I first read about Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America in one of the Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. He was also mentioned in the book I’m reading now, The Schroedinger’s Cat Trilogy, by Robert A. Wilson. Quite the interesting — and very real — character, he declared himself Emperor of the United States in 1859. Lots more information about him in his archives — could make for some very interesting reading.

(via MeFi)