On this Day in 1880

On January 8th, 1880 Joshua Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, fell down with a coronary at the corner of California and Grant (then Dupont) Street in San Francisco. While the hill of California Street is probably responsible for a lot of heart attacks, this heart attack is notable in that it killed the former rice merchant, ending his 21 year reign. Emperor Joshua Norton I is responsible for many of the things we take for granted about living in San Francisco, from the idea of a bridge to Oakland to the way that the word “Frisco” grates on your nerves. He died before he hit the pavement.

His funeral a few days later was also notable for many reasons. It was paid for entirely by the Freemasons, the train of people following his casket to Lone Mountain Cemetary was close to half a mile long, and it was darkened by a solar eclipse. Do we really need any more proof that he was the Emperor?

Do something in honor of the Emperor tonight! We’ll be at Norton’s Vault starting at 4pm.

1 Comment so far

  1. tyler82 (unregistered) on January 9th, 2007 @ 3:30 am

    Long live the King

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