April 20

1653, 1889, 1893, 1902, 1990

Oliver Cromwell dissolved the English Parliament, in order to rule by decree, today in 1653. As Napoleon did. As Putin has effectively done in Moscow. As some Americans are already suggesting Trump will create a war or emergency of some kind, to allow him to postpone the election at the end of his second term, in order to do more or less the same. We shall see.

Pierre and Marie Curie isolated radium, today in 1902 (see also March 1). 

Marie once said that:

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less."

Does that valiant piece of idealism apply to any, some, all, or none of the above and below?

Especially the below...

...because, today in 1990, between 11:19 a.m. and 12:08 p.m, two young men of fine character and decent parentage, of Christian upbringing and sound education, upheld their constitutional right to bear arms, by taking rifles into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, shooting dead twelve students and a teacher, leaving a further twenty wounded, and then turning their rifles on themselves. 

For the information, the Rocky Mountain columbine is the state flower of Colorado, and it was chosen as such by schoolchildren, in 1891. In 1925, the General Assembly enacted a law to protect this rare and delicate creature, making it illegal to uproot the flower on public lands, and allowing the gathering of its blossoms and buds to twenty-five in any one day. Columbines may not be picked at all on private land without the consent of the landowner. At the time that the law was passed, it was a misdemeanor "punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than fifty dollars". God bless the Constitution! God bless America!

How the Columbine got its name is also worth mentioning (and see October 26). The Latin name is Aquilegia, which means "eagle", and is a reference to the claw-like spurs at the base of the flower. But the eagle is a killer, while the dove represents the sort of peace in which schoolchildren hope to spend their study-time; the Latin for "dove" is "columbus"; and indeed, as the illustration clearly shows, those petals look remarkably like five doves clustered together. Thirteen bodies at a funeral, on the other hand, looks rather more like the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral

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