Hi everyone and welcome to the blog. This week’s blog is dedicated to two men who personify the good and bad sides of mankind who’s anniversaries are remembered this week Nelson Mandela and Billy the Kid.
Nelson Mandela belongs to a cadet branch of the Thembu dynasty, which reigns in the Transkei region of South Africa's Eastern Cape Province. He was born Rolihlahla Mandela in Mvezo, a small village located in the district of Umtata. He has Khoisan ancestry on his mother's side. His patrilineal great-grandfather Ngubengcuka (who died in 1832), ruled as the Inkosi Enkhulu, or king, of the Thembu people. One of the king's sons, named Mandela, became Nelson's grandfather and the source of his surname. However, because he was only the Inkosi's child by a wife of the Ixhiba clan (the so-called "Left-Hand House"), the descendants of his branch of the royal family were not eligible to succeed to the Thembu throne.
Mandela's father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, served as chief of the town of Mvezo. However, upon alienating the colonial authorities, they deprived Mphakanyiswa of his position, and moved his family to Qunu. Despite this, Mphakanyiswa remained a member of the Inkosi's Privy Council, and served an instrumental role in Jongintaba Dalindyebo's ascension to the Thembu throne. Dalindyebo would later return the favour by informally adopting Mandela upon Mphakanyiswa's death. Mandela's father had four wives, with whom he fathered thirteen children (four boys and nine girls). Mandela was born to his third wife ('third' by a complex royal ranking system), Nosekeni Fanny. Fanny was a daughter of Nkedama of the Mpemvu Xhosa clan, the dynastic Right Hand House, in whose umzi or homestead Mandela spent much of his childhood. His given name Rolihlahla means "to pull a branch of a tree", or more colloquially, "troublemaker". Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend a school, where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the English name "Nelson".
When Mandela was nine, his father died of tuberculosis, and the regent, Jongintaba, became his guardian. Mandela attended a Wesleyan mission school located next to the palace of the regent. Following Thembu custom, he was initiated at age sixteen, and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute. Mandela completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three. Designated to inherit his father's position as a privy councillor, in 1937 Mandela moved to Healdtown, the Wesleyan college in Fort Beaufort which most Thembu royalty attended. At nineteen, he took an interest in boxing and running at the school.
After enrolling, Mandela began to study for a Bachelor of Arts at the Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo. Tambo and Mandela became lifelong friends and colleagues. Mandela also became close friends with his kinsman, Kaiser ("K.D.") Matanzima who, as royal scion of the Thembu Right Hand House, was in line for the throne of Transkei, a role that would later lead him to embrace Bantustan policies. His support of these policies would place him and Mandela on opposing political sides. At the end of Nelson's first year, he became involved in a Students' Representative Council boycott against university policies, and was told to leave Fort Hare and not return unless he accepted election to the SRC. Later in his life, while in prison, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London External Programme.
Shortly after leaving Fort Hare, Jongintaba announced to Mandela and Justice (the regent's son and heir to the throne) that he had arranged marriages for both of them. The young men, displeased by the arrangement, elected to relocate to Johannesburg. Upon his arrival, Mandela initially found employment as a guard at a mine. However, the employer quickly terminated Mandela after learning that he was the Regent's runaway ward. Mandela later started work as an articled clerk at a Johannesburg law firm, Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman, through connections with his friend and mentor, realtor Walter Sisulu. While working at Witkin, Sidelsky and Edelman, Mandela completed his B.A. degree at the University of South Africa via correspondence, after which he began law studies at the University of Witwatersrand, where he first befriended fellow students and future anti-apartheid political activists Joe Slovo, Harry Schwarz and Ruth First. Slovo would eventually become Mandela's Minister of Housing, while Schwarz would become his Ambassador to Washington. During this time, Mandela lived in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg.
After the 1948 election victory of the Afrikaner-dominated National Party, which supported the apartheid policy of racial segregation, Mandela began actively participating in politics. He led prominently in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People, whose adoption of the Freedom Charter provided the fundamental basis of the anti-apartheid cause. During this time, Mandela and fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo operated the law firm of Mandela and Tambo, providing free or low-cost legal counsel to many blacks who lacked attorney representation. Mahatma Gandhi influenced Mandela's approach, and subsequently the methods of succeeding generations of South African anti-apartheid activists. (Mandela later took part in the 29–30 January 2007 conference in New Delhi marking the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's introduction of satyagraha (non-violent resistance) in South Africa).
Initially committed to nonviolent resistance, Mandela and 150 others were arrested on 5 December 1956 and charged with treason. The marathon Treason Trial of 1956–1961 followed, with all defendants receiving acquittals. From 1952–1959, a new class of black activists known as the Africanists disrupted ANC activities in the townships, demanding more drastic steps against the National Party regime. The ANC leadership under Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu felt not only that the Africanists were moving too fast but also that they challenged their leadership. The ANC leadership consequently bolstered their position through alliances with small White, Coloured, and Indian political parties in an attempt to give the appearance of wider appeal than the Africanists. The Africanists ridiculed the 1955 Freedom Charter Kliptown Conference for the concession of the 100,000-strong ANC to just a single vote in a Congressional alliance. Four secretaries-general of the five participating parties secretly belonged to the reconstituted South African Communist Party (SACP). In 2003 Blade Nzimande, the SACP General Secretary, revealed that Walter Sisulu, the ANC Secretary-General, secretly joined the SACP in 1955 which meant all five Secretaries General were SACP and thus explains why Sisulu relegated the ANC from a dominant role to one of five equals.
Fellow ANC member Wolfie Kodesh explains the bombing campaign led by Mandela: "When we knew that we [sic] going to start on 16 December 1961, to blast the symbolic places of apartheid, like pass offices, native magistrates courts, and things like that ... post offices and ... the government offices. But we were to do it in such a way that nobody would be hurt, nobody would get killed." Mandela said of Wolfie: "His knowledge of warfare and his first hand battle experience were extremely helpful to me." Mandela described the move to armed struggle as a last resort; years of increasing repression and violence from the state convinced him that many years of non-violent protest against apartheid had not and could not achieve any progress.
