Friday, May 23, 2008


"William Kidd started out as a respectable seaman.
The British Government sent him out to harrass the French fleet in 1700.
His men forced him to turn renegade, and he became a pirate
Major Anthony Nelson
'I Dream Of Jeannie'

There are several items of note which occurred on this date in the Toobworld timeline:

Robinson Peepers and Nancy Remington were married in Jefferson City on May 23, 1954 ('Mr. Peepers').

Stuart Gharty tried to stop a massacre of women and children in Qang Tri Province during the Viet Nam War on May 23, 1970 ('Homicide: Life On The Street').

But there is one event that happened in both Toobworld and the real world on a May 23rd - on that day in 1701, Captain William Kidd was hanged for piracy. And 'You Are There'!

Sorry about that, Chief.

Here are some basic facts of his execution, courtesy of Wikipedia:

William "Captain" Kidd (c. 1645 – May 23, 1701) was a Scottish sailor remembered for his trial and execution for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians deem his piratical reputation unjust, as there is evidence that Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd's fame springs largely from the sensational circumstances of his questioning before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial. His actual depredations on the high seas, whether piratical or not, were both less destructive and less lucrative than those of many other contemporary pirates and privateers.

On July 6, 1699, Kidd was placed in Stone Prison, spending most of the time in solitary confinement. His wife, Sarah, was also imprisoned. The conditions of Kidd's imprisonment were extremely harsh, and appear to have driven him at least temporarily insane.

He was eventually (after over a year) sent to England for questioning by Parliament. The new Tory ministry hoped to use Kidd as a tool to discredit the Whigs who had backed him, but Kidd refused to name names, naively confident his patrons would reward his loyalty by interceding on his behalf. Finding Kidd politically useless, the Tory leaders sent him to stand trial before the High Court of Admiralty in London for the charges of piracy on high seas and the murder of William Moore. Whilst awaiting trial, Kidd was confined in the infamous Newgate Prison and wrote several letters to King William requesting clemency.

Kidd was tried without representation, and was shocked to learn at his trial that he was charged with murder. He was found guilty on all charges (murder and five counts of piracy). He was hanged on May 23, 1701, at 'Execution Dock', Wapping, in London. During the execution, the hangman's rope broke and Kidd was hanged on the second attempt. His body was gibbeted — left to hang in an iron cage over the River Thames, London, as a warning to future would-be pirates for two years.

The belief that Kidd had left a buried treasure somewhere, contributed considerably to the growth of his legend. This belief had made its contributions to literature in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Gold-Bug", Washington Irving's The Devil and Tom Walker , Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Nelson DeMille's Plum Island. It also gave impetus to the never-ending treasure hunts conducted on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, in Suffolk County, Long Island in New York where Gardiner's Island is located, Charles Island in Milford, Connecticut, and in the Thimble Islands in Connecticut.

(As a boy growing up in Connecticut, my family would go out to the Thimble Islands once a summer, to visit friends of my parents; and we would comb the beach looking for that treasure!)

Now, in Toobworld, the time-traveling reporters from CBS went back through the ages to bear witness to Kidd's execution. Among them were probably Grant Holcomb, Don Hollenbeck, Grant Sewell, and Edward Morgan, with Walter Cronkite maintaining the anchor's desk back in the 20th Century.

Since Kidd's execution did occur both in the real world and Toobworld, a splainin must be found for the events in the 'I Dream Of Jeannie' episode "My Master The Pirate". Major Anthony Nelson found himself stranded on board Kidd's vessel by Jeannie's hijinks and Kidd tried to skewer him with his cutlass.
Unfortunately for the privateer, Nelson dodged out of the way and Kidd went sailing over the railing to his demise in the sea.

That should have changed History. However, what probably happened was that by interfering with the Past, Tony Nelson created a new alternate dimension that shared a common timeline with Earth Prime-Time until that nexus point. Thus, the main Toobworld could still follow the basic timeline established for Earth Prime.

BCnU, me hearties!
Toby OB

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