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Numbers 279/84: Croscuses breaking through .. heralded by Boris!

On even date in 1904 the USA acquired the lands of the Panama canal for $10m. But also intriguingly in 1868 the U.S. House of Representatives voted 12647 to impeach President Andrew Johnson whose lenient reconstruction policies in the South after the Civil War angered Radical Republicans in Congress. Senate voted 35-19 against the President but that was less than the necessary two thirds required. Andrew Johnson had been Vice President to Lincoln just as Lyndon Johnson was to JF Kennedy - both stepping up when their Presidents were assassinated. Andrew Johnston faced 11 charges of which the 10th was perhaps most fascinating to us today: with a loud voice, certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues, and did therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces against Congress and the laws of the United States duly enacted thereby, amid the cries, jeers and laughter of the multitudes then assembled and within hearing" He never stood for election in his own right. Andrew Johnson, William Clinton and Donald Trump [twice] are the only Presidents to be thus placed on trial and none has been overthrown by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned as proceedings were envisaged after the Watergate scandal.
Boris was tempted to yet another analogy on a visit out to a laboratory! "The crocus of hope is poking through the frost and Spring is on the way, literally and metaphorically!" It was pictured in today's Daily Telegraph in a fine spread of 120,000 blooms at the National Trust's 17th century Ham House at Richmond-upon-Thames - gifted to a childhood friend William Murray by King Charles I. More modestly we were both out taking photographs in our morning sunshine. Crocuses aplenty here in Milton but we can do better - heather, snowdrops still, primulas, rhubarb even and a second flowering [soon?] daffodil. Click on all to enlarge and appreciate!

But the mystery photograph centred below shows a fine example on my carpentry skills and Avril's attention to last year's newly planted hawthorn hedge; I carved a point on the stake and she walloped it in and applied string aplenty.

Last invasion of Britain defeated on even date 1797. And we've seen the tapestry that tells the story at Goodwick Sands, Fishguard, South Wales. In 1797 French Revolutionary General Lazar Hoche devised a plan to invade mainland Britain in support of the Society of United Irishmen - a revolutionary republican organization allied with France. The proposal was for a landing of two diversionary forces in Britain and then the main force in Ireland. Alas attack in Ireland and the second in Britain were forced to cancel due to inclement weather but the third went ahead. Landing on February 22nd they were intent on taking Bristol. The French force was some 1,400 troops from the irregular Black Legion amongst whom discipline collapsed almost immediately upon landing and they went looting nearby settlements. The local Welsh population was far more hostile than they had expected and British Commander Lord Cawdor arrived with around 600 men from the volunteer Pembroke Yeomanry on February 23 but he held off attacking immediately. The French believing the British had many more troops decided to surrender on February even date 1797. The attack at Fishguard is the last time hostile forces landed on British soil and is often referred to as the 'last invasion of Britain' although aerial raids have been a feature of both World Wars. The Fishguard Tapestry, with which we shared our own artworks in Prestonpans, tells how the local community played a key role in locking many invaders in the church! It's a must to exhibit one day in The Pans .

Published Date: February 24th 2021

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