In June 1961, Mandela sent a letter to South African newspapers warning the government, that if they did not meet there demands, the Umkhonto we Sizwe would embark on campaign of sabotage. The letter demanded the government accept a call for a national constitutional convention. The demands were not met by the government and beginning on December 16, 1961, the Umkhonto we Sizwe with Mandela as its leader, launched a bombing campaign against government targets with the first action of the campaign being the bombing of an electricity sub-station. In total, over the next eighteen months the Umkhonto we Sizwe would partake dozens more acts of sabotage and bombings. The South African government alleged more acts of sabotage had been carried out and at the Rivonia trial the accused would be charged with 193 acts of sabotage in total. The campaign of sabotage against the government included attacks on government posts, machines, power facilities and crop burning in various places including Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban.
Later, mostly in the 1980s, MK, the organisation co-founded by Mandela, waged a guerrilla war against the apartheid government in which many civilians became casualties. For example, the Church Street bomb in Pretoria killed 19 people and injured 217. After he had become President, Mandela later admitted that the ANC, in its struggle against apartheid, also violated human rights, criticising those in his own party who attempted to remove statements mentioning this from the reports of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Until July 2008 Mandela and ANC party members were barred from entering the United States—except to visit the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan—without a special waiver from the US Secretary of State, because of their South African apartheid-era designation as terrorists.
On 5 August 1962 Mandela was arrested after living on the run for seventeen months, and was imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. A large number of groups have been accused of tipping off the police about Mandela’s whereabouts including the South African Communist Party, Mandela’s host in Durban GR Naidoo, and the CIA, but Mandela himself considers none of these connections to be credible and instead attributes his arrest to his own carelessness in concealing his movements. Of the CIA link in particular, Mandela's official biographer Anthony Sampson believes that “the claim cannot be substantiated.” Three days later, the charges of leading workers to strike in 1961 and leaving the country illegally were read to him during a court appearance. On 25 October 1962, Mandela was sentenced to five years in prison.
While Mandela was imprisoned, police arrested prominent ANC leaders on 11 July 1963, at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Mandela was brought in, and at the Rivonia Trial they were charged by the chief prosecutor Dr. Percy Yutar with four charges of the capital crimes of sabotage (which Mandela admitted) and crimes which were equivalent to treason, but easier for the government to prove. The charge sheet at the trail listed 193 acts of sabotage in total. They were charged with the preparation and manufacture of explosives, according to evidence submitted, included 210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminium powder and a ton of black powder. They were also charged with plotting a foreign invasion of South Africa, which Mandela denied. The specifics of the charges to which Mandela admitted complicity involved conspiring with the African National Congress and South African Communist Party to the use of explosives to destroy water, electrical, and gas utilities in the Republic of South Africa. Bram Fischer, Vernon Berrange, Joel Joffe, Arthur Chaskalson and George Bizos were part of the defence team that represented the main accused. Harry Schwarz represented Jimmy Kantor, who was not a member of the ANC or MK; Kantor was acquitted long before the end of the trial. Harold Hanson was brought in at the end of the case to plead mitigation.
In his statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the trial on 20 April 1964 at Pretoria Supreme Court, Mandela laid out the reasoning in the ANC's choice to use violence as a tactic. His statement described how the ANC had used peaceful means to resist apartheid for years until the Sharpeville Massacre. That event coupled with the referendum establishing the Republic of South Africa and the declaration of a state of emergency along with the banning of the ANC made it clear to Mandela and his compatriots that their only choice was to resist through acts of sabotage and that doing otherwise would have been tantamount to unconditional surrender. Mandela went on to explain how they developed the Manifesto of Umkhonto we Sizwe on 16 December 1961 intent on exposing the failure of the National Party's policies after the economy would be threatened by foreigners' unwillingness to risk investing in the country. He closed his statement with these words: "During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
All except Rusty Bernstein were found guilty, but they escaped the gallows and were sentenced to life imprisonment on 12 June 1964. Although many saw Mandela as a political prisoner, Amnesty International did not consider him as the group "rejects the proposal to recognize as prisoners of conscience people who use or advocate the use of force." However, Amnesty International campaigned against the harsh conditions Mandela experienced while imprisoned.
Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island where he remained for the next eighteen of his twenty-seven years in prison. While in jail, his reputation grew and he became widely known as the most significant black leader in South Africa. On the island, he and others performed hard labour in a lime quarry. Prison conditions were very basic. Prisoners were segregated by race, with black prisoners receiving the fewest rations. Political prisoners were kept separate from ordinary criminals and received fewer privileges. Mandela describes how, as a D-group prisoner (the lowest classification) he was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months, when they came, were often delayed for long periods and made unreadable by the prison censors.
Whilst in prison Mandela undertook study with the University of London by correspondence through its External Programme and received the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was subsequently nominated for the position of Chancellor of the University of London in the 1981 election, but lost to Princess Anne.
In his 1981 memoir Inside BOSS secret agent Gordon Winter describes his involvement in a plot to rescue Mandela from prison in 1969: this plot was infiltrated by Winter on behalf of South African intelligence, who wanted Mandela to escape so they could shoot him during recapture. The plot was foiled by Britain's Secret Intelligence Service.
In March 1982 Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison, along with other senior ANC leaders Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Raymond Mhlaba. It was speculated that this was to remove the influence of these senior leaders on the new generation of young black activists imprisoned on Robben Island, the so-called "Mandela University". However, National Party minister Kobie Coetsee says that the move was to enable discreet contact between them and the South African government.
In February 1985 President P.W. Botha offered Mandela his freedom on condition that he 'unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon'. Coetsee and other ministers had advised Botha against this, saying that Mandela would never commit his organisation to giving up the armed struggle in exchange for personal freedom. Mandela indeed spurned the offer, releasing a statement via his daughter Zindzi saying "What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts." The first meeting between Mandela and the National Party government came in November 1985 when Kobie Coetsee met Mandela in Volks Hospital in Cape Town where Mandela was recovering from prostate surgery. Over the next four years, a series of tentative meetings took place, laying the groundwork for further contact and future negotiations, but little real progress was made.
In 1988 Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison and would remain there until his release. Various restrictions were lifted and people such as Harry Schwarz were able to visit him. Schwarz, a lifelong friend of Mandela, had known him since university when they were in the same law class. He was also a defence barrister at the Rivonia Trial and would become Mandela's ambassador to Washington during his presidency.
