December 26th, 2007 Headsman
Inherited from England, the ceremony and theater of public hangings in the youthful United States and its antecedent colonies present an almost impossibly dramatic variety for characters, costumes and stagecraft. The ritual has — at least in the U.S.A. — slipped out of time into history, myth, even kitsch.
How representative of public hangings are any of the phenomenon’s instantly recognizable tropes remains another matter.
The next four dates offer a handful that alongside their inherent interest suggest — if only by illustration — the diverse circumstances that have gathered men and women under the gallows in the New World.
Dec. 26: 38 Sioux
Dec. 27: Penelope Kenny and Sarah Simpson
Dec. 28: Levi Kelley
Dec. 29: John Murphy
Also on this date
- 1502: Ramiro d'Orco, discarded by Cesare Borgia
- 1936: Harry Singer, in the holiday spirit
- 1942: Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle, Darlan's assassin
- 1872: Du Wenxiu, Panthay rebellion leader
- 1870: Kumoi Tatsuo
- Feast Day of St. Stephen
- 1862: Asa Lewis, Confederate deserter
Entry Filed under: Themed Sets