July 27 seems a great day to combine our ‘this day in…’ series and our birthday wishes by looking at some key figures from the French Revolution.
July 27, 1794: Maximilien Robespierre is arrested in Paris. In an attempt to avoid arrest he threw himself out a window, breaking both his legs in the process. Robespierre was a major part of the Reign of Terror, which saw the execution of nearly 17,000 people. He was guillotined on July 28, 1794.
To say Robespierre is associated with the guillotine might be a bit of an understatement. This cartoon shows Robespierre executing the executioner after guillotining everyone else in France.
27 July 1768: Happy Birthday to Charlotte Corday. Corday supported the Girondist groups during the revolution. On 13 July 1793 she killed the radical journalist and Jacobin Jean-Paul Marat by stabbing him through the heart while he was in the bath. She was guillotined on 17 July 1793.