Throughout Mandela's imprisonment, local and international pressure mounted on the South African government to release him, under the resounding slogan Free Nelson Mandela! In 1989, South Africa reached a crossroads when Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced as president by Frederik Willem de Klerk. De Klerk announced Mandela's release in February 1990. Mandela was visited several times by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, while at Robben Island and later at Pollsmoor prison. Mandela had this to say about the visits: "to me personally, and those who shared the experience of being political prisoners, the Red Cross was a beacon of humanity within the dark inhumane world of political imprisonment."
On 2 February 1990, State President F. W. de Klerk reversed the ban on the ANC and other anti-apartheid organisations, and announced that Mandela would shortly be released from prison. Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl on 11 February 1990. The event was broadcast live all over the world.
On the day of his release, Mandela made a speech to the nation. He declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with the country's white minority, but made it clear that the ANC's armed struggle was not yet over when he said "our resort to the armed struggle in 1960 with the formation of the military wing of the ANC (Umkhonto we Sizwe) was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid. The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement would be created soon, so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle." He also said his main focus was to bring peace to the black majority and give them the right to vote in both national and local elections.
Following his release from prison, Mandela returned to the leadership of the ANC and, between 1990 and 1994, led the party in the multi-party negotiations that led to the country's first multi-racial elections. In 1991, the ANC held its first national conference in South Africa after its unbanning, electing Mandela as President of the organisation. His old friend and colleague Oliver Tambo, who had led the organisation in exile during Mandela's imprisonment, became National Chairperson.
Mandela's leadership through the negotiations, as well as his relationship with President F. W. de Klerk, was recognised when they were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. However, the relationship was sometimes strained, particularly so in a sharp exchange in 1991 when he furiously referred to De Klerk as the head of "an illegitimate, discredited, minority regime". The talks broke down following the Boipatong massacre in June 1992 when Mandela took the ANC out of the negotiations, accusing De Klerk's government of complicity in the killings. However, talks resumed following the Bisho massacre in September 1992, when the spectre of violent confrontation made it clear that negotiations were the only way forward.
Following the assassination of ANC leader Chris Hani in April 1993, there were renewed fears that the country would erupt in violence. Mandela addressed the nation appealing for calm, in a speech regarded as 'presidential' even though he was not yet president of the country at that time. Mandela said "tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being. A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster. A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin. The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. ...Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for – the freedom of all of us". While some riots did follow the assassination, the negotiators were galvanised into action, and soon agreed that democratic elections should take place on 27 April 1994, just over a year after Hani's assassination.
Mandela has been married three times, has fathered six children, has twenty grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren. He is grandfather to Chief Mandla Mandela. Mandela's first marriage was to Evelyn Ntoko Mase who, like Mandela, was also from what later became the Transkei area of South Africa, although they actually met in Johannesburg. The couple broke up in 1957 after 13 years, divorcing under the multiple strains of his constant absences, devotion to revolutionary agitation, and the fact she was a Jehovah's Witness, a religion which requires political neutrality. Evelyn Mase died in 2004. The couple had two sons, Madiba Thembekile (Thembi) (1946–1969) and Makgatho Mandela (1950–2005), and two daughters, both named Makaziwe Mandela (known as Maki; born 1947 and 1953). Their first daughter died aged nine months, and they named their second daughter in her honour. All their children were educated at the United World College of Waterford Kamhlaba. Thembi was killed in a car crash in 1969 at the age of 23, while Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, and Mandela was not allowed to attend the funeral. Makgatho died of AIDS in 2005, aged 54.
Mandela's second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, also came from the Transkei area, although they, too, met in Johannesburg, where she was the city's first black social worker. They had two daughters, Zenani (Zeni), born 4 February 1958, and Zindziswa (Zindzi) Mandela-Hlongwane, born 1960. Zindzi was only 18 months old when her father was sent to Robben island. Later, Winnie would be deeply torn by family discord which mirrored the country's political strife; while her husband was serving a life sentence on the Robben Island prison, her father became the agriculture minister in the Transkei. The marriage ended in separation (April 1992) and divorce (March 1996), fuelled by political estrangement.
Mandela was still in prison when his daughter Zenani was married to Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini in 1973, elder brother of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Although she had vivid memories of her father, from the age of four up until sixteen, South African authorities did not permit her to visit him. The Dlamini couple live and run a business in Boston. One of their sons, Prince Cedza Dlamini (born 1976), educated in the United States, has followed in his grandfather's footsteps as an international advocate for human rights and humanitarian aid. In July 2012, Zenani was appointed ambassador to Argentina, becoming the first of Mandela's three remaining children to enter public life. Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane made history worldwide when she read out Mandela's speech refusing his conditional pardon in 1985. She is a businesswoman in South Africa with three children, the eldest of whom is a son, Zondwa Gadaffi Mandela.
Mandela was remarried, on his 80th birthday in 1998, to Graça Machel née Simbine, widow of Samora Machel, the former Mozambican president and ANC ally who was killed in an air crash 12 years earlier. The wedding followed months of international negotiations to set the unprecedented bride price to be remitted to Machel's clan. Said negotiations were conducted on Mandela's behalf by his traditional sovereign, King Buyelekhaya Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo. The paramount chief's grandfather was the regent Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who had arranged a marriage for Mandela, which he eluded by fleeing to Johannesburg in 1940. Mandela still maintains a home at Qunu in the realm of his royal nephew (second cousin thrice-removed in Western reckoning), whose university expenses he defrayed and whose privy councillor he remains.
Mandela became the oldest elected President of South Africa when he took office at the age of 75 in 1994. He decided not to stand for a second term and retired in 1999, to be succeeded by Thabo Mbeki.
After his retirement as President, Mandela went on to become an advocate for a variety of social and human rights organisations. He has expressed his support for the international Make Poverty History movement of which the ONE Campaign is a part. The Nelson Mandela Invitational charity golf tournament, hosted by Gary Player, has raised over twenty million rand for children's charities since its inception in 2000. This annual special event has become South Africa's most successful charitable sports gathering and benefits both the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Gary Player Foundation equally for various children's causes around the world.
