Today in history: The Battle of Copenhagen, April 2, 1801. This battle is an important bit of Nelsoniana. Horatio Nelson was a vice-admiral under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (yes, that was his real name —always cracks me up) when the British fleet defeated the Danish-Norwegian fleet. At one point, when the battle wasn’t going their way, Parker sent a flag signal for Nelson to withdraw. Nelson then turned to his flag captain and said, “You know, Foley, I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes.” He raised the telescope to his blind eye, and said, “I really do not see the signal.” He kept fighting, and eventually was victorious. He was created Viscount Nelson as a reward. And ever after, whenever we turn a blind eye to something we want to ignore, we have Nelson to thank for that phrase.
via Candice Hern