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Here you’ll find interesting bits of history from all periods and countries that occurred on a particular day.

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July 25th 1853: Joaquin Murrieta killed

On this day in 1853 the Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, sometimes known as ‘the Robin Hood of El Dorado’, was supposedly killed by California Rangers. Most sources agree that he moved to California in 1849 to seek his fortune after the Gold Rush. He and his family were subject to racial discrimination, and eventually were attacked by American miners; Murrieta was beaten, his wife raped and his brother murdered. After this he supposedly, having been rejected legal help, sought vengeance and formed a gang of outlaws. However this story appears only in a 1854 novelised version of his life, though he was undoubtedly discriminated against, and other accounts say he turned to crime in frustration at being prevented from finding work. His gang took part in cattle rustling, bank robberies and murder. Eventually the infamy of their gang led the Governor of California to form the State Rangers and place a $5,000 bounty on Murrieta’s head. On July 25th 1853, the Rangers attacked the outlaws’ camp by surprise and in the ensuing gunbattle eight bandits, supposedly including Murrieta himself, were killed. To claim the reward, the Rangers decapitated Murrieta and preserved his head, which later went on public display. To some, Joaquin Murrieta was just a violent bandit, but to others he is a Mexican hero who sought to correct the injustices faced by Mexicans in the United States. Murrieta has become a symbol of Mexican resistance to Anglo-American domination of California, and other lands ceded to the United States after their victory over Mexico in 1848. A group of his descendants continue to work to correct what they see as historical inaccuracies about his life that portray him as nothing more than a bandit. His status as a folk hero is further cemented by the debates over the veracity of stories of his death. Whilst many who knew him testified that the head the Rangers displayed was Murrieta’s, some of his relatives claimed it wasn’t, and thus theories abound that he actually survived and lived into old age.

1 month ago
185 notes
July 14th 1881: Billy the Kid dies
On this day in 1881 the outlaw William McCarty, known as Billy the Kid, died at Fort Sumner aged 21. He was an outlaw who had killed several people and was known for his skill with a gun. Billy the Kid was killed by local law enforcement. He has become a legendary figure of the American West.

July 14th 1881: Billy the Kid dies

On this day in 1881 the outlaw William McCarty, known as Billy the Kid, died at Fort Sumner aged 21. He was an outlaw who had killed several people and was known for his skill with a gun. Billy the Kid was killed by local law enforcement. He has become a legendary figure of the American West.

1 year ago
68 notes

April 3rd 1882: Jesse James killed

On this day in 1882 the famous outlaw of the Wild West, Jesse James, was killed by Robert Ford. James was a robber and murderer and a member of the James-Younger Gang from Missouri and became a legendary figure of the Wild West. His gang gained notoriety in the period 1866 to 1876 as they robbed banks, stagecoaches and trains. He first gained national attention after shooting a cashier during a robbery of a Missouri bank. Their decline began with an attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota when the majority of the gang was captured or killed. James and his gang were pursued by law enforcement until the outlaw Robert Ford, who had posed as James’ friend, shot him in the back of the head in order to collect the bounty on his head. The governor of Missouri quickly pardoned Ford, which shocked the public as it suggested their governor had conspired to kill a private citizen. James’ mother wrote the epitaph for Jesse James:

"In Loving Memory of my Beloved Son, Murdered by a Traitor and Coward Whose Name is not Worthy to Appear Here"

2 years ago
13 notes

April 3rd 1882: Jesse James killed

On this day in 1882 the famous outlaw of the Wild West, Jesse James, was killed by Robert Ford. James was a member of the James-Younger Gang from Missouri; his gang gained notoriety in the period 1866 to 1876 as they robbed banks, stagecoaches and trains. He first gained national attention after shooting a cashier during a robbery of a Missouri bank. The gang’s decline began with an attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota when the majority of the gang was captured or killed. James and his gang were pursued by law enforcement until the outlaw Robert Ford, who had posed as James’ friend, shot him in the back of the head in order to collect the bounty on him. The governor of Missouri quickly pardoned Ford, which shocked the public as it suggested their governor had conspired to kill a private citizen.

"In Loving Memory of my Beloved Son, Murdered by a Traitor and Coward Whose Name is not Worthy to Appear Here"
- epitaph for Jesse James, written by his mother

5 months ago
205 notes

June 28th 1880: Ned Kelly captured

On this day in 1880 the infamous Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was captured after a violent confrontation at Glenrowan. Kelly was an outlaw, wanted on charges of murder. At Glenrowan, Kelly wore home-made armour to fight off police, but he was captured and jailed. He was convicted of murder and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol on 11th November 1880, aged 25. Kelly has entered Australian folklore and popular culture, with a film being made about his life.

1 year ago
36 notes