By Sally Asante
World “History” part 2
The second part of Richard Lederer’s never-before-known facts of World History as explained by eighth grade to college level students:
The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. Shakespeare never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He lived at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies, and errors. In one of Shakespeare’s famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill the king by attacking his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. In Julius Caesar, the toothslayer warned Caesar to beware the March of Dimes.
Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. the next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died, and he wrote Paradise Regained.
During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic on the Nina, the Pintacolada, and the Santa Fe.
One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks on their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally, the colonists won the war and no longer had to pay for taxis.
The United States was founded by four fathers. Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
George Washington married Martha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Then the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his very own hands. When Lincoln was president, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, “In onion there is strength.” President Lincoln wrote the Emasculation Proclamation and kept our country in one peace. He wrote the Gettysburg Address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.
On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in the moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.
Meanwhile in Europe, the Enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy. Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a lot of music and had a great many children. He kept an old spinster up in his attic on which he practiced every day. Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half-German, half-Italian, and half-English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorillas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon’s flanks. Napoleon became ill with bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t bear children.
The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. Her reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Samuel Morse invented a code of telepathy. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species, Madman Curie discovered radio, and Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.
The First World War was caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by an anahist. Wilt Chamberlain practiced appeasement in Europe before the Second World War thinking that it would stop Hitler and the Nazis. In the Second World War Franklin Roosevelt put a stop to Hitler, who committed suicide in his bunk.
Martin Luther had a dream. He went to Washington and recited his Sermon on the Monument. Later, he nailed 96 Protestants in the Watergate Scandal, which ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.
(Reprinted with permission.)