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"Oyez, Oyez, Oyez," International Town Criers Day

Monday, July 08, 2013

emoticon International Town Criers Day emoticon

When: Second Monday of July

Before Gutenberg came around, basically changing the course of human literacy with his Printing Press, most people were ignorant. Not by choice, rather due to situation and circumstance. It’s hard to learn new ideas without access to books or the ability to read, and literacy rates back in the day were low. Really low, so when members of the ruling class (aka “the man” aka Royalty, nobility, fuedal lords, etc.) needed to inform the common folk of news rather than send out a flyer they sent out the town crier!

Much like Catholic Dogma belief that the Pope is God’s physical spokesperson, Town Criers spoke on behalf of Rulers. The protection was extreme, too (i.e. don’t shoot the messenger). Killing a Town Crier was deemed treason, and subsequently punishable by death. Unfortunately, time is a little too abstract to behead for treason, and time ultimately led to the decline in Town Criers. However, Town Criers are a hearty bunch, and despite some setbacks (an 82% global literacy rate, and 97%+ in most developed nations) they have not gone down quietly. Town Criers can still be seen (distinguished by their fetching tricorner hats and other generally anachronistic fashions) and heard (OYEZ, is the usual greeting. There’s also the bell). Perhaps the best time to find a Town Crier would be on their own special day, their own holiday, Town Crier Day.

Being loud is a key, so to celebrate this outrageous holiday make sure you’re loud. Spend your day making announcements. Dinner time? “OYEZ OYEZ OYEZ. By official decree of [name here] it’s Dinner time.” Make sure to keep a megaphone on hand, this whacky holiday might leave you a little hoarse.

This Day in History July 8

First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers march in a religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders look on. (1099)

Vasco da Gama sets sail on the first direct European voyage to India. (1497)

Charles II of England grants John Clarke a Royal charter to Rhode Island. (1663)

French forces hold Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York. (1758)

French and Indian War: Battle of Restigouche – British forces defeat French forces in last naval battle in New France. (1760)

The Olive Branch Petition is signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies. (1775)

The U.S. State Department issues the first passport. (1796)

Chippewas turn over a huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom. (1822)

The Mounties begin their March West. (1874)

White supremacists kill five Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina. (1876)

Sailing ship USS Jeannette (1878) departs San Francisco carrying an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole. (1879)

The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published. (1889)

The death of crime boss Soapy Smith, killed in the Shootout on Juneau Wharf, releases Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip. (1898)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22. (1932)

Reports are broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico. (1947)

The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF). (1948)

Francis Gary Powers is charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union. (1960)

Richard Nixon delivers a special congressional message enunciating Native American self-determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975. (1970)

Assassination attempt against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail. (1982)

Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program. (2011)

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