Mandela is a vocal supporter of SOS Children's Villages, the world's largest organisation dedicated to raising orphaned and abandoned children. Mandela appeared in a televised advertisement for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and was quoted for the International Olympic Committee's Celebrate Humanity campaign:
For seventeen days, they are roommates. For seventeen days, they are soulmates. And for twenty-two seconds, they are competitors. Seventeen days as equals. Twenty-two seconds as adversaries. What a wonderful world that would be. That's the hope I see in the Olympic Games.
In July 2001 Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. He was treated with a seven-week course of radiation. In 2003 Mandela's death was incorrectly announced by CNN when his pre-written obituary (along with those of several other famous figures) was inadvertently published on CNN's web site due to a fault in password protection. In 2007 a fringe right-wing group distributed hoax email and SMS messages claiming that the authorities had covered up Mandela's death and that white South Africans would be massacred after his funeral. Mandela was on holiday in Mozambique at the time.
In June 2004, at age 85, Mandela announced that he would be retiring from public life. His health had been declining, and he wanted to enjoy more time with his family. Mandela said that he did not intend to hide away totally from the public, but wanted to be in a position "of calling you to ask whether I would be welcome, rather than being called upon to do things and participate in events. My appeal therefore is: Don't call me, I will call you." Since 2003, he has appeared in public less often and has been less vocal on topical issues. He is white-haired and walks slowly with the support of a stick. There are reports that he may be suffering from age-related dementia.
Mandela's 90th birthday was marked across the country on 18 July 2008, with the main celebrations held at his home town of Qunu. A concert in his honour was also held in Hyde Park, London. In a speech to mark his birthday, Mandela called for the rich people to help poor people across the world. Despite maintaining a low-profile during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Mandela made a rare public appearance during the closing ceremony, where he received a "rapturous reception."
In January 2011, he was admitted to the private Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, for what were at the time described as "routine tests" by his foundation, leading to intense media speculation about the health condition of the increasingly frail Mandela. It later emerged that he had been suffering from a respiratory infection, which had responded well to treatment. He was discharged after two and a half days in hospital in a stable condition, and returned to his Houghton, Johannesburg home in an ambulance.
Billy the Kid or William Henry McCarty, Jr. is believed to have been born on the eve of the Civil War in an Irish neighbourhood in New York City (at 70 Allen Street). If indeed his birthplace was New York, no records that prove that he ever lived there have ever been uncovered. While it's not known for sure who his biological father was, some researchers have theorized that his name was Patrick McCarty, Michael McCarty, William McCarty, or Edward McCarty. His mother's name was Catherine McCarty, although there have been continuing debates about whether McCarty was her maiden or married name. She is believed to have immigrated to New York during the time of the Great Famine.
In 1868 Catherine McCarty had moved with her two young sons, Henry and Joseph, to Indianapolis, Indiana. There she met William Antrim, who was 12 years her junior. In 1873, after several years of moving around the country, the two were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and settled further south in Silver City. Antrim found work as a bartender and carpenter, but then became involved in prospecting and gambling as a way to make a living, and during that period spent very little time at home with his wife and stepsons. Young William McCarty did not often use the surname "Antrim." Married to a husband who was frequently absent, McCarty's mother reportedly washed clothes, baked pies, and took in boarders in order to provide for herself and her sons. Boarders and neighbours remembered her as a jolly Irish lady, full of life and mischief, but she was already in the final stages of tuberculosis when the family reached Silver City, where on September 16, 1874, Catherine McCarty died.
At age 14 McCarty was taken in by a neighbouring family who operated a hotel where he worked to pay for his keep. The manager was impressed by the youth, contending that he was the only young man who ever worked for him who did not steal anything. One of McCarty's schoolteachers later recalled that the young orphan was no more of a problem than any other boy, always quite willing to help with chores around the schoolhouse. Biographers sought to explain McCarty's subsequent descent into lawlessness by focusing on his habit of reading dime novels that romanticized crime. Another potential explanation was that his slender physique placed him in precarious situations with bigger and stronger boys.
Forced to seek new lodgings when his foster family began to experience domestic problems, McCarty moved into a boarding house and pursued odd jobs. In April 1875, McCarty was arrested by Grant County Sheriff Harvey Whitehill for stealing cheese. On September 24, 1875, McCarty was arrested again when found in possession of clothing and firearms that a fellow boarder had stolen from a Chinese laundry owner. Two days after McCarty was placed in jail, the teenager escaped up the jailhouse chimney. From that point on McCarty was more or less a fugitive. According to some accounts, he eventually found work as an itinerant ranch hand and shepherd in southeastern Arizona. In 1876 McCarty settled in the vicinity of the Fort Grant Army Post in Arizona, where he worked on ranches and tested his skills at local gaming houses. Sheriff Whitehill would later say that he liked the boy, and his acts of theft were more due to necessity than wantonness.
During this time McCarty became acquainted with John R. Mackie, a Scottish-born ex-cavalry private with a criminal bent. The two men supposedly became involved in the risky, but profitable, enterprise of horse thievery. McCarty, who stole from local soldiers, became known by the name of "Kid Antrim". Biographer Robert M. Utley writes that the nickname arose because of McCarty's slight build and beardless countenance, his young years, and his appealing personality. In 1877 McCarty was involved in a conflict with the civilian blacksmith at Fort Grant, an Irish immigrant named Frank "Windy" Cahill, who took pleasure in bullying the young McCarty. On August 17, Cahill reportedly attacked McCarty after a verbal exchange and threw him to the ground. Reliable accounts say that McCarty retaliated by shooting Cahill, who died the next day. The coroner's inquest concluded that McCarty's shooting of Cahill was criminal and unjustifiable. Some of those who witnessed the incident later claimed that McCarty acted in self-defence. Years later, Louis Abraham, who had known McCarty in Silver City but was not a witness, denied that anyone was killed in the altercation.
In fear of Cahill's friends, McCarty fled the Arizona Territory and entered into New Mexico Territory. He eventually arrived at the former army post of Apache Tejo, where he joined a band of cattle rustlers who raided the sprawling herds of cattle magnate John Chisum. During this period McCarty was spotted by a resident of Silver City, and the teenager's involvement with the notorious gang was mentioned in a local newspaper. McCarty rode for a time with the gang of rustlers known as the Jesse Evans Gang, but then turned up at Heiskell Jones's house in Pecos Valley, New Mexico.
