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Category Archives: Today in History

1649 – Charles I of England is Executed

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After dissolving Parliament in 1629 to rule entirely on his own, leading to civil war in 1642, Charles I was not a particularly liked monarch, especially by the sizeably Protestant portion of his subjects after he made the decision to marry a Catholic princess.  The king’s Royalist forces were defeated and in 1648, he was summoned to a “fixed court” controlled by his political enemies was was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death.

It was a cold Tuesday when the execution was to take place, and Charles asked for two shirts to prevent himself from shivering, a gesture he did not want the crowds to mistake for a sign of fear.  At 2 O’clock that afternoon, he said his prayers and an unnamed headsman swung his weapon down onto the block and Charles’ waiting neck.  He died with one skilled stroke of the axe and some in the crowd stepped up to dip their handkerchiefs in the king’s blood.  Charles was 48 years old.

After his head was put on display for the crowd, it was sewn back onto his body, which was then embalmed and buried in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.  The monarchy was abolished and Parliamentarian leader Oliver Cromwell assumed control over what would be briefly known as the Commonwealth of England, though this control also extended to Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.  In 1660, Charles’ son Charles II took his place as king of the restored monarchy.

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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Today in History

 

1533 – Henry VIII Marries Anne Boleyn

 

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The wedding was conducted in secret at the now lost Palace of Whitehall in London, at a time where, according to the Catholic Church in Rome, Henry was still married to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, the official annulment being declared on the 23rd of May.  According to Nicholas Harpsfield, writing at the time of the reign of Henry’s oldest daughter Mary I, only four people were in attendance, with the king telling the minister that he had a license to be wed despite not showing it, claiming it was in another location for safekeeping.  Anne may have already been pregnant at the time, as evidenced by the fact that her only living child, the future Elizabeth I, was born just eight months later on 7 September; another reason for a secret marriage.  By March, when he questioned Henry about the rumors of a royal wedding being planned for Easter, even the Archbishop of Canterbury was shocked to hear from the king himself that he was already married!

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2017 in British Royalty, The Tudors, Today in History

 

Donald Trump Wins Presidency in Biggest Upset in Modern US History

As an American, I never thought I would be writing the above headline.  I spent yesterday evening glued to my television, like most of the nation, expecting to be cheering for the first female President by the end of the night.  When the final results of the election were announced, all I could do was stare in disbelief.

In the aftermath, riots are breaking out across the United States and California even threatened to “Calexit” from us.  People are marching through the streets chanting “F- Donald Trump!” and “Not my president!” and posting upside down flags on social media to signal their distress.  I have a dark feeling that this is just the beginning and that violence will follow similar to the Civil Rights Movements decades ago.

I do not condone it, but I feel the pain of it all.  I supported Hillary Clinton, contributed to her campaign, defended her from vicious trolls online, and still despite the fact that she won the popular vote, the electoral decided that Trump had actually been the winner.  This system of voting has been around for two centuries and is a ridiculous concept.

But the problem isn’t just that Trump won.  The problem is that his supporters target people like my friends in the LGBT community and anyone who isn’t born here in the States, while his opposers believe that burning American flags in the streets and inciting riots is the best way to get Trump out of the Oval Office.  We’re a hateful and angry people and we are still healing from the Iraq War and countless other tragedies.  We all want something different from our leaders, but this is not the way to do it.

I had an image in my mind of the Founding Fathers and what they intended fro this country two centuries ago; during the Revolution, we ended the corruption of the British Empire and the tyranny of King George III, and created something beautiful. For the first time, we were free, and we had the power to change who we were based on the people’s choices and not those of the higher-ups.

Now, that very freedom has betrayed us. I am beyond appalled by the way things turned out last night and for the first time ever I am ashamed to call myself an American.
Benjamin Franklin was once asked whether we as a country were a monarchy or a republic. He said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Can we keep it? Should we keep it? The results of this election are causing everyone to question everything they have ever believed in and all they know. We were unhappy with the status quo and so we elected Trump (I didn’t.)

