TIL in 1859, Joshua Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States of America and the people of San Francisco went along with it, accepting his currency, paying for his meals, and even got the police to salute him in the streets. Nearly 30,000 people flooded the streets for his funeral.

TIL in 1859, Joshua Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States of America and the people of San Francisco went along with it, accepting his currency, paying for his meals, and even got the police to salute him in the streets. Nearly 30,000 people flooded the streets for his funeral.
TIL in 1859, Joshua Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States of America and the peopl...

The speech of the great emperor:

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.

— NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.

All hail the Emperor of the US and the Protector of Mexico!

And by royal proclaimation, don't call it Frisco.

We need one who can speak at the level of a 19th century lunatic.

Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics had a bit based on this, something related to living what one dreams even if it's crazy and how people can share that dream or something. I remember it being a very sweet and melancholy story in the comics.

The hero we need today.

Looks like someone's never actually lived in a non-free country

Standard-issue non-fringe leftie here.

There is a time and place for discussing politics.

A thread in memory of His Imperial Highness, Joshua Norton I, is not that place. This is a place for us to fondly recall our nation's great Emperor and to remember why we must carry on in his honor, and hope that one day an heir surfaces to reclaim his empire.

I kind of want to try that out and see if I can pull it off, being an emperor is on my bucket list anyways.

best part:

The failure to treat Norton's adopted home city with appropriate respect is the subject of a particularly stern edict that often is cited as having been written by Norton in 1872—although evidence for the authorship, date or source of this decree remains elusive:

Whoever after due and proper warning shall be heard to utter the abominable word "Frisco," which has no linguistic or other warrant, shall be deemed guilty of a High Misdemeanor, and shall pay into the Imperial Treasury as penalty the sum of twenty-five dollars.

"His madness keeps him sane."

"I've met a lot of kings, and emperors and heads of state in my time, Joshua. I've met them all. And you know something? I think I liked you best." - Death

Three Septembers and a January, one of the best Sandman stories.

I'm pretty sure other people have tried. The fact you haven't heard of them tells you how successful they were

Oh, this brings me back to reading Christopher Moore's books. Bummer and Lazarus are the real heroes.

Utterly beautiful story. He lived as he dreamed. The story is pretty close to the reality - well apart from meeting the Endless, but who's to say what is real ;)

He did a bunch of good stuff for SF's homeless and 'outlawed' the shortened word 'Frisco' as it was unbecoming of the city.

This must have been one charismatic motherfucker.

In 1872, illustrious San Francisco lunatic Emperor Norton deemed use of the term "a high misdemeanor" mandating a $25 forfeiture "into the Imperial Treasury." In 1916, a Los Angeles judge — yes, Los Angeles — upbraided a woman who mentioned "Frisco" in his presence: "Madam, when you come into this court, I want you to use California names properly." If those are not contemporary enough sources, Merle can take it up with Herb Caine, who used the title "Don't call it Frisco" for a book in 1956

As someone who lives in SF, I can see why people supported this man.

NORTON 2020!

You know it's bad for the Trump-haters when reddit, a site with an overwhelmingly large fringe left, in opposition to the political standings of the country, is downvoting you this hard.

Don't forget his dogs--Bummer and Lazarus.


And protector of Mexico

He was the Emperor of the United States and the Protector of Mexico. To call him a tyrant is an insult to his legacy. Such vile utterings are unacceptable

That's not a very high bar.

If anyone could be the emperor it wouldn't be very prestigious, I think my utter lack of qualifications will prove too tempting for most people to resist affirming my reign.

Affirm my reign as Emperor Xisyteninius, good people, and I promise... like good stuff and whatever.

I know someone in Panama like that. They call him the mayor of Panama. He's not the mayor of Panama. He's like 74 and he's an absolute party animal.

Jesus white christ. Tone it down, sport. No need to tell someone to kill themselves, especially because of their opinion

Didn't just get "go along with". When Norton issued his own currency, it was more widely accepted than paper currency issued by the United States government.

He looked a lot like my dad, who was a habitual liar--until he started impersonating the first lie most parents tell their children. Being Santa Claus normalizes him so much; he's financially successful, happily married, and has lots friends now that he literally lives and dresses as Santa every day. He and I don't associate now, but this story has always been one close to my heart.

This dude must have been a really fucking awesome guy to get everyone onboard with this. You don't get that far because people feel sorry for you. They liked doing it.

He would frequently break up fights And would be considered progressive for his time in how he treated racial diversity in the large city. Plus he was ultra friendly.

He pretty much looks exactly like Rasputin, so yeah probably.

How does one go about becoming emperor of Los Angeles?

Also, how the fuck did they not teach me this in school.

I just found out he released a sequel to A Dirty Job. Can't wait to read it!

You see that Taco Bell? Together we could usher in a new era, I would definitely keep you in mind for all the big government taco contracts. That's called patronage by the way, it's how Monarchies work so technically it isn't even corruption. Fear not gentle citizens, every Tuesday politicians will physically fight over issues of policy for your amusement while you enjoy free tacos. It will be the weekly "Taco bout the issues"

Typed in Our own hand- Xisyteninius first of Our username, Emperor of these United States

Ah, then Judge Mogan didn't give Angelenos (well, Angeleno judges, at least) enough credit during...

Because he referred to this city as "Frisco" on four occasions while testifying before Judge Mogan yesterday in his petition for a divorce, Hal R. Hobbs, Los Angeles automobile dealer, was threatened with internment.

"What do you mean by 'Frisco'?" asked Judge Mogan.

"Why, San Francisco, of course," said Hobbs in surprise.

"No one refers to San Francisco by that title except people from Los Angeles," said the court. "I am the chairman of the County Council of Defense, and I warn you that you stand in danger of being interned as an alien enemy. Don't do it again."

What did he mean by this?

Merle Haggard wants a word

Reddit in 2217: "TIL that a reddit comment chain lead to the first Supreme Emperor of Earth. Who ended world hunger, gave everyone blowjob robots, and repelled the Zetan invasion."

I never knew his name was Joshua. I've always called him Emperor Norton I.

San Francisco still has her characters, but nothing like Emperor Norton. I think the last ones to make an impact were the Brown Twins, who would wear matching outfits and hairdos.

Not just fights. Stopped a riot.

"Hope that one day an heir surfaces to reclaim his empire"... so u mean...like... a God Emperor?

gluten has nothing to do with it UNLESS you actually have a gluten intolerance. In which case it had everything to do with it.

Then-California Governor Ronald Reagan pardoned Merle Haggard on March 14, 1972.

It's not quite a bona fide equivalence, but I think he's insinuating that "free country" is, like "gluten free", sort of a buzz word/fad/sham/etc.

I'm not so sure myself; I dropped grains from my diet and noticed overall health improvements, but idk if the gluten had anything to do with it.

It had to suck to spend 3 years in San Quentin for calling it Frisco.

You owe the city of San Francisco twenty five dollars. Pay up!

relevant Hark, a Vagrant

This is the guy from Christopher Moore's books!!! Memories, hot-damn!

Came here to ask if that sandman character was based on this guy. Thanks!

I'm glad Christopher Moore was brought up. He's amazing!