I have cousin who tells me about moose and squirrel....
Welcome. Sit down, relax. Take a load off. There's coffee over on the table, and help yourself to the donuts.
Why am I being solicitous? Honestly, I don't know. I guess I just feel like it.
I guess, deep down, I want to make sure you're all in a good mood, and enjoying the start to your day. Because.......you all know what I do in these posts.
Today, however, I am posting about some firsts. And, I hope you find them somewhat odd. Or, if not odd, at least interesting.
I bet you'd never guess, but it was politically motivated. What happened was, James Stewart, not the actor, but the First Earl of Moray, was a member of Scottish royal family. He was the illegitimate son of King James V. His mother was the favorite mistress of the king. Since he was illegitimate, he couldn't ascend the throne.
Instead, he was made Regent for his infant nephew, James VI in 1567.
What had led up to his being named regent was the abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots. (his half sister). Stewart was named regent, and that was affirmed by parliament.
Mary was kept as a 'guest' of Stewarts at Loch Leven castle, but escaped in May of 1568. She rallied nobles to her banner, and Mary's forces were defeated by Stewart near Glasgow, and Mary fled to England.
Scotland was now in a full fledged civil war.
Stewart sent people to negotiate with England and to provide evidence he claimed justified his rule of Scotland.
All the while, Stewarts forces battled against Mary's supporters, defeating them and confiscating their property.
In January of 1570, Stewart left Stirling Castle to head to Edinburgh, where he was to meet with English negotiators to discuss the disposition of English rebels captured during the fighting. On the way there, on January 23, while riding a carriage through Linlithgow, Stewart was shot by James Hamilton, who was a supporter of Mary's.
Hamilton used a crude brass carbine, and fired the shot from the second floor of his uncles, the Archbishop Hamilton, house.
While others had died from gunshots before this, Stewart was the first person to be assassinated by a gun.
Car bombs are frequently used these days to kill a lot of people. And, the first bomb laden car that was used in an assassination attempt was no different.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II was the ruler of the Ottoman Empire. (no silly, Ottoman, not Ottermann...). And, he really wasn't a nice guy.
A lot of people know about the Armenian Genocide that took place during W.W.I. During that time, the Turks of the Ottoman empire were said to have killed between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians. (Turkey disputes the facts)
But, what a lot of people don't know is, it wasn't the first time the Turks killed off massive amounts of Armenians.
The Hamidian Massacres took place from 1894-1897. Exact casualty figures aren't known, but it's estimated that between 80,000 and 300,000 armenians were killed. Some 50,000 children were orphaned.
This didn't sit well with the surviving Armenians. One group, The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, decided to do something about it.
Abdul Hamid II was the person who ordered the attacks on Armenians, so he was their prime target.
Working out of their headquarters in Bulgaria, two ARF leaders, Christapor Mikaeliaon and Vramshabouh Kendirian started building some explosives. They were both killed when the bombs they were working on exploded unexpectedly.
However, another ARF member, a man named Zareh, decided to continue with the plot. He was able to make the bombs required.
The Sultan was known to pray every Friday at a mosque in Yildiz. Zareh loaded the bombs into a car, and parked it outside the mosque and set the timer for when the Sultan normally emerged.
However, the Sultan paused to speak with the Sheikh ul-Islam. The car exploded, but the Sultan was late. When he emerged to see what the commotion was, Zareh threw a seperate bomb at the Sultan, but it missed and exploded, killing Zareh.
The total casualty count was 26 dead and 58 wounded.
This is one I actually remember. It happened on the day after my 10th birthday, January 25, 1979.
Robert Williams was a 25 year old line worker at the Ford plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. He was slammed in the head and killed instantly by a robot arm moving parts. Apparently it was moving too slow for Robert, because he tried to grab some of the parts when the accident happened.
Granted, this wasn't a case of a robot going bonkers and killing people. But, it was a robot. And it did kill someone.
This one is a lot harder to come up with a definitive answer for. People have been killing others since, well....forever. And, some people actually enjoyed it.
But, for my purposes here, I'm going to define serial killer as someone who killed a lot of people and I could find them on the internet.
Going by that criteria, practically every ruler of Rome, Egypt, Greece, Assyria, Mesopotamia....hell, everywhere, was a serial killer.
But, let's look at what most people would consider serial killers.
In the 15th century, Gille de Rais, raped and killed an estimated 100 young boys. While in 1610, Elizabeth Bathory was charged with torturing and killing up to 600 young girls.
One thing that sets them apart from traditional serial killers is, they were incredibly wealthy, and their murders were an act of boredom. (as well as mental illnesses) Plus, they didn't really try to hide the murders. They were rich enough to buy people ignorance. (Bathroy had to be stopped,though. She was killing all the girls.)
The first person that fits the traditional criteria of a serial killer would be Jack the Ripper. H.H. Holmes is considered to be the first American serial killer. (remember, I wrote about him here)
So, there you have it. Some famous firsts. Maybe not the oddest post ever, but I bet you learned something.