According to this account, Apaches stole McCarty's horse, forcing him to walk many miles to the nearest settlement, which happened to be Jones's home. When he arrived, the young man was supposedly near death, but Mrs. Jones nursed him back to health. The Jones family developed a strong attachment to McCarty and gave him one of their horses. At some point in 1877, McCarty began to refer to himself as "William H. Bonney".
In 1877, McCarty (now widely known as William Bonney) moved to Lincoln County, New Mexico, and after a short stint of working in a cheese factory, owned by Doc Scurlock and Charlie Bowdre, he met Frank Coe, George Coe and Ab Saunders, and began working for them on their ranch. Later that year he, along with Brewer, Bowdre, Scurlock, the Coes and the Saunders, was hired as a cattle guard by John Tunstall, an English cattle rancher, banker and merchant, and his partner, Alexander McSween, a prominent lawyer.
A conflict known today as the Lincoln County War had erupted between the established town merchants, Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan, and competing business interests headed by Tunstall and McSween. Before the arrival of Tunstall and McSween, Murphy and Dolan presided over a monopoly of Lincoln County's cattle and merchant trade; their far-reaching operation was known locally as "The House", after a large mansion in Lincoln that served as Murphy and Dolan's headquarters. There was also an ethnic element to the House's conflict with Tunstall; Murphy and Dolan, both Irish immigrants, were strongly opposed to an Englishman like Tunstall cutting into their business.
Events turned bloody on February 18, 1878, when Tunstall was spotted while driving a herd of nine horses towards Lincoln and murdered by William Morton, Jesse Evans, Tom Hill, Frank Baker and Sheriff William J. Brady of Lincoln County — all members of a posse serving the House, sent to attack McSween's holdings. After murdering Tunstall, the gunmen shot down his prized bay horse. "As a wry and macabre joke on Tunstall's great affection for horses, the dead bay's head was then pillowed on his hat", writes Frederick Nolan, Tunstall's biographer. Although members of the House sought to frame Tunstall's death as a "justifiable homicide", evidence at the scene suggested that Tunstall attempted to avoid a confrontation before he was shot down. Tunstall's murder enraged McCarty and the other ranch hands.
McSween, who abhorred violence, took steps to punish Tunstall's murderers through legal means; he obtained warrants for their arrests from the local justice of the peace, John B. Wilson. Tunstall's men formed their own group called the Regulators. After being deputized by Brewer, Tunstall's foreman, who had been appointed a special constable and given the warrant to arrest Tunstall's killers, proceeded to the Murphy-Dolan store. The wanted men, Bill Morton and Frank Baker, attempted to flee, but they were captured on March 6. Upon returning to Lincoln, the Regulators reported that Morton and Baker had been shot on March 9 near Agua Negra during an alleged escape attempt. During their journey to Lincoln, the Regulators killed one of their members, a man named McCloskey, whom they suspected of being a traitor.
On the day that McCloskey, Morton, and Baker were slain, Governor Samuel Beach Axtell arrived in Lincoln County to investigate the ongoing violence. The governor, accompanied by James Dolan and associate John Riley, proved hostile to the faction now headed by McSween. The Regulators "went from lawmen to outlaws". Axtell refused to acknowledge the so-called "Santa Fe Ring", a group of corrupt politicians and business leaders led by U.S. Attorney Thomas Benton Catron. Catron cooperated closely with the House, which was perceived as part of the notorious "ring".
The Regulators planned to settle a score with Sheriff William J. Brady, who had arrested McCarty and fellow deputy Fred Waite in the aftermath of Tunstall's murder. At the time Brady arrested them, the two men were trying to serve a warrant on him for his suspected role in looting Tunstall's store after the Englishman's death, as well as against his posse members for the murder of Tunstall. On April 1, the Regulators Jim French, Frank McNab, John Middleton, Fred Waite, Henry Brown and McCarty/Bonney ambushed Sheriff Brady and his deputy, George W. Hindman, killing them both in Lincoln's main street.
McCarty was shot in the thigh while attempting to retrieve a rifle that Brady had seized from him during an earlier arrest. With this move, the Regulators disillusioned many former supporters, who came to view both sides as "equally nefarious and bloodthirsty". The connection between McSween and the Regulators was ambiguous, however. McCarty was loyal to the memory of Tunstall, though not necessarily to McSween. Jacobsen doubts whether McCarty and McSween were acquainted at the time of Brady's death. According to a contemporary newspaper account, the Regulators disclaimed "all connection or sympathy with McSween and his affairs" and expressed their sole desire was to track down Tunstall's murderers.
On April 4, in what became known as the Gunfight of Blazer's Mills, the Regulators sought the arrest of Buckshot Roberts, a former buffalo hunter whom they suspected of involvement in the Tunstall murder. Roberts refused to be taken alive, although he suffered a severe bullet wound to the chest. During the gun battle, he shot and killed the Regulators' leader, Dick Brewer. Four other Regulators were wounded in the skirmish. The incident had the effect of further alienating the public, as many local residents "admired the way Roberts put up a gutsy fight against overwhelming odds."
After Brewer's death, the Regulators elected Frank McNab as captain. For a short period, the Regulators benefited from the appointment of Sheriff John Copeland, who proved sympathetic to their cause. Copeland's authority was undermined by the House, which recruited members from among Brady's former deputies. On April 29, 1878, a posse including the Jesse Evans Gang and the Seven Rivers Warriors, under the direction of former Brady deputy George W. Peppin, engaged McNab, Ab Saunders and Frank Coe in a shootout at the Fritz Ranch. They killed McNab, severely wounded Saunders and captured Coe. Coe escaped custody a short time later.
The next day the Regulators "iron clad" took up defensive positions in the town of Lincoln, where they traded shots with Dolan's men as well as U.S. cavalrymen. The only casualty was Dutch Charley Kruling, a House gunman wounded by a rifle slug fired by George Coe. By shooting at US government troops, the Regulators gained a new set of enemies. On May 15, the Regulators tracked down Seven Rivers Warriors gang member Manuel Segovia, the suspected murderer of Frank McNab, and killed him. Around the time of Segovia's death, the Regulator "iron clad" gained a new member, a young Texas "cowpoke" named Tom O'Folliard, who became McCarty's close friend and constant companion.
