to all those single people out there like me, to all those couples who think it's a form of commercialised emotional blackmail, and to all those happy people who have better things to think about and haven't even noticed the proliferation of plastic heart-shaped tat, happy 14th February.
On this day in:
1076 Pope Gregory VII excommunicated the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV
1349 Jews massacred in Strasbourg, accused of causing the Black Death
1400 Richard II murdered
1556 Thomas Cranmer declared a heretic under Mary I
1835 The Church of the Latter-Day Saints is formed in Ohio
1895 The Importance of Being Earnest received its premiere
1945 Dresden firebombed for the first time
1945 Partisans liberate Mostar
1949 The Israeli Knesset met for the first time
1956 Kruschev denounces Stalin's crimes at the XX Soviet Party Congress
1974 Aleksander Solzhenitsyn charged with treason by the Soviet Union
1979 US ambassador to Afghanistan kidnapped in Kabul by Muslim extremists and later killed
1989 Ayatollah Khomeini issued his fatwa against Salman Rushdie
1995 Rafik Hariri was assasinated in Lebanon
Nine centuries of political and religious triumph and tribulation, tolerance and intolerance for you. Not making any special point, just an interesting intersection of happenstance.
And now a joke:
The World Health Organisation sends out a questionnaire to the governments of the developed world to canvass their opinions on an important matter:
"Tell us honestly what your opinion of the shortage of foodstuffs in the rest of the world."
But there seem to be some problems.
The Europeans don't understand the concept of shortage.
The Americans don't understand what 'the rest of the world' is.
The Chinese have asked for further elaboration of the concept of 'opinion.'
The Italian government is still discussing the possible meaning of the word 'honestly.'