In the U.S. and Canada, Labor Day is the first Monday in September. It symbolizes a celebration of the working class, the final holiday of summer, and a harbinger of back to school. In 2013, Labor Day happens to fall on September 2, which also happens to represent National Beheading Day.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why a holiday was established to celebrate beheading, unless of course it was began as a tribute to the Highlander because there can be only one, but we thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.
Historically speaking, beheading has been a most popular and efficient way of dealing with punishment for crimes that warrant death, especially for the noble class and most especially, if you were Henry VIII. Henry VIII was responsible for the beheading of approximately 40 nobles, some of them his wives. Henry was not a man you wanted to marry. His marriages mostly lasted 3 years at best and it either ended in an annulment or your death. Either way, he had your replacement lined up before your fate was finalized.
The Guillotine was made famous by the French Revolution; however, a sword or an axe was the most common tool used, if for no other reason than portability. If the wielder of the sword was a professional, the death was the most humane. With enough force, a sword can sever the head swiftly so that death is virtually painless. A typical beheading execution style would have the victim kneeling before the sword wielder. If an axe is use, the head is positioned on a block before the strike. Heaven forbid, if the first strike isn’t accurate and swift, OUCH…….
Even though the French are notorious for the beheadings that took place during the French Revolution, 25 confirmed events, Marie Antoinette arguably the most famous, the English, in particular, seem to have a special penchant for beheading. There are 93 confirmed beheading events known to have occurred at the Tower of London, alone.