March 16 in history
On March 16, it’s 219 years since King Gustav III of Sweden was shot by Johan Jacob Anckarström at a masked ball, which took place at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. The Swedish king had arrived earlier in the evening to enjoy dinner with friends. During that dinner, he received an anonymous letter that contained a threat to his life, but, as the king had received numerous threatening letters in the past, he chose to ignore it, and, after dining, left his rooms to take part in the masquerade. Soon upon entering, he was surrounded by Anckarström and his co-conspirators Count Claes Fredrik Horn and Count Adolf Ludvig Ribbing. The king was easily spotted, mainly due to the breast star of the Royal Order of the Seraphim, which glowed in silver upon his cape. The conspirators were all wearing black masks and accosted him in French with the words: “Bonjour, beau masque.” ("Good-day, fine mask."). Anckarström moved in behind the king and fired a pistol-shot into the left side of his back. The king jumped aside, crying in French: “Ah! Je suis blessé, tirez-moi d'ici et arrêtez-le” ("Ah! I am wounded, take me away from here and arrest him!") The king was immediately carried back to his quarters, and the exits of the Opera were sealed. Anckarström was arrested the following morning, and immediately confessed to the murder, although he denied a conspiracy until informed that Horn and Ribbing had also been arrested and had confessed in full. The king was not dead however, and continued to function as head of state. The coup was a failure in the short run. However, the wound became infected and on March 29 he finally died, his last words being: “Jag känner mig sömnig, några ögonblicks vila skulle göra mig gott.” ("I feel sleepy, a few moments rest would do me good"). The opera “Un ballo in maschero” (A masked ball) by Giuseppe Verdi is based on the historical assassination of the Swedish king.

Success for Social Democrats
With Håkan Juholt chosen as the new leader, the Social Democratic Party shot up in popularity dramatically. According to United Minds, the Social Democrats went from 26.3% to 34.4% in just three days. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Carl Melin, director of opinion. Call it the Juholt effect. Still, the new leader has barely answered any questions, and has said he won’t talk much until the extra congress, during which he will be officially named the new party leader. This congress will take place within a week. Expectations are high, especially since the Social Democrats had their worst election in modern history last year.

Swedish Bond makes film with Zac Efron
The Swedish film director Fredrik Bond is set to make a romantic action film with actor Zac Efron in the lead. The film, which has yet to receive a title, focuses on a young man who falls in love with a woman during a trip in Eastern Europe. Problems arise when the woman’s charismatic ex-boyfriend shows up. Fredrik Bond is known primarily as a director of commercials and this will be his feature directorial debut. Zac Efron got his breakthrough with the “High School Musical” films and can be seen in Scott Hick’s film “The Lucky One”.