Datebook: April 25 - First Execution by Guillotine 220 Years Ago

Apr 25, 2012

Nicolas Jacques Pelletier was a French highwayman who had the unfortunate timing of being the first person to be executed by means of the guillotine. He was arrested for assault, robbery, and possibly rape and was issued a death sentence by decapitation. He waited in prison for three months while the guillotine was built in Strasbourg. His execution was a public spectacle with high security. Though everything went "smoothly," the crowd felt the contraption was too swift and not entertaining enough, and reportedly shouted "bring back our wooden gallows!" Nevertheless, this led the way to the French "Reign of Terror" under the  command of Maximilien Robespierre, in which thousands were sentenced to guillotine often with little reason - and a death toll between 16,000 and 40,000. The guillotine was the official method of French execution until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. 

It’s Wednesday, April 25

Western Baptist Hospital offers head and neck cancer screening on Friday.  The screening is open to anyone who is not under the care of an ear, nose, and throat specialist and who has risk factors, including smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking, or prior head and neck cancer.  Appointments are required by calling (270) 575-2895.

The City of Madisonville hosts its Spring Gallery Hop this Saturday from 5 to 9.  Thirty artists will display and sell their works inside several galleries. Find details at

Dr. Pearlie Johnson of the University of Louisville will give two lectures on African and African American quilts this Friday.  A variety of quilts will be on display. The lectures will be at 11 AM and 3 PM at the Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah.  Admission is $15.  Reserve a seat by calling (270) 443-7918.

Find community event details at