A Brief History On April 25, 799, Pope Leo III was leading a procession honoring St. Mark in Rome, chanting prayers and responses with the crowd, a practice called the Greater Litanies. During this exercise of his sacred duties, supporters of his predecessor, Pope Adrian I, including the former Pope’s nephew attacked Leo in an attempt to poke out the pontiff’s eyes and cut off his tongue!  (Note: In 2018 the cable news giant CNN is airing a 6 part mini-series called Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History, starring Liam Neeson. The show airs on Sundays at 10 pm…

A Brief History On April 24, 2018, we await word as to whether or not President Donald Trump, a self-professed admirer of Napoleon I Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, will pardon former boxing champion and legend Jack Johnson, another admirer of Napoleon. Sylvester Stallone, the man who made fictional boxer Rocky Balboa a legend, has reportedly encouraged President Trump to issue the pardon.  (Note: Regarding their mutual admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, it seems both men may have a mistaken historical impression of exactly who and what Napoleon Bonaparte was.  Trump has conflated Napoleon with Napoleon III and shown a shallow…

A Brief History On April 23, 1348, King Edward III of England proclaimed The Order of the Garter on the feast day of St. George, the Patron Saint of England. Originally called The Most Noble Order of the Garter, it was conceived as the highest award for chivalry in the age of knights. Today, the Order still exists, but ranks behind the Victoria Cross and the George Cross in the hierarchy of British medals. Digging Deeper As you may expect, the Order of the Garter comes from an incident concerning a woman’s garter, a mini-belt that holds up one’s stockings.…

A Brief History On April 22, 2005, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued an apology regarding Japan’s conduct during World War II, saying, “In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Sincerely facing these facts of history, I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and also express the feelings of mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, in the war. I am determined not to allow the lessons of that horrible war to erode,…

A Brief History On April 21, 1509, King Henry VIII of England ascended to the throne when his father, King Henry VII died. Henry VIII was the second of the Tudor monarchs of England and is best known for his 6 star crossed marriages and for taking England away from the Catholic Church and into the Protestant fold. Henry VIII was also the father of England’s next three monarchs, giving him a pivotal role in English History. Digging Deeper (Note: The premium cable television channel, Showtime, featured a 4 season series starting in 2007 called The Tudors, basically chronicling the…

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