Daily TWiP ArchivesSomething interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.
More in "Daily TWiP"
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 23: National Mole Day
- Daily TWiP - June 18: International Picnic Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30, 1859: The Great Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 1, 1761: Famed wax sculptor Madame Tussaud born
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 8: National Fluffernutter Day
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 7, 1936: "Benjamin," the last thylacine, dies
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 12, 1933: First photograph of the Loch Ness Monster taken
- Daily TWiP - April 1, 1957: The BBC pulls off its infamous spaghetti tree hoax
- Daily TWiP - April 11, 1954: The most boring day of the 20th century
- Daily TWiP - May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 28, 1939: The non-word “dord” is discovered in Webster’s New International Dictionary
- Daily TWiP - March 3, 1931: "The Star-Spangled Banner," set to the tune of an English drinking song, becomes the U.S. national anthem
- Daily TWiP - May 16, 1777: The American with the most valuable autograph is fatally wounded in a duel
- Daily TWiP - May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
- Daily TWiP - July 22: Spoonerism Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 13: International Left-Handers' Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 23, 1784: The short-lived state of Franklin declares its independence from North Carolina
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 5, 1897: The Indiana General Assembly unanimously votes to change the value of pi
- Daily TWiP - March 10: International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris' birthday
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 25: National Irish Coffee Day
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 30, 1954: Ann Hodges becomes the first person hit by a meteorite
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 6, 1582 does not happen in certain countries
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 17, 1859: Joshua A. Norton declares himself Emperor of the United States
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 30, 2004: First images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 27, 1896: The shortest war in recorded history is fought
- Daily TWiP - July 30, 1419: Czechs chuck politicians (literally) during the First Defenestration of Prague
- Daily TWiP - July 21, 356 B.C.: Herostratus destroys one of the Seven Wonders of the World to ensure his own fame
- Daily TWiP - May 14: National Dance Like A Chicken Day
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 26, 2004: Dead whale unexpectedly explodes in Tainan, Taiwan
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 8, 1835: U.S. national debt hits zero for the first and only time
Daily TWiP – July 30, 1419: Czechs chuck politicians (literally) during the First Defenestration of Prague
If you’re going to throw stones at the Hussites, make sure your door is locked. Otherwise, they might take matters into their own hands, like they did July 30, 1419 during the First Defenestration of Prague.
A commonly featured word in the more interesting Word-A-Day calendars, “defenestration” is “the act of throwing someone or something out of a window.” The etymology of this word is very simple – from the Latin “de” (meaning “out of”) and “fenestra” (meaning “window”).
The Hussites were a Christian denomination founded on the principles of Jan Hus, a forerunner of the Protestant Reformation who believed in access to the Bible for all (not just the clergy) and keeping secular power out of the hands of the priests. Things had been a little touchy between the Hussites and the mostly-Catholic government since Hus was executed by the ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415.
On July 30, 1419, Hussite priest Jan Želivský and his congregation marched through the streets of Prague to the town hall to protest the town council’s refusal to release fellow Hussites who were being held prisoner. One of the councilors threw a stone at Želivský from the window of the town hall.
It was not the smartest decision the town council ever made. The already-unhappy procession quickly turned into an angry mob. Hussite leader and general Jan Žižka led the charge and the Hussites stormed the town hall, making a beeline for the council room.
The judge, the burgomaster and several councilors were unceremoniously heaved out of the window to the pavement below. Any who survived the initial plunge were made short work of by the mob.
The religious tensions that had been simmering for the past few years had now come to a boil, and the country (then known as Bohemia) was launched into the lengthy and ultimately inconclusive Hussite Wars.
You may notice that this event is referred to as the First Defenestration of Prague. The Second Defenestration of Prague, also the result of conflict between Protestants and Catholics, occurred in 1618 and led to the start of the Thirty Years War. This time, the defenestrated individuals survived – a sizable pile of horse manure broke their fall.
Several less memorable defenestrations have occurred since (and between) those two incidents. The Real-Time Encyclopedia defines defenestration as “the traditional Czechoslovakian method of assassinating prime ministers.”
– Teresa Santoski
Originally published July 30, 2009.