BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Guy Fawkes made an appearance at Bloomfield Center Alliance's Trunk or Treat this past October but who is this character, and why is Guy Fawkes Day remembered on the fifth of November?
The story begins with the events of 5 November 1605 in London, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives that had been placed beneath the House of Lord. The objective was to assasinate the King and install a Roman Catholic monarch.
King James I survived the attempt on his life. The people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of the Fifth of November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure.
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England's overthrow.
But, by God's providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James's sake!
If you won't give me one,
I'll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
In the contemporary American experience, most people know of Guy Fawkes as the inspiration for the lead character in the film 'V' The mask used in that film became a common symbol of the political activist group 'Anonymous' in the early 21st Century.
Bonfires and fireworks are included to this day in some parts of the United Kingdom to celebrate the failed terrorist plot.