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December 16, 2004

An Interesting Day in History.

1431 Infant King Henry VI of England crowned king of France. The last Lancastrian King of England, he had a tough time.

1653 Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, Scotland &
Ireland - and poster boy for the separation of Church and State. Along with that fellow Calvin over in Geneva, Switzerland
1689 Parliament adopts the [English] "Bill of Rights" Part of the Anglo-Saxon-Celt heritage now enshrined in our Bill of Rights - note the similarities. Ours has held up better for us than this one did for Brits in many respects.

1809 Napoleon divorces Josephine.
From this website:

Napoléon Divorces Josephine
His wife, Josephine, was 46 years old in 1809 and still had not produced an heir. Worried about the continuity of the empire, he had the Sénat pronounce his divorce from Josephine on December 15, 1809.

On June 10, 1809, Pope Pius VII excommunicated Napoléon. Retaliating, Napoléon had the Pope arrested on July 6. On February 17, 1810, the Papal States were annexed to France. The pope was then forced to sign an additional concordat and to annul Napoléon’s marriage to Josephine.

Well, at least he didn't cut off her head and start his own Church - that was Henry VIII's response to fertility problems.

1821 American Colonization Society buys what will become Liberia. A peculiarly American response to the problem of Slavery, in keeping with the schizophrenic nature of the People's ambiguity on the issue.

1897 1st submarine with an internal combustion engine demonstrated. What I find perhaps more interesting - the funding for the development of the first practical submarines was provided by the Fenian Brotherhood, sometime invaders of Canada.

1944 Battle of Bulge begins in Belgium. Hitler learns that Americans really can fight. And fight hard. But we're more into killing than dying gloriously... which is another reason we tend to win.

UPDATE: The Army's official site on the BotB.

1944 German V-2 strikes Antwerp theatre, 638 killed - the Germans still hold the record for most successful SCUD launch, indeed, campaign.

Hat tip - Strategy Page