I got a kick out of Mike Goree’s comment to a previous post regarding Miss Elizabeth Miller, high school English teacher extraordinaire. He referred to the Guy Fawkes debacle which I discovered is commemorated on June 23 each year in some circles. For those of you deprived of exposure to Miss Elizabeth’s tutelage, let me enlighten you.
Fawkes belonged to a group of Roman Catholic restorationists who planned the Great Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Their aim was to displace protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 with King James and all the lawmakers inside.
Fawkes was in charge of executing the plan because of his military and explosives experience. Authorities foiled the plot shortly before its final execution, when they captured Fawkes as he guarded the gunpowder. He aroused suspicion by wearing a coat, boots, and spurs, as if he intended to leave quickly.
Fawkes left a lasting mark on history and popular culture. Bonfire Night, held in the United Kingdom (and some parts of the Commonwealth), commemorates Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. He has been featured in films, literature, and music, and several geographical locations have been named after him.
The habit of calling someone a “guy” originated with the doomed Mr. Fawkes as Miss Elizabeth reminded us – she never liked the term. So now you know the rest of the story.