Lightbulb Massacre of 1922
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The Lightbulb Massacre of 1922 occurred between April 24 and April 25, 1922 in New Santa Fe, Pennsylvania. The incident became so infamous that it forced the tiny town to change its name to Branson and move everything, brick by brick, to southern Missouri.
The massacre was prophesied soon after the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison. The only mention of this vision was in a short statement made by Edison saying, "This is a totally killer invention."
After World War I, a wave of isolationism once again began to put a stranglehold on the American psyche. This along with a booming economy led to the opportunity that the Amish had been seeking to seize control of the American Mainstream.
Conditions Leading to The Massacre
The incident began when Archduke Governor of New Santa Fe, Rev. Dr. Reginald Archibald Sanchezski, expressed his vehement opposition to a new sausage-link tax that had been recently introduced by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Commonwealth Defense (PDACD) earlier that month. This tax was seen by the Archduke Governor and his followers as a push to financially oppress their sect of Amish locals, which had laid claim to their town as sovereign territory, as most of their income relied on the local chain of all-natural sausage link businesses.
On the evening of April 23rd, Sanchezski and his advisors (known as "Long Beards") gathered to discuss their options for response. According to the meeting minutes that have been archived by the Archduke Governor Museum, the options that they came up with and voted on during the meeting were as follows:
- Increase sausage link prices to compensate for increased taxes.
- Put addictive additive (all-natural of course) into the links to increase sales.
- Write the Pennsylvanian Governor and complain about the tax. (Not seriously discussed because it would negate their claim to independence)
- Gather up pitchforks and torches and march for war.
Debate raged on into the night over the choices at hand, mostly between the idea of having to go to war with PDACD or the amount of time it would take for R&D of an all-natural addictive additive. In an interview years later, one of the Long Beards mentioned that it was unfortunate that it was only on his way to the impending battle with PDACD that he actually remembered they had a large quantity of opium lying around that they could have added to the sausage links with little or no possibility of detection.
The Battle: Day 1
The next morning the Archduke Governor called a public meeting to announce that they were to be gathering farm equipment to use later that day during their assault on PDACD headquarters. This public announcement, unusual for the Amish as their primary mode of communications at the time were either the telephone game or rumor, was most likely the first and biggest mistake that Sanchezski had made concerning The Massacre.
As it turns out, the reason the Amish frequently used those methods of communication to avoid being infiltrated by outsiders. This was a problem partly because of the Santa Claus Beard factory in the next town over. This combined with a lack of corrective lens technology allowed outsiders to mingle in large groups without being noticed. The telephone game and spreading of rumors, however, requires close face-to-face contact where outsiders would be discovered and driven out en mass. Some speculate that the Archduke Governor's use of public address in this manor may have been an act of sabotage because of a desire to leave Pennsylvania. However, those speculators are usually only found far outside of the reach of the Office of the Archduke Governor or are promptly tarred and feathered for their opinions.
Regardless of intent, the group had been infiltrated by PDACD commandos that day. After the announcement, the commandos left in order to warn the PDACD Headquarters of the impending attack. Unfortunately, they took a wrong turn along the way and got lost, turning what would be a 16 hour warning into a mere 15 minutes. It might have been a bit more had they not wandered across state lines into the hostile territory of Maryland. The commandos were captured there and held for questioning before escaping and fleeing back to PDACD HQ. The escape was also a participating factor in what later became known as the Mason/Dixon Incident.
It is unlikely that even a 16-hour warning would prepare the PDACD for lay ahead. In late afternoon, after the livestock were fed, the Amish picked up their shovels, pitchforks, nunchucks, torches, boards with nails, and other assorted Amish tools/weaponry and assembled an angry mob that started to make its way towards PDACD Headquarters. It was about at this time that the mob had realized that they were unsure of where PDACD headquarters was located. After getting directions from a gas station on the edge of town, a collective moan came from the mob as they realized it was two towns over. Homing chickens were sent back to town to spread the rumor that the mob would be gone overnight and not to wait up for them. The group camped overnight 20 feet outside of Handlebrigsenburg, Pennsylvania that night. Handlebrigsenburgites shunned the mob because of their beards, as they were still upset that they did not win the bid for the Santa Claus Beard factory that went to nearby Kassenheifle. The next morning, the mob burned Handlebrigsenburg to the ground for their insolence.