We've looked at famous umbrellas in the movies and television, but that's not the only place umbrellas have made their mark. Umbrellas have played an important part in history, too, getting presidents in trouble and even being used as weapons in the Cold War. Check out some of these interesting stories about the best umbrellas from history and most recent news:
The Famous Cold War Era Umbrella Assassination
In 1978, Bulgarian Georgi Markov died after he was shot with a pellet of ricin. The weapon used to shot him with the deadly poison was, incredibly, an umbrella. Markov saw the assassin pick up an umbrella after feeling a sharp pain where the poison had been shot into his body, from which he would die only four days later. Markov was a writer who had been criticizing Bulgarian officials, who were likely responsible for the assassination with the help of the KGB. Since then, this sort of weapon has been called a Bulgarian Umbrella. The ability to use an umbrella to carry out such an attack was confirmed on an episode of Mythbusters.
President Obama's Umbrella-Gate
In 2013, President Obama caused a bit of a dust-up in the opinion pages thanks to an umbrella. Photos showing a Marine holding an umbrella over the President during a press conference had some people upset, saying it was against protocol for the Marine to hold the umbrella. For some reason, female Marines are allowed to carry umbrellas, but no such regulation existed for male Marines. However, as the Commander in Chief of the Marines, the President is allowed to command other duties. On that day, the duty that was needed was umbrella-holder. The controversy blew over pretty quickly, but not before the Washington Post, Sarah Palin, and others had their say.
Brittany Bashes the Paparazzi
There is a famous meme on the internet that says, "If Brittany Spears can get through 2007, you can get through today." Spears had a tough year in 2007, going through a few stints in rehab after a divorce from Kevin Federline and later shaving her head. In one of her most famous 2007 breakdown moments, though, she grabbed a teal umbrella and proceeded to bash a paparazzo's car. After how much trouble they'd given her, few people could blame her for the incident. Today, Spears is doing much better and regularly performing for fans in Las Vegas.
The Queen's Comment Caught on Tape
Recently, Queen Elizabeth II of England was caught on tape commenting that Chinese officials had recently been very rude during a visit. Her Royal Majesty should have been beyond the range of microphones at the time, but those in the know say that her bespoke plastic umbrella acted like a satellite dish and broadcast her voice back in the direction of the microphones where they picked up her comments. The Queen is known for her clear plastic umbrellas that match her outfit, used so she can be seen even while sheltering from the rain.
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