The Moron's Weekend Briefing

Jun. 14 - On June 15, 1215, all the English Barons of the realm gathered with King John at Runnymede and presented him with a little document they'd prepared. They asked him either to sign the document or to specify what they should do with his remains. The king signed.

This was the Magna Carta, and therefore historical.

The terms of the Magna Carta (aka, "The Magna Charta," aka "The Big Chart") provided that freemen should be free, that freemen should not be put to death, that freemen should be able to get married, that freemen should only be judged by juries of other freemen, and that a measure of wine should be a measure of wine. The only people excepted from these liberties were the People.

(Our own Bill of Rights drew heavily from the Magna Carta, although it allowed that the People included people not previously considered the People, except in those cases in which the people were still not People.)

King Edward III was a famous English king, celebrated for his invention of manners and discovery of the economy. He played tennis, and once famously rebuked the King of France for having sent him his balls in a box.

King Edward established the Order of the Garter because he was what English nobles referred to as a "leg man." (It was he who also famously remarked, "Honi soit qui mal y pense," or "Honey, show us some cheesecake.")

King Edward had many sons, one of whom was born on June 15, 1330. This son he named Prince Edward. Though white at birth, he eventually became England's first Black Prince.

Prince Edward eventually married Joan of Kent. In her youth, Joan had been known as the "Fairly Made" because she was so fat. Joan had five children from a previous marriage, but these were declared dull and annoyed upon her marriage to the Black Prince (who was not yet black).

At the age of sixteen, Prince Edward and his father the king led the English against the French at Crecy, in order to start the 100 years war. There were many more French than English, but the English had the advantage of the Long Boa. The French were powerless against this innovation. Ten years later, the English and French took the field again, this time at Poitiers. The French had learned from experience, and tried to counter the English Long Boa with their own Very Large Scarf. They failed.

The English took France's King John prisoner and ransomed him for half a million pounds (250 tons). Prince Edward was kind to the French king, however, and prayed with him, which proved that the apple had not fallen far from the tree. (Edward was also a "leg man.")

By now he had become the Black Prince.

In recognition of his prowess, the Black Prince was made the ruler of Aquitaine in 1362. When some of the French rebelled at Limoges in 1370, he had all 3000 inhabitants killed. This resulted in peace.

The Black Prince died before he could succeed to the throne, thereby losing the opportunity to become England's first Black King.

Edward and Joan had two children. One was Edward, who died in infancy and was therefore ineligible to be king. The other was Richard, also known as Richard II, who succeeded to the throne only to abdicate in favor of Henry IV, Part 1.

Following Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 came Henry V, then Henry VI parts 1, 2, and 3, and then finally Richard III.

Richard III made himself King of England on June 26, 1483, by killing everyone else who wanted to be king. It was a clever strategy, especially for a hunchback, but it only provided his successor an example to use against him two years later.

(I won't mention that in the June 26 briefing, so you'll have to remember it yourself.)

Many scholars believe that Richard III wasn't a hunchback, and some believe he never killed anyone, but they've obviously never seen the play by Sir Francis Bacon.

On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X (no relation to Malcolm or the Generation) excommunicated Martin Luther with a papal bull. Pope Leo X is famous for his use of bulls, although not quite as famous as Catherine the Great for her use of horses.

On June 15, 1752, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm to prove his now famous theory that lightning is some powerful shit.

June 16, 1904, is the date on which all the events depicted in James Joyce's famous novel Ulysses take place. To celebrate this literary holiday (called "Bloomsday" in honor of the novel's protagonist), all of the book's fans gather each year on this day to drink until they both pass out.

June 14 is the birthday of Steffi Graf, Yasmine Bleeth, Boy George, Jerzy Kosinski, Burl Ives, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. June 15 is the birthday of Courteney Cox, Helen Hunt, Jim Belushi, Waylon Jennings, and Mario Cuomo. June 16 is the birthday of Tupac Shakur, Joyce Carol Oates, Erich Segal, and Stan Laurel.

Sunday, June 16, is Father's Day.

June 14 is a national Day of Mourning in Estonia, Liberation Day in the Falkland Islands, and Flag Day in the USA. June 15 is Valdemar's Day in Denmark. June 16 is Imre Nagy's Death Day in Hungary and Youth Day in South Africa.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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