June 20th, 1893 – Lizzie Borden Acquitted of Murder!

Today-In-History

Lizzie Andrew Borden was an American woman who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and her stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. The case was a cause célèbre throughout the United States. On June 20th, 1893, following her acquittal and release from the prison in which she had been held during the trial, Borden chose to remain a resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, for the rest of her life, despite facing significant ostracism. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected to charge no one else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden; speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.

Lizzie Borden

The case was memorialized in a popular skipping-rope rhyme sung to the tune of the then-popular song Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay.

Lizzie Borden took an ax

And gave her mother forty whacks.

When she saw what she had done,

She gave her father forty-one.

Also

Lizzie Borden took an axe

Gave her mother forty whacks,

Then she hid behind the door,

And gave her father forty more.

Folklore says that the rhyme was made up by an anonymous writer as a tune to sell newspapers. Others attribute it to the ubiquitous, but anonymous, “Mother Goose. In reality, Lizzie’s stepmother suffered 18 or 19 blows; her father suffered 11 blows.


 

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