October 13 - 1815 - The Execution of Joachim Murat
Through his own brilliance as a military commander and his marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte's sister, Joachim Murat rose to become King of Naples. One of many rulers installed by Napoleon's invasions, Murat would be king for 7 years as an ally to the French Empire. As Napoleon initially began to falter in 1814, Murat's Kingdom of Naples would distance itself from Napoleonic France. During the Congress of Vienna, which was trying to sort out Europe after the Emperor was in exile on Elba, the alliances proved to distrust Joachim Murat. When Napoleon returned from exile, Murat tried to launch a force into Northern Italy to assist Napoleon. He would be turned back and stripped of his crown. Meanwhile, Napoleon would be defeated for good in June of 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo. Murat attempted to reclaim his throne, but an invasion of Pizzo in Southern Italy was immediately squashed. He was imprisoned and sentenced to die by firing squad for treason. Famously, Murat refused a blindfold or binding, facing the firing squad bravely.