Author Topic: interesting and/or fun wikipedia articles  (Read 20115 times)

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Re: interesting and/or fun wikipedia articles
« Reply #240 on: May 23, 2022, 10:08:42 PM »
William Linkhaw attended the Methodist church in Lumberton, North Carolina.[1] He sang hymns very loudly and very poorly.[2] Deviating from the correct notes, he continued singing well after the congregation reached the end of each verse.[3] This provoked various reactions from his fellow congregants: one portion of the church found Linkhaw's singing hilarious, while others were considerably displeased.[4] On one occasion, the pastor simply read the hymn aloud, refusing to sing it because of the disruption that would inevitably occur.[1][5] The presiding elder refused to preach in the church at all.[2] Upon the entreaties of a prominent church member, Linkhaw once stayed quiet after a particularly solemn sermon.[5] Yet he rejected the repeated pleas of his fellow congregants to remain silent altogether, responding that "he would worship his God, and that as a part of his worship it was his duty to sing".[6]

A Robeson County grand jury handed down a misdemeanor indictment against Linkhaw, charging that he had disturbed the congregation.[7] The case went to trial in August 1872,[1] with Judge Daniel L. Russell who later was elected governor of North Carolina presiding.[8] Several witnesses, including the church's pastor, testified that Linkhaw's singing disturbed the church service.[1] One witness, being asked to describe the way in which Linkhaw sang, gave an imitation of it.[5] Singing a hymn in Linkhaw's style, the witness provoked what the court described as "a burst of prolonged and irresistible laughter, convulsing alike the spectators, the Bar, the jury and the Court".[7] Witness testimony also showed, however, that Linkhaw was a devout and spiritual man, and the prosecution admitted that he was not deliberately attempting to disrupt worship.[2] Linkhaw asked the court to instruct the jury that it could not find Linkhaw guilty unless it found intent to disturb the service.[9] Russell, however, rejected this request, ruling instead that the jury only needed to determine whether Linkhaw's singing actually disrupted the service.[7] Russell contended that a lack of intent did not excuse Linkhaw because he presumably should have known that disruption would result from his singing.[9] The jury found Linkhaw guilty, and Russell fined him one penny.[1]


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