William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair. He is put to death at New York’s Auburn Prison. The electric chair was intended as a more humane way of killing condemned prisoners.
This first attempt did not fulfil expectations, as it appeared to fry Kemmler rather than kill him.
His death gave birth to a new word – to electrocute. This portmanteau combined execute with electricity and strictly means causing death by electricity.