click the picture to watch the birthday blog for the October 23rd birthday.
On this day in 1739, tensions between England and Spain resulted in the War of Jenkins’ Ear. That’s right, a dude named Jenkins had his ear cut off by the Spanish for smuggling; so he picked up the ear off the deck of his ship, put it in a box (maybe he had a leftover Whitman’s Sampler box, or he made a quick stop at the Container Store – they have a nice selection of Van Gogh cozies) and after many months of sailing, carriage riding and turning his head to listen to conversations, he showed his severed ear to Parliament. They promptly named a war after him.
The war finally ended with a fierce Naval conflict in the Strait of Gibraltar known to history as the Battle of Jenkins’ Perforated Colon. Really bloody, messy, bloody, painful, twisted, leaky battle… The Spanish surrendered soon thereafter, signing the famed Treaty of Jenkins’ Collapsed Lung. Jenkins died the very next day. Every year on the anniversary of his death, England celebrates Jenkins’ Various Maladies Day by punching a Spaniard.