September 7

This Day in History

Also on This Day

Lead Story
United States nicknamed Uncle Sam, 1813
American Revolution
World's first submarine attack, 1776
Electric car wins the first auto race in the United States, 1896
Civil War
Atlanta is evacuated, 1864
Cold War
United Nations defeats Soviet motion, 1950
Tupac Shakur is shot, 1996
Flash flood hits San Antonio, 1921
General Interest
Panama to control canal, 1977
Tutu becomes archbishop, 1986
Julie Kavner, voice of Marge Simpson, is born, 1950
Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested for stealing the Mona Lisa, 1911
Buddy Holly is born, 1936
Old West
Minnesotans nearly wipeout the James-Younger Gang, 1876
Carter agrees to transfer Panama Canal to Panama, 1977
Maureen Connolly wins U.S. Open, 1953
Vietnam War
Marines launch Operation Piranha, 1965
McNamara Line announced, 1967
World War I
British commander Sir John French issues first dispatch , 1914
World War II
The Blitz begins, 1940


Sep 7, 1911:

Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested for stealing the Mona Lisa

On this day, French poet Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested and jailed on suspicion of stealing Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum in Paris.

The 31-year-old poet was known for his radical views and support for extreme avant-garde art movements, but his origins were shrouded in mystery. Today, it is believed he was born in Rome and raised in Italy. He appeared in Paris at age 20 and quickly mixed into the city's bohemian set. His first volume of poetry, The Rotting Magician, appeared in 1909, followed by a story collection in 1910. A supporter of Cubism, he published a book about the subject, Cubist Painters, in 1913. The same year, he published his most esteemed work, Alcools, where he used a variety of poetic forms and traditions to capture everyday street speech. In 1917, his experimental play The Breasts of Tiresias was produced, for which he coined the term "surrealist."

Apollinaire's mysterious background and radical views led authorities to view him as a dangerous foreigner and prime suspect in the Mona Lisa heist, which took place August 22. No evidence surfaced, and Apollinaire was released after five days. Two years later, a former employee of the Louvre, Vincenzo Perggia, was arrested while trying to sell the famous painting to an art dealer.

Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

What Happened on Your Birthday?

Pick a Date


  • Ben Franklin DVD

    Ben Franklin DVD

    The Ben Franklin DVD is a revealing yet informal History Channelâ„¢ presentation, the real man behind the myth is finally brought to light.


    Buy Now