The 5th of November may not be a special date for most Americans, but in Great Britain this day is set aside to remember an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. As described in the first paragraph from Holidays Symbols and Customs,
This day commemorates the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when a group of Roman Catholic dissidents tried to blow up King James I of England and his government officials, who had assembled for the opening of the Houses of Parliament. The reason for this bold attempt can be traced back to the persecution of English Catholics under Elizabeth I, James’s predecessor. When James took the throne, the Catholics thought their problems would be resolved: He was, after all, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, widely regarded by Catholics as a martyr, and the husband of Anne of Denmark, a Catholic convert. But James I failed to meet these expectations, and the persecution of Catholics continued.
If you want to learn more about this interesting moment in history, you can find the complete entry by navigating to Gale Virtual Reference Library here. Don’t forget you’ll need to log in with your student ID number if you try to access this from off campus.
Citation for block quote above:
Guy Fawkes Day. (2009). In H. Henderson (Ed.), Holidays Symbols and Customs (4th ed., pp. 316-319). Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc. Retrieved from http://0-go.galegroup.com.oswald.clark.edu/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CCX1886300094&v=2.1&u=clark_integrated&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w