1977 : Burning Bed

March 9, 2023 all-day

It was on March 9, 1977 that the events in Dansville took place which became known throughout the country as “The Burning Bed.”

One night, Francine Hughes, a battered & abused housewife for over twelve years, took her children out to the car and told them she’d be right back; she proceeded to go back into the house, pour gasoline around and on the bed of her sleeping, abusive husband, Mickey – and set it on fire. Mickey died in the blaze.

She  turned herself into police. In a trial that followed she was declared innocent because of temporary insanity. The incident would eventually become the basis for the movie “The Burning Bed”.

Source : Michigan Every Day

Burning Bed Poster

Available in the MSU Library Digital and Multimedia Center : The burning bed / produced by Carol Schreder ; teleplay by Rose Leiman Goldemberg ; directed by Robert Greenwald. Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment, c2004.

Also available as a book : The burning bed / by Faith McNulty. New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1980.

For an article, see Louise Knott Ahern, “The Burning Bed”: A turning point in fight against domestic violence”, Lansing State Journal, August 17, 2012.

For another, see Zlati Meyer, “This week in Michigan history: Woman kills abusive ex-husband, becoming inspiration for ‘Burning Bed’, Detroit Free Press, March 9, 2014.

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