I have been rekindling my interest in William Walker, still the only native Nashvillian to ever serve as the head of state of any country. Though in his case, the country in question, Nicaragua, hadn’t invited him to take over their affairs. He was a self proclaimed conqueror of the pre-Civil War era, an imperialist visionary who saw the future expansion of the slave holding South branching ever farther down into Central and South America. He was executed in Honduras in 1860, having run afoul of all of his benefactors, including Cornelius Vanderbilt, but he was a popular hero in the South. Most Americans today are probably only familiar with him as the subject of a failed late eighties Alex Cox flick starring Ed Harris, but in Costa Rica, the day of his defeat at the Nicaraguan town of Rivas is a national holiday. More on this loony soon.