It has the distinction of being the first novel published in California, the first novel published by a Native American, and the first American novel to feature a Mexican protagonist. Its story draws together transformational events in the history of three nations, connecting the California gold rush with the Cherokee Trail of Tears and the Mexican-American War. It blends elements of epic, folktale, revenge tragedy, and romance—yet historians have often treated it as a factual record. It has been repurposed, and sometimes plagiarized, throughout the U.

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In the early months of , a wild band of desperadoes began terrorizing Calaveras County in central California. Whatever the identity of the leader, the California legislature resolved to stop the outlaws. For several weeks, Love and his team of 20 rangers scoured the Calaveras countryside without success. Early on the morning of this day in , Love and his rangers attacked the outlaw camp. Caught by surprise and badly outnumbered, eight of the bandits were killed, including Murrieta and his right hand man, Tres Dedos also known as Three Fingered Jack.

To prove they had indeed killed Murrieta and deserved their award, the rangers cut off the head of the outlaw.

They also took the distinctive hand that gave Three Fingered Jack his nickname. The rangers preserved the gory body parts in whiskey-filled vats until they could exhibit them to the authorities in Stockton. Eventually, the head ended up in San Francisco Museum, where it was destroyed in the great earthquake of But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

The first recorded railroad accident in U. The victims had been invited to view the process of transporting large and weighty loads of stone when a cable on a vacant The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by At p. Fifty-one passengers and crew were killed in the collision, which ripped a great hole in the broad side of the Italian During the Spanish-American War, U. With little resistance and only seven deaths, U. On this day in , Benito Mussolini, fascist dictator of Italy, is voted out of power by his own Grand Council and arrested upon leaving a meeting with King Vittorio Emanuele, who tells Il Duce that the war is lost.

Mussolini responded to it all with an uncharacteristic Since , Margueretha Gertruida Zelle, born in a small town in northern Holland and formerly married to a captain in the Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox.

The Barcelona Olympics were the first ever in which professional athletes were allowed to participate, and the first Games since in which every member nation of the On this day in , President Harry S. Truman nonchalantly hints to Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin that the United States has successfully developed a new weapon. In his diary, Truman privately referred to the new weapon, the atomic bomb, as the most terrible bomb in the history Jack London leaves for the Klondike to join the gold rush, where he will write his first successful stories.

London was born in San Francisco in His father, an astrologer named Chaney, abandoned the family, and his mother, a spiritualist and music teacher, remarried.

On this day in , Rock Hudson, a quintessential tall, dark and handsome Hollywood leading man of the s and s who made more than 60 films during his career, announces through a press release that he is suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS.

With that An Air France Concorde jet crashes upon takeoff in Paris on this day in , killing everyone onboard as well as four people on the ground. The first Police responding to an emergency call in Washington, North Carolina, find Lieth and Bonnie Von Stein stabbed and beaten in their home.

Lieth was dead, but Bonnie, barely clinging to life, somehow survived. President Richard Nixon announces that henceforth the United States will expect its Asian allies to tend to their own military defense. On this day in , the American automaker Henry Ford sits down at his desk in Dearborn, Michigan and writes a letter to the Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The letter effusively praises Gandhi and his campaign of civil disobedience aimed at forcing the This Day In History.

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Joaquin Murrieta

It is considered to be one of the first novels written in California and the first novel to be published by a Native American. The book was originally published as a fictional biography, but was taken as truth by many historians of the time. He was given the Indian name Chees-quat-a-law-ny, or Yellow Bird. In , after killing a man over a horse dispute, Ridge fled to California where he attempted to become involved in the Gold Rush. He died in Grass Valley, California in


Joaquín Murrieta

Evidence for a historical Joaquin is scarce. Contemporary documents record testimony concerning a minor horse thief by the same name in Bandidos with the name 'Joaquin' involved in the robbery and murder of several Chinese were reported by newspapers during the same time. A California Ranger by the name of Harry Love was tasked with and eventually brought in a human head claimed to be that of Murieta. The popular legend of Joaquin Murrieta was that he was a Sonoran forty-niner , a vaquero and a gold miner and peace-loving man driven to seek revenge when he and his brother were falsely accused of stealing a mule. His brother was hanged and Joaquin horsewhipped. His young wife was gang raped and in one version she died in Joaquin's arms.

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