You’ve seen the TV commercials that show beautiful models with their hair blowing in the wind, right? What you can’t see is that just outside of the picture is a fan blowing on the model. Such things seldom happen like in the commercials.
Today’s photo was taken at a store in Mendocino some time ago. There were all sorts of pretty knick-knacks there and it is my wife’s favorite store there (well, maybe the chocolatier would give it a run for its money!). At any rate, while she was buying some of her favorite make of jewelry (Holly Yashi), I was snapping away and this was one of the pictures. I thought it would be cool if her hair started blowing in the wind, but it might have actually freaked me out!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1780, British spy John André was court-martialed, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging on this day in 1780. André, an accomplice of Benedict Arnold, had been captured by Patriots John Paulding, David Williams and Isaac Van Wart six days earlier on September 23, after they found incriminating papers stashed in his boot.
It was the discovery of these papers that revealed the traitorous actions of Benedict Arnold to the U.S. authorities. Upon hearing of André’s capture, Arnold fled to the British warship Vulture and subsequently joined the British in their fight against his country.
After being sentenced to death, André was allowed to write a letter to his commander, British General Henry Clinton. André also wrote a letter to General George Washington in which he asked, not that his life be spared, but that he be executed by firing squad. Death by firing squad was considered a more “gentlemanly” death than hanging.
Even members of the Continental Army respected André’s bravery, including General Washington, who wanted to find a way to spare André’s life. Believing that André committed a lesser crime than Benedict Arnold, Washington wrote a letter to Clinton, stating that he would exchange André for Arnold, so that Arnold could be hanged instead.
When he did not receive a reply to his offer by October 2, Washington wrote in his “general order” of the day, “That Major Andre General to the British Army ought to be considered as a spy from the Enemy and that agreeable to the law and usage of nations it is their opinion he ought to suffer death. “The Commander in Chief directs the execution of the above sentence in the usual way this afternoon at five o’clock precisely.”
John André was executed by hanging in Tappan, New York, on October 2, 1780. He was 31 years old.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In 1974, a Japanese soldier named Hiroo Onoda (1922- ) came out of the jungle of the Pacific island of Lubang. He had been hiding there for 29 years, unaware that his country had surrendered.