#TodayInHistory – October 29
October 29 – Some important events on this day.
539 BC 👉🏼 King Cyrus “the Great” of Persia marches into Babylon, freeing Jewish captives and allowing them to return home
1268 👉🏼 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the German Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings and Holy Roman Emperors, is executed with Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily
1390 👉🏼 First trial for witchcraft in Paris.
1618 👉🏼 English adventurer, writer and courtier Walter Raleigh is beheaded for allegedly conspiring against King James I of England
1665 👉🏼 Battle of Mbwila [Ambuila]: Portuguese defeat forces of the Kingdom of Kongo and decapitate King Antonio I of Kongo / Nvita a Nkang
1692 👉🏼 Court of Oyer and Terminer, convened for Salem witch trials, dissolved.
Maybe the most notorious case of mass hysteria in colonial America, the Salem witch trials saw around 200 people accused of witchcraft, with 19 found guilty and executed. Another man was crushed to death for refusing to plead, while five others died in jail.
The incident began in February 1692 when a group of young girls claimed to have been possessed by the devil and accused other women of being witches. Hysteria spread through colonial Massachusetts and a special court was convened to hear trials of those accused.
By September public opinion turned against the trials and they eventually closed early in 1693. The cases became notorious and were interpreted by later generations as a warning sign against the dangers of religious fanaticism, isolation and lapses in due process. In 1711 the convictions of twenty-two people were reversed by the courts and their families were given monetary compensation.
1787 👉🏼 Opera “Don Giovanni”, music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte premieres at the National Theater of Bohemia in Prague
1858 👉🏼 The first store opens in the frontier town of Denver, Colorado
1929 👉🏼 “Black Tuesday” Wall Street Stock Market crashes triggering the “Great Depression”
1942 👉🏼 Alaska highway completed
1947 👉🏼 Belgium, Luxembourg & Netherlands form Benelux Union
1960 👉🏼 Cassius Clay’s [Muhammad Ali] 1st professional fight; beats Tunney Hunsaker on points in 6 rounds in Louisville, Kentucky
1986 👉🏼 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opens the final stretch of London’s Orbital Motorway, the M25. Then the world’s longest ring road at 117 miles (188.3 km).
1998 👉🏼 En route Adana to Ankara, Turkish Airlines flight with crew of 6 and 33 passengers hijacked by Kurdish militant, orders pilot fly to Switzerland. Pilot lands in Ankara tricking hijacker he was landing in Sofia to refuel.
2015 👉🏼 China announces the end of their one-child policy after 35 years
2018 👉🏼 German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces she will not seek re-election in 2021 and step down as party leader