On June 4, 1827, Hector Berlioz wrote to his sister Nancy about James Fenimore Cooper’s recently published novel The Prairie, in which the protagonist of Cooper’s Leatherstocking series, Natty Bumppo, is killed off. “I devoured it straight off,” Berlioz stated. “I reached the end at seven in the evening, and was still at the foot of one of the columns of the Pantheon in tears at eleven o’ clock!”
Admiral Horatio Nelson was shot on the deck of the HMS Victory by a French sniper during the Battle of Trafalgar. “I do believe they have done it at last,” Nelson told his flag captain. “My backbone is shot through.” On that day, October 21, 1805, the English fleet had taken fifteen enemy ships. A state funeral was held for him in London on January 8, his body having been preserved for nearly two months in a cask of brandy aboard the ship.
In May 1953, the TV show This is Your Life honored Hanna Bloch Kohner, a Holocaust survivor, and surprised her with appearances from her closest friend in Auschwitz and a soldier who liberated the camp. It was the first national television show to tell the story of a Holocaust survivor. On the program in May 1955, Kiyoshi Tanimoto, a survivor of Hiroshima, came face-to-face with Captain Robert Lewis, copilot of the Enola Gay.