It was on this date in 1792 that Nicolas Jacques Pelletier lost his head. A few years earlier (in 1789) Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin addressed the National Assembly of France on the topic of capital punishment. Soon after, King Louis XVI banned what the country had been using for most of their executions (an interesting mechanism called “the breaking wheel”) and a committee was formed to reform the death penalty. Among other things, the result was a machine that would “painlessly” execute via decapitation. Monsieur Pelletier was the first criminal to have this new device used on, but many more would soon find themselves under the falling blade of the guillotine…..tho for most of them the biggest “crime” they committed was simply being royalty during a revolution.
The earliest event for this day mentioned by Wiki is “404 BC – Peloponnesian War: Lysander’s Spartan Armies defeated the Athenians and the war ends” and the most recent is “2007 – Boris Yeltsin’s funeral – the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.”
A few other noteworthy events that happened on this day include:
1859 – Ground broken on the Suez Canal.
1939 – Debut of Batman.
1961 – Patent issued for the integrated circuit.
1990 – Discovery deploys the Hubble Telescope.
Happy Birthday to Eric Aver, Jeffrey DeMunn, Stu Cook, Al Pacino, and Meadowlark Lemon.