DAILY BRIEFINGThe Moron's Daily Briefing
Jul. 22 - Today is King Sobhuza II's Birthday in Swaziland.
At the time of his death in 1982, King Sobhuza II was the longest-reigning monarch in the world. His death established him as the most recently-deceased monarch in the world. Today he is simply dead.
Sobhuza began his career as Paramount Chief of the Swazi in 1921, but was not recognized as king by Great Britain, which ran the nation as a protectorate, until 1967. (The forgetful Brits have a long history of failing to recognize kings, perhaps owing to the difficulty of seeing clearly in the London fog.)
The Brits wrote a Constitution before they left, but Sobhuza did not discover it until 1973, at which point he discarded it on the grounds of its being British. Five years later he implemented a better Constitution that, surprisingly enough, left all political power in his own hands.
He died in 1982. The Constitution declared that he should be succeeded by one of his children, which seemed simple at first but was complicated by the revelation of his having had over 600 children. It took four years to find the right son, and King Mswati III has reigned ever since.
Sharing the king's birthday are Albert Brooks (1947), Danny Glover (1947), Alex Trebek (1940), Louise Fletcher (1934), Orson Bean (1928), Bob Dole (1923), and Rose Kennedy (1890).
It's National Liberation Day in Poland.
© 2002, The Moron's Almanac