Today in New Jersey History - September 6

Marc Mappen Discussion


[Thanks to author Joe Bilby for his TINJH postings]

September 6, 1609: John Colman, a sailor on Henry Hudson’s Half Moon, was killed by an arrow in the first recorded combat between Native Americans and Europeans in New Jersey waters. He is believed to be buried on Sandy Hook.

September 6, 1833: Antoine le Blanc, a French immigrant, was executed in Morristown after being convicted of murdering his employer, Samuel Sayre, along with Mrs. Sayre and their servant Phoebe. It was claimed that 10,000 people attended the public hanging. Following his death, le Blanc’s body was used for scientific experiments, including an effort to make his eyeballs rotate via electric shocks, after which his corpse was skinned and the hide tanned for souvenir wallets, book jackets and lampshades.

September 6, 1948: World War II veteran Harold Unruh killed thirteen men, women and children in Camden in a random shooting spree. Unruh was pronounced insane (later diagnosed as schizophrenic) and spent the rest of his life in the Vroom building for the criminally insane at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, where he spent “most of his time walking in a circle.” He died there on October 19, 2009.

September 6, 1968: Feminist protestors held a demonstration outside the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, tossing cosmetics, girdles and bras into a trash can, ostensibly for burning, although nothing was actually set afire.