23rd February
It was on this day...
1885 Supernatural Gallows Malfunction Saves Convicted Man's Life

Exeter, England: John Lee, 19, convicted of murdering his rich employer, was sentenced to the gallows, a charge he denied. But when the noose was put around his neck, and the level was pulled, the trap doors failed to open.

Engineers repeatedly checked the gallows for the reason of the malfunction but failed to find anything wrong with it.

Lee was then put back in the gallows, but the door failed to open again. This happened once more and the executioners moved to give him a reprieve. His sentence was commuted to 22 years in jail.

It was on this day...
1861 Abraham Lincoln Escapes Assassination Attempt

Hearing of the plans for an assassination plot at an engagement in Baltimore, president elect Abraham Lincoln eventually is persuaded to proceed on to Washington.

On this day he and his entourage arrive at the Willard Hotel, Washington DC.

Lincoln became president on the eve of the civil war, with pro-slavery forces keen to kill the abolitionist president.

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Howard Jones
Patricia Richardson
Peter Fonda
George Frederic Handel
Other News
1940 Walt Disney's animated motion picture Pinocchio, is released.
1965 Stan Laurel dies
1972 All 172 hostages are freed by Lufthansa hijackers
1981 Rebel army seizes control in Spain
1997 Schindlers List, Steven Spielberg's somber tale of Nazi Concentration Camp horrors, becomes the first movie to be shown on US Commercial TV without a commercial break.

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