Global News: June 2003 Archives

It's the weekend, and Andrew Stuttaford is doing his usual fine job of keeping NRO's The Corner group-blog full of interesting material while all the Yanks take the weekend off.

He links to "Footnotes to History", which features the stories of short-lived and little known nations. Some are exotic:

Redonda- The island of Redonda is currently within the nation of Antigua, but it was briefly an independent kingdom. In 1865, Matthew Dowdy Shiell, who resided on the nearby island of Montserrat, proclaimed himself King of Redonda, as no nation had bothered to extend a claim yet. Four years later, the British Empire annexed Redonda, but allowed Shiell to retain the title of King. The kingship was passed on to his son, and from there things get fuzzy. There are currently several claimants to the throne, who maintain a barrage of mutual invective.

Some are right here in the USA:

North Dakota- In 1933, William "Fighting Bill" Langer took office as Governor of North Dakota. Although he was hugely popular, he soon exhausted his support when he demanded that state employees contribute to the state Republican party. As some of these salaries were paid with federal money, he was convicted of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government in June of 1934. Langer refused to accept the verdict or to resign from office. Ole Olsen, the lieutenant governor, asked the state's Supreme Court to order Langer to resign. On July 17, 1934, the Supreme Court of North Dakota declared Olsen the legitimate governor. Langer's reaction was not what the Supreme Court expected- before the Court's order was filed on the 18th, Langer met with ten of his friends and declared North Dakota's independence. He then barricaded the governor's mansion and declared martial law. Not until the Supreme Court met personally with Langer did he relent, revoking his declaration and bringing North Dakota back into the Union.

Incredibly, Langer was later re-elected. From all accounts, he served out his second term in a much quieter fashion.

There is a nice collection of links to related sites, including official sites of some of these micronations.

Tulsa has a connection to one such ephemeral nation. David Arnett of Tulsa Today recites the story of New Utopia and its founders. Nearly five years after that story was written, New Utopia's web site is still up and running.

Which presidential administration first raised the alarm that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and posed a threat to America? The Clinton Administration. Rich Lowry has them warning of the danger in their own words. (Thanks again to Dave Russ for the link.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from June 2003.

Global News: May 2003 is the previous archive.

Global News: September 2003 is the next archive.

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