When the Soviet Union fell apart, a group of Russians hunted up the man with what they determined was the best claim to the Tsar's throne. He refused the honor, saying, "Gentlemen, I could not be more pleased and flattered at your invitation, but I must tell you that I am entirely satisfied with my present occupation." Paul R. Ilyinsky was the Mayor of Palm Beach, Florida at the time. (Wow, like Floridians didn't already have an attitude about their state's attractiveness!)
In 1974, a would-be kidnapper ordered Britain's Princess Anne out of her car, after having shot her driver and one of her guards. "Not bloody likely," replied the Princess, and bailed out on the side away from her assailant. She survived unscathed. The kidnapper did not; he was punched in the back of the head by a passing pedestrian and chased down by police.
The first (or best-known) Citizen Of The World died last month. Garry Davis was one of those "one-worlder" types (and a huge fan of Eleanor Roosevelt), but he had a lot more skin in the game than most, having renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1948 and never became a citizen of any other nation. He spent much of his life afterwards travelling the world on his own "World Passport," though generally not without a struggle. That degree of commitment deserves to be recognized, especially since along the way, he revealed the essential ludicrousness of lines on the map backed up by armed men; cross over and it's still the same place, really.
4 weeks ago