What happened on this day in history: The Dancing Plague takes over medieval Strasbourg, French revolutionaries storm the Bastille, and more important events on July 14th throughout history.
1518: The Dancing Plague Breaks Out In Strasbourg
The “dancing plague” begins in Strasbourg, France. It started with one woman who compulsively danced until she collapsed from exhaustion and soon spread throughout the city.
Hundreds experienced the same symptoms over a period of two months — some fatally — though historians disagree about what caused their strange behavior.
1789: Parisians Storm The Bastille Prison
Revolutionaries in Paris storm the Bastille, a notorious royal prison and fortress, marking the start of the French Revolution. Over the next decade, tens of thousands of people — including the king and queen — would be executed. Today, “Bastille Day” is celebrated as the national day of France.
1862: Gustav Klimt Is Born
Gustav Klimt, the painter most famous for his work The Kiss, is born in Vienna, Austria. Klimt is most known for his paintings depicting the female body and his unorthodox artistic choices. Klimt belonged to the Vienna Secession movement, an artistic movement that gave unconventional artists the ability to show their work in exhibitions.
1864: Billy The Kid Is Killed By Pat Garrett
Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico Territory.
Born Henry McCarty in New York City, Billy the Kid became an outlaw after he and his gang killed Sheriff William Brady during the so-called “Lincoln County War.” Garrett down hunted the infamous Wild West outlaw and shot him — four months after Billy the Kid managed to escape from jail awaiting his death sentence.
1966: Richard Speck Murders Eight Nursing Students
Richard Speck murders eight women studying nursing in Chicago in a single night.
After breaking into their dormitory on the South Side of Chicago, Speck systematically killed the women one by one by strangling or stabbing them. One of the students, Corazon Amurao, survived by hiding under her bed and was later able to identify Speck as the attacker.