Public Hanging Joke From 1858

During the 1800s and the early 1900s, Americans loved public hangings. They were a family event where food vendors would sell their treats and people would gather around to have picnics.

It was almost like a party, and there were early “tailgating” parties where people would travel around from one public hanging to the next, eager to witness the next brutal strangulation.

Since hangings were so common, people openly joked about them. Hangmen were featured in comic strips and newspapers openly published tasteless jokes about criminals being hung.