Did the Gunpowder Plot hit its target, or did it go up in smoke? November 5, 1605, was the date selected by a group of conspirators who intended to blow up the English Parliament and King James I, in retaliation for increasing severity of laws against Catholics. One of the members of the group tipped off his brother-in-law, a member of Parliament, suggesting that he stay away from the building the next day. He, in turn, notified the police, who searched the Parliament that night. A soldier in the conspirators' group, Guy Fawkes, was arrested as he entered the cellar where the gunpowder and supplies were hidden, and the Gunpowder Plot was aborted. Within days, the rest of the revolutionaries were either killed or arrested, and two months later, those in prison were executed for their role in the conspiracy. England (and some former British colonies, like New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland) celebrates November 5 as Guy Fawkes Day with bonfires, fireworks and the burning of effigies known as "guys."
"Remember, remember the fifth of November,/Gunpowder treason and plot;/I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason/Should ever be forgot." — Guy Fawkes Day chant