Browsing: Crime

A Brief History On November 13, 1002, English king Æthelred II the Unready ordered the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice’s Day massacre. Digging Deeper When Æthelred became King of the English in 978, his realm had experienced repeated incursions by Danes.  The situation was so bad that the English king even had to pay tribute to Denmark’s king starting in 991.  Not surprisingly, Æthelred would eventually want some kind of way out of these humiliations.  So, he decided to take decisive action on the feast day of a fifth century Bishop of Tours.…

A Brief History November 10, 1898 marks the beginning of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in United States history! Digging Deeper More famous events such as the Whiskey Insurrection (also known as the Whiskey Rebellion) of 1791 tend to receive greater coverage in history textbooks than what occurred in Wilmington in 1898.  Nevertheless, as noted above, the Wilmington Insurrection has a unique place in American history, because these rebels actually successfully overthrew their legitimately elected government, whereas just about anything else dubbed an “insurrection” in American history (not counting the American…

A Brief History On November 3, 1783, highwayman John Austin became the last person to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows. Digging Deeper For centuries Tyburn, formerly a village, but now in London, had the infamous distinction of being the principal place of execution in England’s capital for criminals, traitors, and even religious martyrs.  Executions and sometimes public torture occurred in Tyburn from at least 1196 until 1783.  The executed included noblemen and commoners alike of both sexes.  Even the dead could be “executed” there, as was the case of notorious rebel Oliver Cromwell’s whose corpse was disinterred so…

A Brief History On October 28, 1919, The U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto, paving the way for Prohibition to begin the following January and setting the stage for the eventual production of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Digging Deeper Without the almost difficult to fathom actions of Congress nearly a hundred years ago today, we would not be enjoying the tales of gangsters and corrupt politicians gracing our televisions on Sunday nights thanks to HBO.  Yet, for as hard as it is for us in an age in which we are inundated constantly by beer and…

A Brief History On October 23, 1812, the mad General Malet seized control of the police of Paris and attempted a coup d’état against Napoleon’s Empire. Digging Deeper During the summer of 1812, Napoleon led his army on campaign against Russia, traveling deeper into enemy territory than he intended and eventually reaching Moscow.  Napoleon and his ministers back in Paris were used to receiving messages from each other on a daily basis, even if the messages took a few weeks to reach their destination.  Due to the distance covered, the routes between Napoleon and his capital of Paris were not…

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