Browsing: December 24

A Brief History On December 24, 1800, The “Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise”, also known as the “Machine Infernale Plot, ” failed to kill Napoleon Bonaparte, then the First Consul of France, the de facto dictator of the French Republic.  Not the first attempt to kill Bonaparte, on October 10, 1800, another assassination plot against Napoleon called “Conspiration des Poignards” had also failed, nor would it be the last.  A man of great personal will and great charisma, Napoleon nonetheless evinced great animosity on the part of those that had previously held much of the power in France, including the…

A Brief History On December 24, 1294, Pope Boniface VIII (born Benedetto Caetani) was elected Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to replace the previous Pope, St. Celestine V, who had resigned to return to his humble, monastic pre-papal life.  Fearing Celestine becoming an Anti-pope (pretender to the papacy), Boniface jailed Celestine, his predecessor (not the first Pope to ever resign the office, despite legend that he was).  Celestine spent the rest of his life imprisoned. Digging Deeper Celestine, born Pietro Angelerio in 1215 in Sicily, had become a Benedictine monk at the age of 17.  He led an austere…

A Brief History On December 24, 1942, French Patriots got their Christmas wish when Nazi collaborator and opportunist Admiral Francois Darlan was murdered by 20 year old French Monarchist, Fernand de la Chapelle. Digging Deeper A career military man from a naval family, Darlan graduated from the French naval academy and served in the artillery during World War I.  A successful naval career followed culminating with Darlan being promoted to Amiral de la Flotte, a special rank just for him, in 1939. When war with Germany broke out in 1939 and the Germans invaded France in 1940, Darlan was overly…

A Brief History On December 24, 1865, 6 former Confederate veterans of the recently concluded US Civil War formed the first known chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization largely founded on the principles of White Supremacy and violence against African Americans and those not in agreement with Klan beliefs.  Klansmen were characterized by their scary apparel that hid the identity of the individuals, evolving into the familiar white robes and hoods. Digging Deeper As disaffected Confederate veterans across the South formed other chapters and similar organizations, a loose umbrella organization developed with former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest…

From the Series Lil’ History Chips On December 24, 1914, exactly 100 years ago today, British and German soldiers facing each other across No Man’s Land in the trenches of World War I confounded their superiors by leaving their trenches and walking out to meet and greet their enemies in the spirit of Christmas brotherhood. Not only did the soldiers shake hands and converse but they even exchanged presents!  When they sang carols together, it just about gave the generals on both sides fits.  In some cases, football games (soccer) were played between opposing forces as well. French troops were a bit less…

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