Sunday 17 January 2021

Footnotes to history

After John F Kennedy was murdered, Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as US President on the plane. When they landed a lieutenant said, “Over there - that’s your helicopter, Mr President.” LBJ: “Son, they’re all my helicopters.”


In 1862 a Persian prince marvelled at how 'England is the determined enemy of the slave trade and has gone to an enormous expense to liberate the African races, to whom she is in no way bound save by the tie of a common humanity.'

Until around 1970, slaves in the Arabian Gulf who had escaped their owners could go to a British consulate and, after touching the flagpole holding the Union Jack, would immediately be given their freedom. Freed slaves received this certificate.


Pope Pius XI, speaking about Kristallnacht, said, ‘It is not possible for Christians to take part in anti-Semitism.’ 

Years before, he made a priest who in 1925 published a translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion into French a protonotary apostolic, in recognition of his efforts against "our mortal enemy". The Protocols, describing a Jewish plot to rule the world, were a Tsarist forgery, as proven by the Times in 1921.

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