(ORDO NEWS) — It was because of the woman that on December 5, 1909, near the Black River in St. Petersburg, a duel on pistols took place between the famous poets Nikolai Gumilyov and Maximilian Voloshin. The reason for the duel was the aspiring poet Elizaveta Dmitrieva, a preparatory school teacher for the gymnasium, who published her poems under the pseudonym Cherubina de Gabriak.
Both Voloshin and Gumilyov were in love with her, but Dmitrieva preferred Voloshin. In response, the disappointed Gumilyov allowed himself unflattering remarks about the girl, for which Voloshin publicly slapped him in the face.
The poets chose the famous Black River as the place for the duel, where Pushkin and Dantes had already met 70 years earlier. For such an occasion, they got hold of pistols from Pushkin’s times. The duel manager (and Voloshin’s second) agreed to become the then famous writer Alexei Tolstoy, who personally measured 20 steps between the barriers. Gumilyov, who was the first to shoot, missed, and Voloshin misfired. Gumilyov demanded a second shot, but Voloshin deliberately fired a charge into the snow past his opponent.
Alexei Tolstoy then announced that the duel was over. On the fact of the duel, an investigation and a court took place, which sentenced Gumilyov to seven days of house arrest, and Voloshin to one day. The poets made it up only in 1921, shortly before the tragic death of Gumilyov.
Can kings do everything?
In 1936, Great Britain, and then the whole world, learned that kings really cannot marry for love. After King George V died in London on January 20, 1936, the entire court was shocked by the news that Prince Edward of Wales, heir to the English throne, was going to marry the daughter of a simple merchant, Wallis Simpson (née Warfield). Moreover, the chosen one of the prince was a citizen of the United States, and besides, she was married, which was completely contrary to the centuries-old English traditions.
After her first marriage, Wallis married businessman Ernest Simpson. In 1928, the couple moved from the States to London, where Wallis met Edward in a villa with friends. A hot feeling flared up between them, and the prince offered the American woman his hand and heart. Wallis agreed, but warned that she would need to go through the process of divorcing Simpson first.
Upon learning of the prince’s romance, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin warned the heir that his marriage to a commoner could lead to a scandal in society and cause the government to resign. However, Edward remained adamant and declared that he loved Wallis and was ready to sacrifice anything for her – even the throne. At the same time, the government was forced to put pressure on the British press so that the prince’s novel did not receive press coverage. And on December 10, 1936, Edward VIII signed an abdication in favor of his younger brother, who became King George VI.
The day after the signing, Edward addressed the nation by radio and announced that he had relinquished the throne only because he found it impossible to act as king without the help and support of the woman he loves. The news of his abdication became a worldwide sensation, and Wallis Simpson was named “Person of the Year” by The Times magazine.
But, the couple was able to get married only after Wallis received a divorce from her ex-husband in court. The new King George VI gave his brother the title of Duke of Windsor, but, under pressure from Parliament, refused to add the prefix “royal highness” to the title of the newly made duchess.
Before the outbreak of World War II, the couple lived in France, and in 1940, after the capture of Paris by the Wehrmacht, they left for the Bahamas, where Edward was appointed governor. After defeating the Nazis, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor returned to France again, where they lived until the end of their days.
What happened on the bridge?
It is believed that Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, who had recently been elected a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, arrived in a government dacha village near Moscow for a date with a woman on the evening of September 28, 1989. But according to his own version, which he later set out in his memoirs, that evening he decided to visit his friend Sergei Bashilov, whose dacha was in the named village.
In the book, Yeltsin writes that at the entrance to the village, unknown assailants suddenly attacked him, pushed him into a Zhiguli car, put a bag on his head, and then threw him off the bridge into a small river flowing nearby. However, he managed not only to remain conscious, but also to untie the sack, get ashore, and then reach the police station. This incident soon became public and was widely discussed not only in the media, but even at a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, where the deputies seriously questioned the story of Yeltsin himself about what happened.
The version of the attack was not confirmed by the official investigation, which was soon carried out by order of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR Vadim Bakatin. The officers on duty at the police post testified that that evening at 11.10 pm Yeltsin unexpectedly appeared to them in wet clothes. The militiamen helped him dry his clothes and gave him tea. Later, the deputy’s wife, daughter and son-in-law came here in a Volga car and took him away with them.
The driver of Yeltsin’s car testified that he had dropped the passenger at the checkpoint, and he took with him two bouquets, one of which was later found 900 meters from the village. And when examining the area near the river, which Yeltsin pointed out, it became clear that the man thrown from the bridge here should have received severe physical injuries, since the bridge was 15 meters high, and the river was only 1.5 meters deep.
Nevertheless, the victim categorically dismissed the version that he was going to his mistress, but she doused him with water from a bucket. In his book of memoirs, he argued that all the delusional rumors about this case were spread by his political opponents in order to discredit. One way or another, but the real underlying reason for this strange incident with the future president of Russia remained unexplored and unknown to the general public.
The tongue will lead to impeachment
The loudest scandal in all more than 200 years of the US existence is, of course, the story of the relationship between 49-year-old American President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The very first information about this case appeared on January 17, 1998 on the Drudge Report website, where excerpts from a telephone conversation between Monica Lewinsky and her friend Linda Tripp were cited as evidence of the fact of adultery. In the conversation, the intern told her friend in detail about how and what she did with the President of the United States.
A few days later, the scandal around Clinton and Lewinsky began to grow – first in the American and then in the world media. The President vigorously denied the rumors, literally saying, “Once again, I declare, I have not had sexual relations with this woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”
But the situation escalated after July 28, when the intern was granted witness immunity in exchange for testimony to the Grand Jury regarding her relationship with Clinton. At the same time, Lewinsky handed over to investigators a blue dress, stained with presidential semen. As a result, on August 17, Clinton was forced to confess to the Grand Jury that he did have an “unacceptable physical relationship” with Lewinsky. The same evening, he made a statement on national television in which he declared his relationship with Lewinsky “inappropriate.”
This sex scandal during the whole 1998 enjoyed huge media attention and, with the light hand of journalists, was named Monicagate, Lewinskygate and even Zippergate (from zipper – fly). During the investigation, prosecutor Kenneth Starr said the sworn testimony of the president was false and thus constituted perjury.
On this basis, in December 1998, the House of Representatives voted to draft articles on the impeachment of the president, followed by a 21-day trial in the Senate. But representatives of the Democratic Party, to which Clinton belonged, voted in his favor. As a result, Clinton was acquitted of all charges and remained in office.
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