I believe something about this nation needs to change, but i have no confidence whatsoever that Donald Trump is the solution to anyone’s problems. In the next four years, we will need to try harder to be the nation we want to be and can take pride in. While i am disgusted by what has happened, there is nothing we can do now except move forward and hope for the best. Rest assured tho, that I will be watching every move the president-elect makes, probably shaking my head as I do so. However, I refuse to give up on us, no matter how disillusioned I am at the moment. As I always say, “Stars cannot shine without darkness.”

That is all. I will no longer be posting on this subject because everything has been said already in a thousand different ways. Let’s try to spend some time not talking about it.

  • Nicki Krys
 
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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Today in History

 

Praying For Paris

Thorns of Time is going black for the next few days in memory of the lives lost in the ISIS attacks in France yesterday.  As someone with friends in the area, my heart is crushed that something like this could happen.  I grew up an hour away from the Twin Towers on 9/11/01 and recognize the suffering the people of France are enduring.  I sympathize with the fear that every citizen must be going through at this difficult time.

While we mourn, let us not forget that after the grief, justice will be found.  It takes a special kind of evil to needlessly murder innocents, women and children among them, and such a horror must be destroyed.  It has been announced that the United States is backing the French in what will surely become another war soon enough.  The States have been at war with terrorism for nearly fifteen years now and the French have stood by our country since its beginning during the American Revolution.  It is only right that we not abandon our oldest allies.  

I have faith that ISIS will be brought to justice in time and my heart goes out to the people of France.  

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2015 in Today in History, Uncategorized

 

Not Historical – Opinions on Pope Francis and the Catholic Church’s Modern Progress

With the understanding that this post may end up being a bit controversial to some, I was inspired by the Pope’s trip to the United States to express my feelings.

I was raised Catholic.  I was an Alter Girl for nearly ten years and when I received the Rite for the first time, I took the Confirmation name Michelle after the Archangel St. Michael.  Today, I do not consider myself a Catholic per se: I consider myself Agnostic if asked, though I do not put a label on it and see no need to do so.

That being said, I do not agree with some of the Catholic Church’s decisions and stances on some modern issues, but I believe in Pope Francis.  When I was born, the reigning pontiff was John Paul II, and I remember people talking about him with great respect and enthusiasm.  He was even beautified in 2011 and canonized in 2014.  I see people hold perhaps an even higher regard for Pope Francis today.  The 78-year-old pontiff is definitely doing his best to reshape the Church, and this is being taken in several ways by may people, though the general reaction is one of celebration and pride.

Sometimes all it takes is one person to make a difference in the world, and I believe Pope Francis to be just such a person.  He is certainly not like other Popes we have had in the last century and possibly even later.  He lives with other priests in a humble home in Vatican City as opposed to the grandeur of the Papal Apartments.  He has asked other priests and nuns to drive “humble cars” and himself rides in a simple Ford Focus.  He is certainly a humble man and a compassionate individual.

I con honestly say that I have the utmost respect for Pope Francis.  I believe with all my heart that this man is capable of great things, of perhaps changing the world for the better in a time when the world needs such.  Perhaps even one day he will be canonized himself, but for now, I look forward to seeing where this man will lead the Church and the Catholic community as a whole.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Today in History

 

1701 – James II of England dies in exile

A brain hemorrhage brought down the former King of England, Scotland, and Ireland at the age of sixty-seven.  He died in exile in Paris, France after the “Glorious Revolution”, having been replaced on the throne by Prince William of Orange (William III) in 1689 once it had been declared that “no Catholic monarch would ever again rule the country”.  James’ daughter Queen Anne of Great Britain later succeeded the throne in 1702 when William III and his wife Mary II (also James’ daughter) both died childless.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in British Royalty, Today in History

 

1548 – Former Queen Katheryn Parr Dies

When Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547, he was survived by his sixth wife.  Katheryn Parr had been widowed twice before reluctantly accepting the king’s proposal.  Their marriage lasted nearly four years and soon after Henry’s death, Katheryn eloped with Thomas Seymour, Baron of Sudeley and brother to Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour.  Nineteen months later, at the age of thirty-six, she gave birth to her first and only child, a daughter named Mary, before dying of childbed fever.  Thomas Seymour survived her by less than a year before he was executed by order of his nephew, the young King Edward VI, on charges of treason.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2015 in The Tudors, Today in History