My British friend here at work sent me the below email. Since he's currently reading my copy of Watchmen, I can only assume that he was thinking about V For Vendetta when he sent this to me. In any case, I wanted to forward my own recognition of Guy Fawkes Day to all my British friends out there.
I just wanted to wish everybody a happy Guy Fawkes Day, as we celebrate this today in England.
In 1605 Fawkes was involved in the Gunpowder Plot which sought to blow up the Houses of Parliament with the aim of killing King James I. Catholics realized that Spain would be of no help to them in fighting against King James, so some decided to take matters into their own hands.
Fawkes was underneath Parliament surrounded by 1800lbs of gunpowder when he was discovered with a lighted torch, and his hand was removed just before he could light the gunpowder. Fawkes was tortured, found guilty of high treason and was hanged, drawn and quartered.
Still to this day in England we celebrate his capture by setting off fireworks and creating bonfires upon which an effigy of Fawkes is usually burned.
The rhyme associated with this celebration begins as follows:
“Remember, remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder, treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
Once again, have a happy Guy Fawkes Day!