere. His invocations of a life based on Quality stirred the American soul, and by 1970, his followers numbered in the millions. He was assassinated that year by a fanatical follower of the Reverend Billy Graham, who felt that Pirsig was the Anti-Christ. His movement lives on, though, and the Church of Quality is one of the largest in the country today.
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