Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of the Emperor Norton Bridge.

Otherwise known as the ‘Bay Bridge:’

Emperor Norton, of course, was the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico: his name is associated with the Bay Bridge because Norton had long insisted that San Francisco rather badly needed on between it and Oakland.  Which was in fact true (Norton was, by all accounts, a respectably bright and knowledgeable fellow*). San Franciscans have been trying to get his name on the Bay Bridge ever since.

Moe Lane

*Naturally, in our more enlightened – and dare I say, progressive – age we’d either lock the guy up in a mental institution, or else step over him in the street. And yet, it was said of Norton that “since he has worn the Imperial purple [he] has shed no blood, robbed nobody, and despoiled the country of no one, which is more than can be said for his fellows in that line.” That observation, alas, remains all too true.

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