Today in History 1/6/1978 – Return of the Holy Crown of St. Stephen

When Stephen became King of Hungary on Christmas Day in the year 1000, Pope Sylvester II made him the gift of a crown. Stephen had resolved to raise Hungary to the status of a Christian kingdom, placing it on an equal footing with other European states. He had shrewdly requested his crown from the Pope, the spiritual leader of Western Europe, rather than from the Holy Roman Emperor. This crown became one of the most powerful symbols of Hungarian nationhood.

During World War II, the crown was spirited out of Hungary to protect it from the Germans and the Soviets. On May 2, 1945, the Holy Crown and other jewels were handed over by a Hungarian Army General to a U.S. Army Colonel near Egglesberg, Austria. The Crown had been packed in a large black satchel. It was initially sheltered in Wiesbaden, in the American Zone, but was later transferred to the United States Gold Reserve at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. It was not considered as spoils of war; rather, the U.S. Government stored it in hopes of returning it to the Hungarian people one day. Read more

Picture of the Day – Meet The Felon With The Golden Voice

JANUARY 5–Before becoming the country’s most distinctive new voice, Ted Williams compiled a lengthy rap sheet that landed him in several Ohio lockups on a variety of criminal charges, according to law enforcement records.

Williams, 53, has been busted for theft, robbery, escape, forgery, and drug possession. He is pictured at right in mug shots (click to enlarge) taken as a result of those Ohio collars, which stretch back more than two decades.

The convicted felon’s speedy rise to fame is not sitting well with one Columbus businessman who called cops on Williams and a female companion in early-July. The man, a manager at National Tire & Battery, told cops that Williams and the woman were “refusing to leave the business property” and had become an “ongoing problem” for the business, according to a police report. Read more

Just Say No To Sharia – Pakistan Muslim scholars and clerics praise killer of governor who opposed blasphemy laws

Mumtaz Qadri, centre, alleged killer of Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer, as he arrives at court, in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. B.K.Bangash/AP

Lawyers showered rose petals over the suspected killer of a prominent Pakistani governor when he arrived at court Wednesday and an influential Muslim scholars group praised the assassination of the outspoken opponent of laws that order death for those who insult Islam.

More than 500 clerics and scholars from the group Jamat Ahle Sunnat said no one should pray or express regret for the killing of Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer. The group representing Pakistan‘s majority Barelvi sect, which follows a brand of Islam considered moderate, also issued a veiled threat to other opponents of the blasphemy laws.

“The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy,” the group warned in a statement, adding politicians, the media and others should learn “a lesson from the exemplary death.”

Jamat leader, Maulana Shah Turabul Haq Qadri, paid “glorious tribute to the murderer … for his courage, bravery and religious honor and integrity.”

The suspected killer, 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri, told interrogators Tuesday that he shot the moderate Taseer multiple times because of the politician’s outspoken opposition to the harsh blasphemy laws. Read more

Today in History 1/5/1970 – Dissident union leader Jock Yablonski, his wife, and daughter are discovered dead for nearly a week: killers hired by the United Mine Workers (UMW) union leadership

As the rebel candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, Joseph (“Jock”) Yablonski charged that the U.M.W. was “the most notoriously dictatorial labor union in America.” When he was defeated by Incumbent W.A. (“Tony”) Boyle last December, Yablonski protested that the election had been a fraud. After Yablonski, his wife and 25-year-old daughter were found murdered, Boyle still dismissed the fraud charges as “wild allegations” and claimed that his union had been the “victim of a journalistic lynching bee.” Last week the Labor Department moved to vindicate Jock Yablonski. It asked federal courts to throw out the election on the grounds of gross voting irregularities. Read more