The Regulators' position worsened when the governor, in a quasi-legal move, removed Copeland and appointed House ally George Peppin as sheriff. Under indictment for the Brady killing, McCarty and the other Regulators spent the next several months in hiding and were trapped, along with McSween, in McSween's home in Lincoln on July 15, by members of the House and some of Brady's men. On July 19, a column of U.S. cavalry soldiers entered the fray. Although the soldiers were ostensibly neutral, their actions favoured the Dolan faction. After a five-day siege, the posse set McSween's house on fire. McCarty and the other Regulators fled. The posse shot McSween when he escaped the fire, essentially marking the end of the Lincoln County War.
In the Autumn of 1878, the president appointed Lew Wallace, a former Union Army general, as Governor of the New Mexico Territory. In an effort to restore peace to Lincoln County, Wallace proclaimed an amnesty for any man involved in the Lincoln County War who was not already under indictment. McCarty, who had fled to Texas after his escape from McSween's house, was under indictment, but sent Wallace a letter requesting immunity in return for testifying in front of the Grand Jury. In March 1879, Wallace and McCarty met in Lincoln County to discuss the possibility of a deal. McCarty greeted the governor with a revolver in one hand and a Winchester rifle in the other. After taking several days to consider Wallace's offer, McCarty agreed to testify in return for amnesty.
The arrangement called for McCarty to submit to a token arrest and a short stay in jail until the conclusion of his courtroom testimony. Although McCarty's testimony helped to indict John Dolan, the district attorney—one of the powerful "House" faction leaders—disregarded Wallace's order to set McCarty free after his testimony. After the Dolan trial, McCarty and O'Folliard escaped on horses supplied by friends.
For the next year-and-a-half, McCarty survived by rustling, gambling, and taking defensive action. In January 1880, he reportedly killed a man named Joe Grant in a Fort Sumner saloon. Grant, who did not realize who his opponent was, boasted that he would kill "Billy the Kid" if he ever encountered him. In those days people loaded their revolvers with only five rounds, with the hammer down on an empty chamber. This was done to prevent an accidental discharge should the hammer be struck. The Kid asked Grant if he could see his ivory-handled revolver and, while looking at the weapon, rotated the cylinder so the hammer would fall on the empty chamber when the trigger was pulled. He told Grant his identity. When Grant fired, nothing happened, and McCarty shot him. When asked about the incident later, he remarked, "It was a game for two, and I got there first."
Other versions of this story exist. One biographer, Joel Jacobsen, recounts the story as described in Utley, describing Grant as a "drunk" who was "making himself obnoxious in a bar". The Kid is described as rotating the cylinder "so an empty chamber was beneath the hammer". In Jacobsen's recounting of the incident, Grant tried to shoot McCarty in the back. "As [McCarty] was leaving the saloon, his back turned to Grant, he heard a distinct click. He spun around before Grant could reach a loaded chamber. Always a good marksman, he shot Grant in the chin."
In November 1880, a posse pursued and trapped McCarty's gang inside a ranch house owned by his friend James Greathouse at Anton Chico in the White Oaks area. James Carlyle of the posse entered the house under a white flag, in an effort to negotiate the group's surrender. Greathouse was sent out to act as a hostage for the posse. At some point in the evening, Carlyle evidently decided the outlaws were stalling. According to one version, Carlyle heard a shot that had been fired accidentally outside. Concluding that the posse had shot down Greathouse, he chose escape, crashed through a window and was fired upon and killed. Recognizing their mistake, the posse became demoralized and scattered, enabling McCarty and his gang to slip away. McCarty vehemently denied shooting Carlyle, and later wrote to Governor Wallace, claiming to be innocent of this crime and others attributed to him.
During this time, McCarty became acquainted with an ambitious local bartender and former buffalo hunter named Pat Garrett. While popular accounts often depict McCarty and Garrett as "bosom buddies", there is no evidence that they were friends. Running on a pledge to rid the area of rustlers, Garrett was elected as sheriff of Lincoln County in November 1880; in early December, he assembled a posse and set out to arrest McCarty, at that time known almost exclusively as "Billy the Kid." The Kid then carried a $500 bounty on his head that had been authorized by Governor Lew Wallace.
The posse led by Garrett fared well, and his men closed in quickly. On December 19, McCarty barely escaped a midnight ambush in Fort Sumner, which left one member of the gang, Tom O'Folliard, dead. On December 23, the Kid was tracked to an abandoned stone building located in a remote location known as Stinking Springs (near present-day Taiban, New Mexico). While McCarty and his gang were asleep inside, Garrett's posse surrounded the building and waited for sunrise. The next morning, a cattle rustler named Charlie Bowdre stepped outside to feed his horse. Mistaken for McCarty, he was shot down by the posse. Soon afterward, somebody from within the building reached for the horse's halter rope, but Garrett shot and killed the horse, whose body blocked the building's only exit. As the lawmen began to cook breakfast over an open fire, Garrett and McCarty engaged in a friendly exchange, with Garrett inviting McCarty outside to eat, and McCarty inviting Garrett to "go to hell." Realizing that they had no hope of escape, the besieged and hungry outlaws finally surrendered and were allowed to join in the meal.
McCarty was transported from Fort Sumner to Las Vegas, where he gave an interview to a reporter from the Las Vegas Gazette. Next, the prisoner was transferred to Santa Fe, where he sent four separate letters over the next three months to Governor Wallace seeking clemency. Wallace, however, refused to intervene, and the Kid's trial was held in April 1881 in Mesilla. On April 9, after two days of testimony, McCarty was found guilty of the murder of Sheriff Brady, the only conviction ever secured against any of the combatants in the Lincoln County War. On April 13, he was sentenced by Judge Warren Bristol to hang.
