What happened on this day in history: Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh shoots himself, Adam Walsh is kidnapped, and more.
1794: Maximilien Robespierre Is Overthrown
Maximilien Robespierre is overthrown and arrested in Paris during the French Revolution. A revolutionary himself, Robespierre rose to power by speaking out against the monarchy and advocating for democratic reforms. But his embrace of violence during the infamous Reign of Terror made Robespierre unpopular, leading to his arrest and execution a day later by guillotine.
1890: Vincent van Gogh Shoots Himself
Vincent van Gogh shoots himself in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. One of the world’s most renowned painters, van Gogh produced iconic works like Sunflowers (1887) and The Starry Night (1889). But van Gogh also suffered from psychotic episodes, delusions, and depression, and he shot himself with a revolver at the age of 37, dying two days later.
1921: Scientists Isolate Insulin
Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolate insulin for the first time. Banting, a Canadian surgeon, and Best, a University of Toronto medical student, made the discovery by experimenting with dogs. Their discovery turned diabetes from a fatal disease into a manageable one.
1981: Adam Walsh Is Kidnapped
Adam Walsh is kidnapped from a mall in Hollywood, Florida while shopping with his mother. Despite a frantic search, the six-year-old’s severed head was found on August 10 in Vero Beach, 100 miles away from where Walsh went missing.
Serial killer Ottis Ellwood Toole later told police he had killed Walsh, and Walsh’s father John later founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and hosted America’s Most Wanted.
1966: The Summer Olympics Are Bombed In Atlanta
A nail-filled pipe bomb explodes in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, killing one and injuring more than 100. Though suspicion initially fell on security guard Richard Jewell, a number of other bombs were subsequently detonated at locations like abortion clinics and gay clubs. Evidence finally led authorities to a carpenter named Eric Rudolph, who they captured in 2003 after a long manhunt.