On This Day in History: September 10

On September 10, the guillotine was used for the last time for executions in France. Here’s a look at events and birthdays in history today.

1813: The Battle of Lake Erie

Imacon Color Scanner

The Americans gained control over Lake Erie and the Territorial northwest, after the British suffered a major naval defeat during the Battle of Lake Erie on this day in history. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry led the Americans on the Lawrence and then on the Niagara, sailing straight into the British warship line and firing the broadsides. The British were forced to surrender, with 40 dead and 94 wounded. The Americans sustained 96 wounded casualties but lost 27 sailors. After the Battle of Lake Erie, the British abandoned Detroit.

1897: First Arrest for Drunk Driving

Today in history, the first London driver was arrested for drunk driving. 25-year-old George Smith crashed his taxi cab into a building. He pled guilty and had to pay a 25 shilling fine. Drunk driving didn’t become an offence until 1910 in New York, USA. The Breathalyzer wasn’t created until 1953, but was developed from the 1936 device called the Drunkometer. It took until the 1970s for the public to realize just how dangerous drunk driving was, and the penalties have increased considerably since.

1977: The Last Use of the GuillotineFort Erie

Baumetes Prison in Marseille, France used the guillotine for the very last time. Tunisian immigrant Hamida Djandoubi had been convicted of murder and was the last execution by guillotine in the whole country. More than 10,000 people were killed by the device during the Revolution, including King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette of France. Capital punishment was outlawed completely in 1981.

Famous Birthdays on September 10

Pope Julius III—1487

HMS Bounty captain William Bligh—1754

Benjamin Franklin biographer Car Van Doren—1885

Golfer Arnold Palmer—1929

Pulitzer Prize poet Mary Oliver—1935

Game Boy inventor Gunpei Yokoi—1941

Kings and Desperate Men actress Margaret Trudeau—1948

The King’s Speech actor Colin Firth—1960

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Richie—1968

Cruel Intentions actor Ryan Phillippe—1974

Sources:

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Battle of Lake Erie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lake_Erie#/media/File:Battle_erie.jpg

Image of Fort Erie: Alexandria Ingham


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