Wikipedia:Today's featured article

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Today's featured article

This star symbolizes the featured content on Wikipedia.

The Main Page includes a section where an adapted lead section from one of Wikipedia's featured articles is displayed as "Today's featured article" (TFA). The current month's queue can be found here. TFAs are scheduled by Bencherlite, the TFA coordinator. Community discussion of suggestions takes place at the TFA requests page.

If you notice an error in a future TFA blurb, you can usually fix it yourself, but if the mistake is in today or tomorrow's blurb, you will need to leave a message at WP:ERRORS to ask an administrator to fix it. The blurbs are formatted as a single paragraph as close as possible to 1,200 characters (including spaces) in length, with no reference tags, alternate names, or extraneous bolding. Only the link to the specified featured article is bolded, and this must be the first link in the blurb. For biographical articles, birth/death dates are trimmed down to year only. The blurb should be preceded by an appropriate lead image when available; fair use images are not allowed.

The editnotice template for Today's Featured Article is {{TFA-editnotice}}. It is automatically applied by {{Editnotices/Namespace/Main}} when the article's title matches the contents of {{TFA title}}.

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Today's featured article

William Calcraft

William Calcraft (1800–1879) was the most famous English hangman of the 19th century. One of the most prolific British executioners of all time, it is estimated that he carried out 450 executions during his 45-year career. A cobbler by trade, Calcraft was initially recruited to flog juvenile offenders after meeting the City of London's hangman, John Foxton, while selling meat pies near Newgate Prison. He succeeded Foxton, but his controversial use of the short-drop method of hanging, in which the victims were strangled rather than had their vertebrae broken by the fall when the trapdoor on the gallows was released, caused some to consider him incompetent. Many took several minutes to die, and to hasten their deaths Calcraft sometimes pulled on their legs, or even climbed on their shoulders in an attempt to break their necks. Calcraft's antics may have been intended to entertain the crowds of more than 30,000 that sometimes attended his executions before a change in the law in 1868 meant that executions could only take place in prisons. Among his victims were Marie and Frederick Manning, the first husband and wife to be hanged together since 1700. (Full article...)

Recently featured: SMS Goeben – Manta ray – The Simpsons Movie

Tomorrow's featured article

Chincoteague pony swim 2007

The human history of Chincoteague, an island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, begins with Native Americans gathering shellfish there. By one popular tale, chincoteague meant "Beautiful land across the water" in their tongue. European settlers began to use the island in the 17th century. It had few residents, and was used primarily for grazing livestock – probably the origin of the feral Chincoteague ponies, which used to roam in the wild. The local fishing and seafood resources began to be systematically exploited in the early 19th century, and oysters became a major industry after the Civil War. Chincoteague's relative isolation ended in 1876 when the railroad arrived at Franklin City, across Chincoteague Bay, and a steamboat service was introduced; a causeway completed in 1922 allowed automobiles to reach the island. The Chincoteague Fire Department was established in 1925 and took over the traditional pony penning to raise funds. The annual carnival, pony swim (pictured), and subsequent auction now attract tens of thousands of visitors. The island, which was publicized by the 1947 book Misty of Chincoteague that became a 1961 film, is a major tourist destination in the area. (Full article...)

Recently featured: William Calcraft – SMS Goeben – Manta ray