FYI February 28, 2018


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On This Day

1867 – Seventy years of Holy See–United States relations are ended by a Congressional ban on federal funding of diplomatic envoys to the Vatican and are not restored until January 10, 1984.
United States–Holy See relations are bilateral relations between the United States and the Holy See. The principal U.S. official is Chargé d’Affaires Louis L. Bono. The Holy See is represented by its Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who assumed office on April 12, 2016. The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is located in Rome, in the Villa Domiziana. The Nunciature to the United States is located in Washington, D.C., at 3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.


The United States maintained consular relations with the Papal States from 1797 under President George Washington and Pope Pius VI to 1867 and President Ulysses Grant and Pope Pius IX. Diplomatic relations existed with the Pope, in his capacity as head of state of the Papal States, from 1848 under President James K. Polk to 1867 under President Andrew Johnson, though not at the ambassadorial level. These relations lapsed when on February 28, 1867 Congress passed legislation that prohibited any future funding to United States diplomatic missions to the Holy See. This decision was based on mounting anti-Catholic sentiment in the United States,[1] fueled by the conviction and hanging of Mary Surratt, a Catholic, for taking part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Her son, John Surratt, also Catholic, was accused of plotting with John Wilkes Booth in the assassination. He was given sanctuary by the Roman Catholic Church and fled to Italy where he served as a Papal Zouave. There was also an allegation that the Pope had forbidden the celebration of Protestant religious services, previously held weekly in the home of the American Minister in Rome, within the walls of the city.[2]



Born On This Day

1261 – Margaret of Scotland, Queen of Norway (d. 1283)
Margaret of Scotland (Old Norse: Margrét Alexandersdóttir; Norwegian: Margrete Alexandersdotter; Scottish Gaelic: Maighread Nic Rìgh Alasdair; 28 February 1261 – 9 April 1283) was Queen of Norway as the wife of King Eric II.[1]

She was born at Windsor Castle, the daughter of King Alexander III of Scotland and his first wife, Margaret of England. Margaret came to Norway at 20 years of age to marry the 13-year-old king Eric Magnusson. Eric became king of Norway on 9 May 1280. A marriage contract was signed in royal burgh of Roxburgh on 25 July 1281. The treaty also included a provision for the children of Margaret and Eric to succeed to throne of the kingdom of the Scots. Margaret’s dowry was set at 14,000 marks sterling. The year after the wedding was held in Bergen, Norway when Margaret was also crowned queen.

The marriage between Margaret and Eric stands out as a typical marriage of political note. It would reconcile and resolve the Scottish-Norwegian antagonisms that had developed since 1266 resulting from the terms of the Treaty of Perth.[2] Under the treaty, Norway had given up the Hebrides and the Isle of Man to Scotland, in return for a lump sum of 4000 marks and an annuity of 100 marks. Scotland also confirmed Norwegian sovereignty over Shetland and Orkney Islands.

Queen Margaret died in Tønsberg, during or shortly after giving birth to Margaret, Maid of Norway, who would become queen regnant of the Kingdom of Scotland upon the death of her grandfather, King Alexander III on 19 March 1286.[3]

Queen Margaret was buried in the Old Cathedral on Holmen in Bergen. This cathedral was demolished in 1531. The site, in present-day Bergenhus Fortress, is marked by a memorial.




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