ARMSTRONG TO BE HANGED?
That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! — Wordings of the century I would rather say. This was said when a task that was once believed to be impossible was done just like that in front of the whole universe. He aimed for the moon and also landed on it without settling for the stars! He was Neil Alden Armstrong — a very familiar celebrity who was at the peak of fame but also was associated with many controversies, an American aeronautical engineer who is the first man to walk on moon in July 1969 along with his companion Buzz Aldrin who was the pilot of Apollo 11 lunar module. All those photos of human landing on moon and American flag flying high are still fresh in our memory. Speaking all that; this story is definitely not to discuss about the authenticity of the photos or to discuss whether the landing was a true event or hoax. This is what everyone talks. Let’s talk about something that went unnoticed in Armstrong’s life.
Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, near Wapakoneta, Ohio. He was of German, Scottish and Scots-Irish ancestry. He belonged to the prestigious Armstrong clan of Scotland which has a very traditional reputation of ferocity from the beginning. Let’s see why they were known for their aggression. On the marches, the border between England and Scotland life was difficult. From the earliest medieval times the people who farmed these lands were always at a disadvantage. They were living on the front line of a war that lasted many centuries. Armies from England marched through with regular mayhem, killing livestock and taking what they wanted on their way to battles further north. If that wasn’t bad enough other Scottish clans marching south would often do the same. Of all the clans who lived in and defended the lands that bordered Scotland, few were as indomitable or just plain scary as Clan Armstrong. Their reputation for ferocity grew over the centuries, due in large part to the constant need to defend their territory — practice makes perfect. Clan Armstrong came to be of great importance to the Royal House of Stuart, as Scotland didn’t have a regular standing army, and often relied on the border clans for military aid. The Armstrong’s, it was said in 1528, could muster 3000 armed horsemen to the field at very short notice.
An old literature says that an Armstrong wife whose cupboard was empty would serve the men a platter of spurs for their supper, which meant: get out there and steal some cattle, we are on the edge of starvation! The reviving tradition, though it strikes our modern sensibilities as criminal, was really the result of being constantly invaded by both sides of the border. They even carried a double sided flag: English on one side and Scottish on the other, to present to whichever army apprehended them! Such violence lead to huge loss of lives in their side as well as the opposition’s. So many thefts, murders, and other such ferocious activities marked them as “criminals”. Many groups of people started to hate them; some went further and wanted to eliminate them! Such an incident happened with Neil also!
In 1972, Armstrong visited the town of Langholm, Scotland, the traditional seat of Clan Armstrong. He was made the first freeman of the burgh, and happily declared the town his home. The Justice of the Peace read from an unrevealed 400-year-old law that required him to hang any Armstrong found in the town. Just imagine you are a nation’s hero, the whole world is praising you and no one has ever done what you have but there is a centuries old book with a law saying you must be hanged, that too named after you: Langholm Scotland Armstrong law. Weird, crazy or whatever you wanna call it!
So a small advice for the awesome readers out there reading this: check the meaning of your name and history associated with it before going to places!