Scottish Independence Started with a Broken Axe

History records that Scots won their freedom at the Battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 1314. The battle raged for two days before the heavily outnumbered Scots defeated the professional military of England's Edward II.  The battle could easily have been over before it started. On June 23, as the two armies caught sight of... Continue Reading →

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Scotland Did Not Always Give Sports a Sporting Chance

Scotland is known for its passionate football (American soccer) fans, and it is recognized as the birthplace of golf and home to the most famous golf courses in the world. Did you know that both sports were once illegal throughout the land? King James I outlawed football with the Football Act of 1424. It was... Continue Reading →

Wearing the Crown Takes a Lot of Heart

Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) reigned as King of Scots from 1306 to 1329. He led a ragtag bunch of Scottish farmers to defeat England's Edward II's professional army that was four times the size of Scotland's. He unified the Scots and secured their freedom from England and is remembered as the greatest of Scotland's monarchs. Such... Continue Reading →

Good Manners Overrule Royal Privilege

According to often-repeated legend Lord Kingsale retains a royal privilege that allows him to keep his hat on in the presence of the sovereign. This right allegedly was granted by King John in the 13th century. The problem with the story is that it doesn't appear to be based on any historical fact. Another who is supposed... Continue Reading →

Toast Topper

While serving as U.S. minister to France, Benjamin Franklin attended a dinner in Paris shortly after the British surrendered at Yorktown in 1781. The French foreign minister, Vergennes, began the toasts, saluting his King: "To His Majesty, Louis XVI, who, like the moon, fills the earth with a soft, benevolent glow." The British ambassador rose: "To... Continue Reading →

The Way to a Fourth Term is Through the Stomach

Mrs. Henrietta Nesbitt was the chief housekeeper of the White House during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She believed the White House should lead the way in setting an example for the rest of the country about how to get by with less during the Great Depression and to strictly follow rationing requirements... Continue Reading →

Can’t Get Elected as President? Why Not King of the World?

Homer Aubrey Tomlinson (1892-1968) wanted to be a great leader. He tried running for President of the United States in five consecutive elections, beginning in 1952. When that didn't pan out (nationwide, he got about 20 votes in 1964), he didn't get discouraged; in fact, he set his sights even higher by declaring himself King... Continue Reading →

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