Tuesday, May 19, 2015

History: The Year is 1578

I've uploaded year 1578 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

The King's Ambiguous Sexuality and the Jefferson vs. Adams Campaign of 1880 -- King Henry is prancing around like a... uh... a guy who prances. I also talk about the 1880 campaign where John Adams is accused of being an hermaphrodite.

Bring Me the Heart of Don Juan -- Don Juan of Austria has broken the back of the rebellion and then dies of camp fever. His body will be shipped back to Spain in pieces but his heart will remain in Belgium. He is a man with two graves.

The First Thanksgiving... in Canada -- Sir Martin Frobisher calls for a prayer of Thanksgiving... for surviving Canada. It was rough getting there and they were lucky only to lose one ship. BTW, he is a man with two graves, just like Don Juan is.

The King's Ambiguous Sexuality and the Jefferson vs. Adams Campaign of 1880

King Henry the 3rd of France has not fathered any children, leading his critics at court to suggest that he is a little light in the loafers. (It is more than a suggestion, actually.) To foster this impression, the King dresses in a sexually ambiguous manner and surrounds himself with men who dress better than the women. These men are called "the Favorites" and it is obvious that the King is taunting his critics. It is just this sort of foolishness that leads to trouble. There is a lot of tension between the Favorites and the House of Guise so they decide to stage a mock battle to let off a little steam. It turns into mayhem. Two men lay dead. Two more die days later. King Henry is playing a dangerous game and it's going to get more men killed, including himself one day. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
During the 1880 American presidential campaign, Vice-president Thomas Jefferson hired James Callender (a well-known scandalmonger) to write hit-pieces on his opponent in the election, President John Adams. Callender wrote that Adams possessed a "...hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." This, along with other gems got Callender thrown in prison for a violation of the Aliens and Sedition Act. (Callender was a Scotsman.) After Callender was released from prison, he demanded that Jefferson, now President, appoint him as Postmaster of Richmond, Virgina. Jefferson refused. This led to a series of attacks on Jefferson that resulted in the accusation by Callender that Thomas Jefferson was sleeping with his slaves. Oddly, Callender died of drowning in 3 feet of water, definitely drunk, but was it murder? I'm not sure anyone cared. Long after the election, when both former Presidents were retired, Adams and Jefferson kept up a long and warm correspondence. They died on the same day, July 4th, 1826. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Bring Me the Heart of Don Juan

Don Juan of Austria ("Austria" meaning the Hapsburg dynasty) must bring the Dutch rebellion under control. After the recent Sack of Antwerp by unpaid Spanish troops (mostly from Catalan), Don Juan has called for reinforcements from Italy. At the Battle of Gembloux (SHAHM-bloo), in modern day Belgium, the forces of William of Orange are spanked hard. In fact only 20 Spanish soldier are killed. 6,000 on the Dutch side die in the first cavalry charge. It is a route that strikes at the heart of the rebellion. Then Don Juan dies of camp fever (probably typhus). His body is chopped up into several large pieces, salted and returned in secret to Spain. Intrigues have cast a shadow over his character, but once King Philip reviews his letters, he decides that Don Juan was pure of heart. Unfortunately only his body was returned to Spain. The heart of Don Juan was placed in a small casket and entombed in the wall of a cathedral in Belgium where it remains to this day. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In all wars right up to World War 2, the number one killer of the military was disease on the battlefield. The Bible recounts armies being repelled by disease as they besieged cities. It killed Edward, the Black Prince of England, very, very slowly. Certainly the Mongols were decimated by the Black Death as they sat outside of Genoan holdings in Crimea. Disease was often seen as a judgement from God. In many cases it is easy to understand that point of view. One might also think that God provided a miracle drug when early antibiotics were introduced. People who were once goners, rose from their beds restored to health. Is it any wonder that doctors got a reputation as minor deities? As patients become more educated in their medical expectations, doctors have climbed down from their lofty pedestals. It is good to have a firm ego in place as a doctor, but it should stop somewhere short of divine.

The First Thanksgiving... in Canada

English explorer, Martin Frobisher, calls for a prayer of Thanksgiving while his ship lays at anchor in Frobisher Bay off of Baffin Island near the Hudson Strait. He is not thankful for the many riches he has found in Canada. He is grateful that he is still alive. He is searching for the North-West Passage to China and India, but he can't even establish a small colony because the ship with all the building materials hit ice and sank earlier. He will pick up a few rock samples and return to England. Assayers will judge these rocks as gold ore. Gold fever hits London and several ships are sent to load up on Canadian "gold." It is later judged to be "fool's gold" or pyrite. The rocks are used to build a wall along the Queen's manor. It is a singularly expensive wall and an epic failure for Martin Frobisher. He will be knighted for his naval work later in his career. [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
When observing Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October, Frobisher's earlier contribution is often ignored so I wanted to mention it. Canadian Thanksgiving was established as a national holiday in 1879. I found it heartening to learn that even though Frobisher's expeditions were utter failures, he managed to distinguish himself later in life. He was shot in the war against Spain and carried back to Plymouth, England where he died of his wounds. His internal organs were buried at the local church and his body was shipped to London and buried there... so he has two graves.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1578, Wikipedia.

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