History Tip of the Day – June 30th

Nathan Hale is hanged, September 22, 1776

British General William Howe’s troops had just settled in New York when a fire destroyed almost a quarter of the city. The British suspected arson. Among the two hundred patriots arrested in the city was the twenty-one-year-old spy Nathan Hale. No evidence was discovered that he was the arsonist, but he was convicted of espionage and sentenced to hang. At an apple orchard near 68th Street and Park Avenue, he was executed. His immortal quotation seems devolved from a message he sent Washington, quoting Joseph Addison: “What a pity it is / That we can die but once to serve our country.”