DAILY BRIEFING
Wilde About History

Oct. 16 - On this date in 1792 (or 1799), there was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a boy named Francisco Morazān. He was young, like most newborns, and full of idealism. After a disappointing childhood, in which he turned out not to have been born to wealth and privilege, he decided first to educate himself and then to enlist in the fight against Mexican annexation of Honduras.

After a disappointing loss, in which Honduras turned out to be a part of Mexico even though neither of them was any longer a part of Spain, Morazān joined the government of the United Provinces of Central America. Two years later he was the president of the Honduras State legislature, and the following year he became president of the entire United Provinces by means of the traditional Central American electoral process ("civil war").

As president, he tried to limit the powers of the Roman Catholic Church, which eventually led to a new round of elections ("civil wars") that produced a new president, this time from the State of Guatemala. The new president exiled Morazān, who returned several years later calling for electoral reform ("revolution") and was therefore impeached ("shot in the head") by one of his own troops.

Francisco Morazān's birthday is a holiday in Honduras today.

It is not a holiday in Guatemala.

Or Mexico.

Also, Marie Antoinette was beheaded on this day in 1793.

It's also the birthday of Oscar Wilde (1854), who wrote the following passage in The Picture of Dorian Gray: "Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, History would have been different." The Moron's Almanac believes that cavemen did indeed know how to laugh, and that people who accuse humanity of being too serious obviously haven't been paying attention.

The Moron's Almanac reminds you that our lives are haphazard accidents in an indifferent world and that the very absurdity of life is what gives it the most meaning. The Moron's Almanac reminds you that you already know this—otherwise you'd be reading an encyclopedia or reviewing actuarial tables instead of reading something called The Moron's Almanac.

Morazan and Wilder are joined in their birthday revelries by Tim Robbins (1958), Suzanne Somers (1946), Gunter Grass (1927), Angela Lansbury (1925), Eugene O'Neill (1888), Lord Cardigan (1797), and Noah Webster (1758).

Happy Thursday!

Š 2003, The Moron's Almanac™

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