1956 – Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes President of Egypt

Gamal Abdel Nasser was a colonel in the Egyptian army who wasn’t satisfied with the status quo of post-colonial Egypt. He had formed highly critical opinions of his political masters, especially King Farouk, as a result of his experiences in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Returning to Egypt, and drawing some inspiration from the contemporary coup d’etat in Syria, he began plotting revolution.

In 1952, the revolution began in earnest. Nasser and his allies eventually triumphed, with Muhammad Naguib becoming the first Egyptian President on June 18, 1953. But tensions between the factions of Nasser and Naguib were not eased by victory or the new responsibilities of government. After an assassination attempt that Nasser was able to blame on Naguib’s faction, which found its power greatly diminished by Nasser’s crackdown on them. Finally, in 1956, Nasser became the President de jure – he had had the de facto power of the title for a year or so by that point.

Referenced in:

We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

1993 – Lorena Bobbit hacks off her husband John’s penis

The Bobbits – Lorena and John Wayne Bobbit – had been married for a little over five years of not terribly happy matrimony on June 23, 1993. That was the night when, finally provoked to action by the latest in a what was apparently a series of spousal abuse incidents, Lorena got out of bed, came back with a knife, and cut John’s penis off.

Lorena was arrested, but found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. John’s penis was surgically re-attached. The couple were divorced in 1995.

Lorena became a campaigner against domestic abuse. John went on to abuse his next fiance, and then his next wife (these were two separate women). As the possessor of what was, at that time, arguably the most notorious penis in the world, he also attempted to become a porn star (which only goes to illustrate that some insanities are more temporary than others). As of 2009, he apparently still sends Lorena Valentine’s Day cards.

Referenced in:

Headline News — Weird Al Yankovic