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On this day in 1755, American patriot and spy Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut

May 6, 2024

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On this day in 1755, American patriot and spy Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut. He is famous for being executed by the British while on a spy mission during the Revolutionary War, uttering the last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” ⁠

There are no historical records to prove that Hale said these famous last words – in fact, there were conflicting reports at the time. More than one report mentioned his desire to lay down “multiple lives” for his country, but a British officer omitted this phrase, noting that: “He behaved with great composure and resolution, saying he thought it the duty of every good Officer to obey any orders given him by his Commander-in-Chief and desired the Spectators to be at all times prepared to meet death in whatever shape it might appear.”⁠

Did you know? Nathan Hale was a schoolteacher by trade and only 21 years old when he was executed in September 1776. He was not a skilled or experienced spy, but his bravery, calmness in the face of death, and willingness to sacrifice himself for our country can still be commended today.⁠

Last Words of Nathan Hale, Alexander Hay Ritchie, 1858⁠

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May 6, 2024
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