On this day, 1952 years ago…

…the Siege of Jerusalem, the major event of the First Jewish-Roman War, entered its final phase: occupation and plundering. The Temple had been destroyed about a week earlier. (For once, the image that is above, which is the default image for my posts, is spot on. The Dome of the Rock/Al-Aqsa Mosque, the prominent gold roof atop the walls, is where the Temple used to be.) This had come after months of siege, which had reduced the city to absolute mayhem and despair, which included cannibalism.

Read all about it.

It’s suspected that stones from the Temple were put into the Roman monument memorializing the event, the Arch of Titus.

In 878, Pope John VIII was busy crowning Louis the Stammerer as King of West Francia. Yep, that was his name. This was Louis’ second crowning, for some odd reason, as King of West Francia. He’d been crowned the previous year in October by the Archbishop of Rheims – Archbishop Hincmar. Presumably, when he succeeded his younger brother – Charles the Child – as King of Aquitaine, he was also crowned. Later on, King Louis the Stammerer, who was never emperor for some other odd reason, gave a few counties of his kingdom away to – Wilfred the Hairy. With his second wife, he had a child born after his death who was the eventual heir to the throne after his older brothers died: Charles the Simple.

In 1159, Pope Alexander III was elected, though he had to deal with an anti-pope (Victor IV – one of FOUR anti-popes during his reign) who for a while commanded the allegiance of most European kings. (Alexander wept openly at the news of Victor’s death and allegedly scolded the cardinals who were happy about it.) His papacy lasted just under 21 years. His reign oversaw the controversy around St. Thomas Beckett and King Henry II. He canonized Beckett, too.

This is an excellent film, despite some liberties begin taken with the history. The anathema scene is particularly good – starts around 1:27:33.

This was the second Englishman he canonized, the first having been Edward the Confessor. He also convened and led the Third Lateran Council, which settled on a canon that to this day regulates conclaves (2/3 majority votes). Alexander was quite interested in the missions as well, especially in Scandinavia and the Baltic region.

He did other stuff too.

In 1630, the city of Boston was established. Go Red Sox.

In the Wild West of Northfield, Minnesota, on this day in 1876, Jesse James and his James-Younger Gang tried to rob a bank but were thwarted by heavily armed townsfolk. Yee-haw!

In 1901, the Boxer Rebellion ended in the Qing Dynasty (China).

On a cheerier note, 20 years later (1921), the Legion of Mary was founded in Dublin. Today it is the largest lay apostolate in the world. Maybe there is even a chapter at your local parish!

On the very same day, the first annual Miss America pageant began.

Moving to Africa, Desmond Tutu became the first black man to lead the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town in 1986. On the same day, the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was almost assassinated by Communists – 5 of his bodyguards died. Exactly ten years later in 1996, hip-hop phenom Tupac Shakur was shot. He died 6 days afterward.

In 2008, the US federal government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, during the recession occasioned by the housing bubble caused by sub-prime mortgages. Here’s a great rundown of that whole catastrophe.

Last year, Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador in a national economic experiment. It hasn’t really worked. El Salvador is, well… still not a very nice place to be. Not sure what the update is on trying to jerry rig a volcano to power a Bitcoin mining facility. Let me know in the comments if you are aware.

Lots of other stuff happened on September 7’ths in history too. But also, today, on September 7th, 2022, I leave South Carolina for Maryland for a few days before returning to Rome. Maybe I will get around to my Poland post then…

Ciao!

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