Disasters · Portugal

Lightning strike armory, destroys most of fort

September 16, 1732 Campo Maior, Portugal Lightning strikes an armory, igniting gunpowder and causing an explosion which kills roughly 1,500 The lightning strike occurred at 3 a.m., hitting the 6,000 arroba (approx. 194,315 lbs. or 88,140 kg) of gunpowder and 5,000 units of ammunition stored within the fort’s armory. The explosion and resulting fires killed… Continue reading Lightning strike armory, destroys most of fort

Executions · Famous Last Words · Political · Sweden

FLW: his first time being beheaded

Famous Last Words Alexander Blackwell Sweden July 29, 1747 Blackwell, a Scottish-born adventurer, was executed for conspiracy in Sweden, accused of attempting to tamper with the Swedish line of succession. He proclaimed his innocence on the scaffold then laid his head the wrong way on the chopping block. When his error was pointed out he… Continue reading FLW: his first time being beheaded

Graves · Pennsylvania · School Violence

One adult and 10 children murdered in their school during Pontiac’s War

July 26, 1764 Province of Pennsylvania (near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania) Four Lenape warriors attack a schoolhouse leaving 10 dead, two wounded, and four taken as prisoners The attack on Enoch Brown and his students occurred during Pontiac’s War (1763-1766) in which several Native tribes banded together to force European forces from their land. On July… Continue reading One adult and 10 children murdered in their school during Pontiac’s War

England · Executions

Man hanged for poisoning his lover in an attempt to terminate her pregnancy

July 25, 1785 Durham, England John Winship is hanged for the murder of his maid/lover When Winship was informed by his maid and lover Grace Smith that she was with child, he convinced her to drink a concoction of corrosive mercury sublimate (now called mercuric chloride) in an attempt to induce abortion. She dutifully drank… Continue reading Man hanged for poisoning his lover in an attempt to terminate her pregnancy

Female Killers · France · Political

Woman assassinates French political theorist in bath

July 13, 1793 Paris, France Charlotte Corday assassinates Jean Paul Marat as he bathes Marat, an outspoken leader of the French Revolution, was targeted by Corday because of his role in the September Massacres. (Marat and others encouraged the executions of 1200-1400 prisoners so they could not escape.) Corday also believed his death would halt… Continue reading Woman assassinates French political theorist in bath