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Subject: 150 Years ago today, the US got its only Emperor rss

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Brian Bankler
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On Sept 17, 1859, the following appeared in the San Francisco Bulletin:
Quote:

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.


NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.


As immortalized in the Sandman ("Three Septembers and a January") upon being arrested, he was released by the Chief who said "...that he had shed no blood; robbed no one; and despoiled no country; which is more than can be said of his fellows in that line."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton
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He also appears in the "Principia Discordia" and in "the Illuminatus Trilogy" (just to plug an old friend's book).
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Ed Rozmiarek
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Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away.
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Brian Bankler
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I read the Illuminatus Trilogy a long time ago, but I don't remember much of it...

(or so I want you to think).
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Did someone say Emperor?

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除名山 蔵芽戸
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I heard that S.F. went along with it and treated him like an emperor. I should probably check the link to see if that's true...
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Brian Bankler
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MWChapel wrote:
Did someone say Emperor?



Get your hand out of your pants, Chap!
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Billy McBoatface
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I'd never heard of him before, but the wikipedia page is hilarious.

I wish they would name that bridge after him. It was his proclamation, after all.
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Erik D
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KSensei wrote:
I heard that S.F. went along with it and treated him like an emperor. I should probably check the link to see if that's true...


Pretty much. It was as if everyone was in on the joke but him. The aforementioned issue of Sandman is the perfect disertation of Norton.
 
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Larry Levy
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Great stuff. As they say, you can't make stuff like this up. Thanks for posting this, Brian.
 
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Brian Bankler
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erak wrote:
KSensei wrote:
I heard that S.F. went along with it and treated him like an emperor. I should probably check the link to see if that's true...


Pretty much. It was as if everyone was in on the joke but him. The aforementioned issue of Sandman is the perfect disertation of Norton.


I suspect we'd all like crazy people a lot more if they went "Emperor Norton" crazy versus "Murderous rampage talking to himself while twitching" crazy.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Self proclaimed hardly qualifies us as actually having one.
 
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Todd Warnken
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A Star Trek novel from the early '80s involved Kirk and Spock travelling back in time to 19th century California (time travel in Star Trek, you never see that). One of the characters they meet is the emporer.
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Niels B.
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He starred in a Lucky Luke comic as well, named Emperor Smith. He walks around thinking he's the American Napoleon. In the town everybody plays along, because he is a funny and quirky guy. Until a bad guy comes around and convinces him that he is surrounded by traitors. When the Emperor goes to the bank and demands all the money they refuse, so he uses his private army to occupy the city. As usual Lucky Luke saves the day, and the Emperor comes to his senses.



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