What happened on this day in history: Lizzie Borden is found not guilty of murder, the Boxer Rebellion begins, and more from June 20th.
1791: The French Royal Family Attempts To Flee
King Louis XVI of France, Queen Marie Antoinette, and their children attempt to escape Paris during the French Revolution. However, the royal family only made it as far as the town of Varennes before they were found out and sent back to the capital. The queen’s hair allegedly turned white in the aftermath, a condition that’s known today as “Marie Antoinette Syndrome.” She was ultimately executed in October 1793, 10 months after her husband faced the same fate.
1893: Lizzie Borden Is Found Not Guilty Of Murder
Lizzie Borden is found not guilty of killing her father and stepmother. They had been found brutally murdered about a year earlier inside their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, chopped up with an ax. Because Borden’s story kept changing, suspicion fell on her, but no one was ever found guilty of this grisly crime.
1900: The Boxer Rebellion Begins In China
The Boxer Rebellion, which aimed to drive foreigners out of China, begins. Led by the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists, its participants were nicknamed “boxers” by Westerners who’d seen them doing boxing and other calisthenic rituals meant to make them invincible. Hundreds of foreigners and thousands of Chinese Christians were killed before an international coalition captured Beijing in August 1900.
2001: Andrea Yates Drowns Her Children
Andrea Yates drowns her five children in a bathtub in her Texas home. Yates, who suffered from severe postpartum depression, psychosis, and schizophrenia, was found guilty of murder before getting a new trial and being found not guilty due to insanity. She was sent to Kerrville State Hospital, where Yates has so far declined annual release hearings.
2011: Ryan Dunn Dies
Jackass star Ryan Dunn dies at the age of 34 after crashing his Porsche into a guardrail in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. According to police, the stunt performer had been driving at around 130 miles per hour at the time. The crash also killed his passenger, 30-year-old Zachary Hartwell.