On November 5th, 1605, a group of radicals placed explosives beneath the House of Lords in London in order to kill the British king, James I. Their scheme, which came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot, failed because the bombs never went off. The man tasked with guarding the explosives, Guy Fawkes, was arrested, and Londoners celebrated the survival of their king by lighting bonfires throughout the city.
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated to this day with ceremonial bonfires and the ritual burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes. WYPR's Nathan Sterner tells us about his family's unusual observance of this centuries-old holiday.