Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Today's the fiftieth anniversary of the Day The Music Died. Not my music, particularly, but I seem to have been missing all the flurry of anniversaries lately, and sometimes a history blogger's gotta take what he can get. One day last week was the 360th anniversary of the execution of the tyrant Charles I of Britain. Best reflection on that: John Cleese's observation that Charles was 5'6" at the start of his reign but only 4'8" at the end of it. If you are more serious about it, I recommend Geoffrey Robertson's passionate The Tyrannicide Brief, a lawyer-historian's paean to the lawyer who led the prosecution -- and was eventually disembowelled for it.

2009 seems to be thick with anniversaries, in fact. Origin of Species 1859. Lincoln's birth 1809, and Darwin's the same year. Plains of Abraham 1759, and also the birth of Admiral Nelson (okay he wasn't an admiral yet).
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