With his execution scheduled for May 13, McCarty was removed to Lincoln, where he was held under guard by two of Garrett's deputies, James Bell and Robert Ollinger, on the top floor of the town courthouse. On April 28, while Garrett was out of town, McCarty stunned the territory by killing both of his guards and escaping. The details of the escape are unclear. Some researchers believe that a sympathizer placed a pistol in a nearby privy that McCarty was permitted to use, under escort, each day. McCarty retrieved the gun, and turned it on Bell when the pair had reached the top of a flight of stairs in the courthouse. Another theory holds that McCarty slipped off his manacles at the top of the stairs, struck Bell over the head with them, grabbed Bell's own gun, and shot him with it.
Bell staggered into the street and collapsed, mortally wounded. McCarty scooped up Ollinger's 10-gauge double-barrel shotgun. Both barrels had been fully loaded with buckshot earlier by Ollinger himself. The Kid waited at the upstairs window for his second guard, who had been across the street with some other prisoners, to respond to the gunshot and come to Bell's aid. As Ollinger came running into view, McCarty levelled the shotgun at him, called out "Hello Bob!" and killed him. The Kid's escape was delayed for an hour while he worked free of his leg irons with a pickaxe and then the young outlaw mounted a horse and rode out of town, reportedly singing. The horse returned two days later.
Sheriff Pat Garrett responded to rumours that McCarty was lurking in the vicinity of Fort Sumner almost three months after his escape. Garrett and two deputies set out on July 14, 1881, to question one of the town's residents, a friend of McCarty's named Pete Maxwell (son of the land baron Lucien Maxwell). Close to midnight, as Garrett and Maxwell sat talking in Maxwell's darkened bedroom, McCarty unexpectedly entered the room.
There are at least two versions of what happened next. One version suggests that as the Kid entered, he failed to recognize Garrett in the poor light. McCarty drew his pistol and backed away, asking "¿Quién es? ¿Quién es?" (Spanish for "Who is it? Who is it?"). Recognizing McCarty's voice, Garrett drew his own pistol and fired twice, the first bullet striking McCarty in the chest just above his heart, although the second one missed and struck the mantle behind him; McCarty fell to the floor and gasped for a minute and died. In a second version, McCarty entered carrying a knife, evidently headed to a kitchen area. He noticed someone in the darkness, and uttered the words, "¿Quién es? ¿Quién es?" at which point he was shot and killed. Although the popularity of the first story persists, and portrays Garrett in a better light, some historians contend that the second version is probably the accurate one. A markedly different theory, in which Garrett and his posse set a trap for McCarty, has also been suggested. Most recently explored in the 2004 Discovery Channel documentary, Billy the Kid: Unmasked, this version says that Garrett went to the bedroom of Pedro Maxwell's sister, Paulita, and bound and gagged her in her bed. When McCarty arrived, Garrett was waiting behind Paulita's bed and shot the Kid.
Garrett allowed the Kid’s friends to take his body across the plaza to the carpenter’s shop to give him a wake. The next morning, Justice of the Peace, Milnor Rudulph, viewed the body and made out the death certificate, but Garrett rejected the first one and demanded another one be written more in his favor. The Kid’s body was then prepared for burial, and at noon was buried at the Fort Sumner cemetery between his two friends, Tom O'Folliard and Charlie Bowdre.
In his book, Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, Robert Utley told the story of Pat Garrett's book effort. In the weeks following Garrett's execution of the Kid, he felt the need to tell his side of the story. Many people had begun to talk about the unfairness of the encounter, so Garrett called upon his friend, Marshall Ashmun (Ash) Upson, to ghostwrite a book with him. Upson was a roving journalist who had a gift for graphic prose. Their collaboration led to a book entitled The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid, which was first published in April 1882. The book originally sold few copies; however, it eventually proved to be an important reference for historians who would later write about the Kid's life.
According to Garrett, McCarty was buried the day after he was killed in Fort Sumner's old military cemetery, between his fallen companions Tom O'Folliard and Charlie Bowdre. After Billy's burial, someone took a plain board, stencilled letters on it, and jammed it into the soft earth at the head of his grave to mark it. This marker remained until at least until the early part of 1882 before it was stolen or shot to pieces.
Pete Maxwell then placed the next marker and used a four-foot-long, wooden slat removed from the parade-ground picket fence near his home. A one-foot length was cut off and hammered onto the longer piece to form a cross, and the words "Billy The Kid (Bonney) July 14, 1881" were placed on the horizontal crosspiece. After Maxwell sold the old fort to the New England Livestock Company, one of the Board of Directors (a fellow named Chauncey from Boston), that visited Fort Sumner in the late 1880s took the marker claiming he was taking it back east to a museum. It was never recovered.
In 1889 and 1904 the Pecos River floods over took the cemetery and all the markers were washed away. The latter flood inundated the cemetery under four feet of muddy water until the cemetery had no grave markers left of any kind. For over two decades Billy's grave remained unmarked. The exact location of Billy's grave in the small one-acre cemetery is unknown, however relying on old timers who had once lived nearby to pick the walls, corner, and cemetery entrance, they were able to approximate Billy's grave location.
In 1932, Charles W. Foor, the unofficial tour guide of the cemetery, spearheaded the drive to raise funds for a marker. Although the edges are damaged, this large white marker has never been stolen. It serves as a memorial monument noting three individuals buried in the cemetery, Tom O'Folliard, Charlie Bowdre, and William H. Bonney.
Eight years later, Warner Bros. used a Billy The Kid grave marker as a prop in the movie The Outlaw. James N. Warner of Salida, Colorado, donated this marker to the cemetery when it was no longer required for the movie. This individual grave marker was placed as a footstone with a pointed top. This is the marker which has been stolen and recovered twice. The first time the tombstone was stolen, it was not found for over 25 years. It was stolen in August, 1950, but not until May 1976 was it found in a field on a ranch near Granbury, Texas. Local resident Joe Bowlin brought it back, and it was ceremoniously reinstalled that June.
It was stolen again in February 8, 1981, but recovered days later in Huntington Beach, California. New Mexico Governor Bruce King arranged for Sheriff of the county seat to fly to California to take possession of the marker and return it to Fort Sumner, it was reinstalled in May, 1981. A short time later, the village, which currently owned the cemetery, erected the steel cage to protect the gravesites, preserve the chipped-away white headstone and placed Billy's individual footstone in shackles, to discourage further vandalism and theft.
