A Plot That Would Have Worked.

On this day in 1606 (411 years ago, to save your fingers), Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators were executed for plotting to blow up the House of Lords.

Condemned to be hung, drawn and quartered, Fawkes managed to throw himself from the platform and break his own neck, avoiding the remainder of his sentence.

The Gunpowder Plot is commemorated these day, by Bonfire Night, when effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned and fireworks set off…at least, in countries where ordinary citizens can let off fireworks.

Interestingly, the ITV Network in the UK produced a show, The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend in 2005, which featured a fully recreated Houses of Parliament (as they were in 1606), and set up a trial explosion using the equivalent in modern explosives that Guy Fawkes was found guarding.

The resulting explosion demonstrated that the plot, if it had been successful, would have completely destroyed the Houses of Parliament and everyone in the building.

Which isn’t too shabby for the 17th century, when you consider the ineptitude of some of today’s terrorists.

Who Got There Before Gagarin?

From  “The Haunting Mystery Of The USSR’s Lost Cosmonauts“:

In 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. However, some conspiracy theorists speculate that the Soviets reached the cosmos on an earlier mission but covered it up because they lost cosmonauts.

Although, in the grand scheme of things, the USA has lost as many astronauts as Russia.

Russia, though, is the only country to lose astronauts out in space.

Never Was A Death So Deserved

On this day in 47AD, the Roman Emperor Caligula, a despotic sadist of unmeasured proportions, was assassinated by his own guards.

He reigned for three years and 10 months and in that time, the fear and paranoia he engendered was fueled, in part, by a system of household spies he put in place.  He used slaves and guards, and members of his own family to learn of plots against him.

He also listened to bodiless voices, who proclaimed him a god, too.

No one’s perfect, I guess.