The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: England Enfranchised Catholics

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 13, 2019 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 13) in 1829 Great Britain passed the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 granting its Roman Catholic citizens the right to vote and to serve in Parliament. Catholic emancipation was bitterly opposed by many in England, including King George IV and the House of Lords. It only passed because of the strong support of the Duke of Wellington who threatened to resign as Prime Minister if these basic rights were not given to the Catholics. (Wellington feared that a major uprising would occur in Ireland if something was not done to address the civil rights issue.) The Act also repealed the Test Act of 1672 and the remaining Penal Laws in Ireland which were designed to coercer Catholics into converting to Protestantism. As a compromise with opponents of Catholic emancipation, the property requirements for voting in Ireland were raised from two to ten pounds, disenfranchising many less wealthy Catholics and Protestants.

Pre-Order the New Legionnaire Book and Save 25%

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 12, 2019 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Less than two weeks to order Legionnaire 7 the Bridges of Morganita at a 25% discount:


Marcus has defeated the smaller half of the army of Thegn Chilperic by the skin of his teeth, but now he must rally his legion and its allies to stop the Thegn’s main force from rolling back all of his victories. Yet even as he fights for control of the strategic bridges on the Rio Rocoso, Marcus’ allies remain as fractious as ever. The rebellious Gente of Morganita continue to fight among themselves for leadership of their cause, while the Gota also violently question the leadership of Marcus’ friend, Evorik. As if all of this weren’t bad enough, the mighty Thegn of Granate still tries to walk the middle path in this war, telling both Marcus and his enemies that he is loyal to them. Too soon now, Marcus will find out which side Granate betrays at the Bridges of Morganita.


You can find The Bridges of Morganita at Amazon, Amazon UK, iBooks, Kobo, B&N and other fine e-retailers.



Today in History: The First Recorded Campus Shooting in the U.S.

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 12, 2019 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 12) in 1840 the first recorded campus shooting occurred in the United States. The shooting occurred in the midst of an annual protest over the University of Virginia’s decision to ban guns on campus. The students were shooting guns near their instructors’ houses in protest when popular professor John A.G. Davis decided to put an end to it. He went outside and tried to grab one of the masked students. The student slipped away but turned and shot Davis in the belly, killing him.


The murder shocked the university community and students joined with their professor to hunt down the culprit, identified as Joseph Semmes. He was caught the next day hiding in a pine grove. He refused a judge’s request to take an oath on the bible to tell the truth because he was an atheist. He was then granted bail and fled, committing suicide at his brother’s house in Georgia seven years later by shooting himself in the eye.


Today in History: The Stone of Scone

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 11, 2019 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 11) in 1951, The Stone of Scone (also called The Stone of Destiny) was found on the altar of Arbroath Abbey. Various legends trace the stone back to either Ireland or biblical times, but however it came to be in Scotland, it came to be used in the coronation of Scottish Kings. In 1296, King Edward I of England captured the Stone and transported it to England where it was installed in the base of a wooden chair now known as the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey and became part of the English monarchy’s coronation rituals. On Christmas Day in 1950, 4 Scottish students stole the stone (accidentally breaking it in two) and eventually succeeded in returning it to Scotland where it was repaired (and no, I don’t know how you repair a broken stone). After approximately four months, they left the stone in Arbroath Abbey from which it was eventually returned to Westminster Abbey. However, in 1996 it was returned to Scotland to be stored with the Scottish Crown Jewels until it is needed for the next coronation ceremony.

Today in History: Halley's Comet

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 10, 2019 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 10) in 837, Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to the earth at 3.2 million miles. That’s approximately 13 times farther from the earth than the moon is. The idea of a comet (or similar celestial body) hitting the earth has long fascinated and worried people. (After all, there are some big examples of catastrophic damage being done from such a strike.) One of the best fictional accounts of such a strike is Lucifer’s Hammer, by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven.

Today in History: The Battle of the Saints

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 9, 2019 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 9) in 1782, the Battle of the Saints took place—a little known battle of the American Revolutionary War. The French fleet which had helped to trap General Cornwallis at Yorktown united with Spanish forces and attempted to invade Jamaica to take it from Britain. The battle lasted four days and ended in a serious French defeat because the British broke the French lines. French casualties were more than ten times the British casualties plus they had 5000 soldiers and sailors captured, but the British might have won a far more decisive victory if they had pursued the fleeing French fleet. In any event, the victory was sufficiently large to change the strategic situation and permit the British to threaten the French sugar islands, leading the French to lessen their demands for peace.

Today in History: The 17th Amendment

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 8, 2019 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April Eight) in 1917, the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land. This amendment provided for the direct election of U.S. Senators by the people. Previously they had been elected by state legislatures.

Today in History: A Civil Rights Activist Killed

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 7, 2019 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 7) in 1964, Reverend Bruce W. Klunder was run over by a bulldozer while protesting the building of a segregated school in Cleveland. He was killed on the second day of the protests in which civil rights activists threw themselves on the ground in front of bulldozers to stop the construction work. While three of his fellow activists threw themselves in front of one particular bulldozer, Klunder lay down behind it. The driver of the bulldozer backed away from the protesters in front of him without ever seeing Klunder behind him. His death sparked a further protest involving 3500 people which the police broke up with tear gas. The school was built anyway.

Today in History: A Slave Revolt in Manhattan

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 6, 2019 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 6) in 1712, two dozen black slaves in Manhattan armed themselves and gathered to make a bid for freedom. They set fire to a baker’s outbuilding and then attacked the white men who came to put out the fire. They killed eight of them and wounded seven others. The slaves then fled into the forest but most were rounded up the next day. Six chose suicide rather than be recaptured. It was the better choice.


Fearing a larger slave revolt, seventy black men were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the insurrection. All told 39 men were indicted and tried. None received legal counsel. 23 were convicted and 19 were sentenced to death.


Executions were supposed to be carried out in Manhattan by hanging, but Governor Robert Hunter wanted to use the executions to deter future slave insurrections. Therefore he made examples of four of the men: 1) The first was tied to a wheel and killed over a period of hours by smashing his bones; 2) the next was hung by chains and permitted to die of deprivation; 3) the third was burned to death; 4) and the fourth was burned to death over a slow fire to draw out his agony.


Today in History: Pocahontas

Posted by Gilbert Stack on April 5, 2019 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (April 5) in 1614, Pocahontas married John Rolfe. She was seventeen years old and had been captured by the English and held for ransom the previous year. During that time she converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca. She also met the man who would become her husband. Pocahontas and John Rolfe had a son whom they named Thomas. The next year (1616) they traveled to London together where she became a celebrity. In 1617 as they were preparing to return to Virginia, she died. The cause is debated, but was probably pneumonia, small pox or tuberculosis (although some think she was poisoned). She has many famous descendants, including Edith Wilson (wife of President Woodrow Wilson), Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Wayne Newton.


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