If you weren’t aware, today is Guy Fawkes Day, which is the only holiday I can think of that commemorates a failed attempt at regicide, but of course provided the inspiration for Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s amazing V for Vendetta (whose V provides our illustration to the right).
Guy Fawkes was a conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, which one was of many attempts to kill King James I as a means by which to retaliate against Catholic persecution and establish a Catholic monarchy in England. The date of November 5th commemorates not the day the plot was to be executed, but rather the day Fawkes confessed to his role in plot, which was to detonate 1800 pounds of gunpowder that had been placed in a cellar room under the House of Lords.
Had Fawkes and his co-conspirators been successful, it’s widely thought that their acts would have leveled most of the Old Palace of Westminster complex, and done fair damage to a large chunk of the surrounding area. I quite enjoy the fact that the day is celebrated with fireworks.