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Mad King Henry and Woodrow Wilson

King Henry the 6th (a Lancaster) of England went catatonic after losing the 100 Year's War to the French. If his rival, Richard of York, finds out that the king is incapacitated there will be a fight for the throne. Queen Consort Margaret has no legal right to the throne yet she has been effectively ruling England for months. And ... she is pregnant! When she delivers her baby, a son, the English people really get behind her, but there is a technical problem. The King is catatonic so he can't acknowledge his child as his own. Rumors are flying that the child is not the king's son and some say that his real son died at birth and this is a switch! Queen Margaret is resolute and bold. She presents articles to the Parliament demanding that she be made regent... BUT SHE IS FRENCH! The Parliament doesn't fully trust her so they appoint Richard of York as regent. King Henry will recover by the end of the year and dismiss Richard as regent. Rumors that Queen Margaret hates Richard of York with a hot, hot hate seem reasonable. This fight is not over yet. [1] [2][3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In 1919 the First Lady of the United States, Edith Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson became "The First Man" (as one senator put it) after the President had a stroke that left him mentally incapacitated. Rather than give up the office to the Vice President, his wife, Edith, signed bills in her husband's name and tried to run the country. She had no formal education whatsoever. That didn't make her an idiot. It meant she was unprepared for the job. She later wrote of her role:

"I studied every paper sent from the different Secretaries or Senators and tried to digest and present in tabloid form the things that, despite my vigilance, had to go to the President. I, myself, never made a single decision regarding the disposition of public affairs."

Most people think that is a load of hooey. Because the Constitution was vague concerning the mental incapacity of a President, the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1967 that spells out exactly what is to happen in that case.

For a good situational comedies on the same subject, see the movie "Dave" (1993) starring Kevin Kline and "King Ralph" (1991) starring John Goodman.[4] [5] [6] [7]

The Aztec Flower Wars

As a multi-year famine draws to an end, the Aztecs begin a ritual called "The Flower Wars." These are stylized engagements that are less war and more intimidation. The object of this ritual is to fight enough of a war so that prisoners are captured and offered to the gods as human sacrifices. The Aztecs believe that regular human sacrifices will keep the gods properly nourished and in exchange the gods will keep the Aztecs nourished and keep the famine away. Estimates on the number of human sacrifices vary wildly but 20,000 a year is plausible. [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Like cannibals who eat their enemies, the Aztecs wanted to sacrifice their neighbors rather than themselves. That meant that they needed a war but if the engagements became too aggressive, a lot of people from both sides would die. That's why they kept the war to a minimum. (This makes sense in a twisted way... I think.) In 1487, over a four day ritual celebration the Aztecs will sacrifice 14 human beings a minute for a total of over 80,000 human beings. Military historian Victor David Hanson wonders why his fellow historians don't often compare the Aztecs to the Nazis in these atrocities. I wonder the same thing. FYI... I'm Hispanic and Jewish. [10]

The Birth of Amerigo

If you ever tried to guess where the name "America" came from you are getting warm now. Amerigo Vespucci [ves-POO-chee] was born this year in Florence, Italy. He will grow up to become an explorer, navigator and cartographer. He will prove that Columbus was not exploring the east coast of India but rather an entirely new continent. [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Amerigo will not be the one to call the continent "America" though. That will be someone else who will remember Amerigo... but not Vespucci [ves-POO-chee], thank God!

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1454, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. Weir, Alison. The Wars of the Roses. New York: Ballantine Books. 1995. ISBN 9780307806857 (ebook) (BOOK) Quote: "Some medical historians have diagnosed his condition, on the evidence available, as catatonic schizophrenia -- complete mental withdrawal from normal life. Other modern experts have described the illness as a depressive stupor. Henry's contemporaries had only one word for it: madness."
  3. Alex Shrugged notes: The events I describe occurred from October of 1453 to December of 1454. I've made it sound as if all of it happened in 1454 and most of it did. I'm jamming things together for the sake of being brief. I hope you will understand.
  4. Woodrow Wilson - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Edith Wilson - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Ariel Sharon - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel. Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. New York: Facts on File, Infobase Publishing. 2006. p. 137. ISBN=9780816056736.(BOOK) Quote: "The institution of the xochiyaqyotl [flower wars -ed] seems to have originated after the terrible famines that devastated central Mexico from 1450 to 1454, under Motecuhzoma I. These calamities led people to think that the gods were angry because there were few human sacrifices offered to nurture them."
  9. Human sacrifice in Aztec culture - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Hanson, Victor Davis. Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power. New York: Doubleday. 2001. ISBN 0385500521. pp. 194-195. (BOOK) Quote: "Oddly, few scholars have ever likened the Aztec propensity to wipe out thousands of their neighbors through carefully organized killing to the Nazi extermination of Jews, Gypsies, and other eastern Europeans."
  11. Amerigo Vespucci - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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