On Jan. 31, in 1606,Guy Fawkes jumps to his death moments before his execution for his role in the "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the British Parliament building and King James I. The conspirators, whose aim was to displace Protestant rule and end discrimination against English Catholics, rented a cellar space beneath the House of Lords where they hid 1,800 pounds of gunpowder. Tipped by a Catholic lord who had been warned to stay away from Parliament, the king ordered a search and found Fawkes leaving the cellar with barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes was found guilty of treason and taken to the gallows. Weakened by torture, Fawkes still managed to jump, breaking his neck. Britons still celebrate his demise each Nov. 5, on the anniversary of his capture, by burning his effigies and setting fireworks. -- Scott McCabe