On this day, July 1, in 1874, 4-year-old Charley Ross was snatched from his yard in Philadelphia in the first kidnapping for ransom in America.
Charley was with his 5-year-old brother, Walter, outside their mansion when a carriage pulled up and two men offered the boys candy and fireworks. The brothers were driven to a store where Walter was given 25 cents and told to go and buy fireworks. The carriage left without Walter, and Charley was never seen again.
Charley's father began receiving notes demanding $20,000 for the boy's return. The kidnapping became national news.
In December, the suspects, Bill Mosher and Joe Douglas, were shot and killed after breaking into a judge's home. While Douglas lay dying he confessed to Charley's kidnapping.
-- Scott McCabe