Notable birthdays this week:-
14th July – James Abbott McNeill Whistler, American painter. Emmeline Pankhurst, English suffragette. Gustav Klimt, Austrian painter and graphic artist. William Hanna, American animator. Woody Guthrie, American folk musician. Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States. Harry Dean Stanton, American actor. Navin Ramgoolam, Mauritius politician, 3rd and 6th Prime Minister of Mauritius. Joel Silver, American film producer. Matthew Fox, American actor. Howard Webb, English football referee. David Mitchell, English comedian and actor.
15th July - Inigo Jones, English architect. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Dutch painter. Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov, Russian publisher and politician. Rudolf Uhlenhaut, England-born German automotive engineer and test driver (Mercedes Benz). Edward Shackleton, English explorer. Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine dictator. Linda Ronstadt, American singer. Trevor Horn, British music producer. Ian Curtis, British singer and songwriter (Joy Division). Forest Whitaker, American actor.
16th July - Joseph Wilton, English sculptor. Samuel Huntington, American statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd Governor of Connecticut and 7th President of the Continental Congress. Roald Amundsen, Norwegian polar explorer. Barbara Stanwyck, American actress. Ginger Rogers, American actress and dancer. Choi Kyu-hah, South Korean politician, 4th President of South Korea. Desmond Dekker, Jamaican ska and reggae singer-songwriter. Margaret Court, Australian tennis player. Stewart Copeland, American drummer (The Police). Michael Flatley, American dancer. Miguel Indurain, Spanish cyclist. Will Ferrell, American comedian. Larry Sanger, American co-founder of Wikipedia and founder of Citizendium. Corey Feldman, American actor. Bryan Budd, British soldier, Victoria Cross recipient.
17th July - John Jacob Astor, American businessman. James Cagney, American actor. Kenneth Wolstenholme, English sports commentator. Gordon Gould, inventor of the laser. Louis Lachenal, French alpinist, one of the first two mountaineers to climb a summit of more than 8,000 metres. Donald Sutherland, Canadian actor. Spencer Davis, British singer and guitarist (Spencer Davis Group). Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian. David Hasselhoff, American actor and musician. Jeremy Hardy, British comedian. Alex Winter, English actor & film director. Gino D'Acampo, Italian celebrity chef. Tom Fletcher, British singer (McFly).
18th July - William Makepeace Thackeray, English author. W. G. Grace, English cricketer. Margaret Brown, American activist, philanthropist, and RMS Titanic passenger. Frank Forde, 15th Prime Minister of Australia. Mohammed Daoud Khan, President of Afghanistan. Nelson Mandela, South African politician, President (1994-1999); Nobel Peace Prize laureate. James Brolin, American actor. Martha Reeves, American singer. Sir Richard Branson, British entrepreneur. Sir Nick Faldo, English golfer. Vin Diesel, American actor.
19th July - Samuel Colt, American firearms inventor. Edgar Degas, French painter. Ilie Năstase, Romanian tennis player. Brian May, English guitarist (Queen). Evelyn Glennie, Scottish percussionist. Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian boxer. Benedict Cumberbatch, British actor.
20th July - King George II of Greece. George Llewelyn-Davies, English Peter Pan character model. Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer. Dame Diana Rigg, English actress. Natalie Wood, American actress. Wendy Richard, English actress. John Lodge, English musician (The Moody Blues). Carlos Santana, Mexican-born American guitarist. Courtney Taylor-Taylor, American musician (The Dandy Warhols).
Notable deaths this week in history are:-
14th July – 1881 – Billy the Kid, American outlaw. 1904 – Paul Kruger, South African Boer resistance leader, 5th President of the South African Republic. 1966 – Julie Manet, French painter. 1968 – Ilias Tsirimokos, Greek politician, 164th Prime Minister of Greece. 1998 – Richard McDonald, American fast food pioneer. 2002 – Joaquín Balaguer, Dominican politician, 41st, 45th and 49th President of the Dominican Republic.
15th July - 1789 – Jacques Duphly, French composer. 1828 – Jean Antoine Houdon, French sculptor. 1830 – King George IV of the United Kingdom. 1904 – Anton Chekhov, Russian writer. 1940 – Robert Wadlow, American; at 8 ft. 11.1 in, the tallest person ever known. 1948 – John J. Pershing, U.S. general. 1990 – Margaret Lockwood, British actress. 1997 – Gianni Versace, Italian fashion designer. 2011 – Googie Withers, British actress.
16th July - 1557 – Anne of Cleves, German-born fourth wife of King Henry VIII of England. 1594 – Thomas Kyd, English playwright. 1976 – Carmelo Soria, Spanish diplomat (assassinated). 1981 – Harry Chapin, American singer-songwriter. 1999 – John F. Kennedy, Jr., American publisher.
17th July - 1790 – Adam Smith, Scottish economist and philosopher. 1794 – John Roebuck, British inventor. 1845 – Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 1918 – Family of Emperor Nicholas II Alexandrovich. (Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna. Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich). 1935 – George William Russell, Irish nationalist, poet and artist. 1959 – Billie Holiday, American singer. 1967 – John Coltrane, American musician. 1995 – Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentinian race car driver. 2003 – David Kelly, Welsh UN weapons inspector. 2004 – Pat Roach, British professional wrestler and actor. 2005 – Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 2006 – Mickey Spillane, American author. 2009 – Walter Cronkite, American broadcast journalist.
18th July - 1610 – Caravaggio, Italian artist. 1817 – Jane Austen, English novelist. 1892 – Thomas Cook, English travel agent. 1973 – Jack Hawkins, English film actor. 1990 – Yoon Boseon, President of South Korea.
19th July - 1692 – Sarah Good & Susannah Martin, American Salem witch trials figures. 1965 – Syngman Rhee, first President of South Korea. 2004 – Zenko Suzuki, Prime Minister of Japan.
20th July - 1704 – Peregrine White, first English child born to the Pilgrims in the New World. 1923 – Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Mexican rebel. 1937 – Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics. 1953 – Dumarsaid Estime, President of Haiti. 1973 – Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist.
“For seventeen days, they are roommates. For seventeen days, they are soulmates. And for twenty-two seconds, they are competitors. Seventeen days as equals. Twenty-two seconds as adversaries. What a wonderful world that would be. That's the hope I see in the Olympic Games.” - Nelson Mandela
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