It happened today – this day in history – October 29

539BC: King Cyrus “the Great” of Persia marches into Babylon, freeing Jewish captives and allowing them to return home.

1390: The first trial for witchcraft in Paris.

1552: Tsar Ivan IV returns to Moscow after conquering the Khanate of Kazan in the Siege of Kazan.

1618: Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I of England.

1787: Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” (libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte) premieres at the National Theatre of Bohemia in Prague.

1859: Spain declares war on Morocco.

1863: The Red Cross forms.

1888: Lord Salisbury grants Cecil Rhodes a charter for the British South Africa Company

1914: Turkish warships storm the Black Sea.

1918: German sailors refuse to obey orders to fight British naval forces and lead a revolt in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven.

1923: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk officially declares Turkey a republic.

1929: Wall Street crashes triggering the “Great Depression”.

1942: Nazis murder 16,000 Jews in Pinsk, Soviet Union.

1950: Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) Stafford Cripps resigns.

1954: Colonel Abdel Nasser disbands Muslim Brotherhood.

Singles chart:

  1. Hold My Hand – Don Cornell
  2. My Son My Son – Vera Lynn
  3. Smile – Nat King Cole
  4. This Ole House – Billie Anthony
  5. This Ole House – Rosemary Clooney
  6. If I Give My Heart To You – Doris Day with The Mellomen
  7. My Friend – Frankie Laine
  8. Rain Rain Rain – Frankie Lane and the Four Lads
  9. Little Thing Mean A Lot – Kitty Kallen
  10. If I Give My Heart To You – Joan Regan

1956: The Suez Crisis erupts into war as Israel invades the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, followed by a planned airborne assault by France and Britain.

1957: A hand grenade explodes in Israel’s Knesset.

1958: Novelist Boris Pasternak refuses the Nobel prize for literature.

1960: In his first professional fight, Cassius Clay beats Tunney Hunsaker on points in six rounds in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.


1961: Cliff Richard – 21 Today

1961: Album chart:

  1. 21 Today – Cliff Richard
  2. Another Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Minstrels
  3. The Shadows – The Shadows
  4. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  5. That’ll Be The Day – Buddy Holly
  6. The Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Minstrels
  7. Something For Everybody – Elvis Presley
  8. Sinatra Swings – Frank Sinatra
  9. Oliver – Original London Cast
  10. Sound Of Music – Original London Cast

1964: The United Republic of Tanganyika & Zanzibar is renamed The United Republic of Tanzania.

On TV (Thursday)


11.15For Schools

11.55Close-down till 2.10

14.10For Schools


14.33For Schools

14.58Close-down till 4.45

16.45Small Time

17.00Junior Criss Cross Quiz

17.25National Velvet

17.55News; Weather

18.08Three After Six

18.30Mr Ed

19.00Double Your Money

19.30H.M.S. Paradise

20.00The Avengers


21.10This Week

21.40The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

22.35What the Papers Say

22.50News Headlines


23.05Towards 2000

23.35Who Cares?


09.10For Schools

10.45Watch With Mother
Rag, Tag, and Bobtail

11.05For Sixth Forms


Topical items in Welsh


13.15Watch With Mother
Andy Pandy

13.30Racing At Aintree


14.30Racing At Aintree

17.05Blue Peter
with Christopher Trace and Valerie Singleton

17.30Heidi A film from Switzerland in four parts


18.05Town And Around
News and views from London and the South-East

18.30Television Top of the Form

Introduced by Cliff Michelmore

19.30Top of the Pops
David Jacobs introduces The Supremes, Manfred Mann, The Shangri-Las, The Nashville Teens, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Roy Orbison and Sandie Shaw

20.00Steptoe and Son
Comedy series starring Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett

20.25The Rogues
One of ‘ the family’ is cheated out of a fortune at an exclusive gambling club


21.25Moscow State Moiseyev Dance Company

The personalities and problems behind today’s political issues

22.45News Extra

22.55The Weather/Roadworks Report

23.00Komm Mit!


11.00Play School

11.20Close Down


19.30Time Out
Ludovic Kennedy introduces this weekly programme on the expanding world of leisure

20.20The Great War
A twenty-six-part history of the 1914-18 war

21.00Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll
Starring Sheila Hancock

A critical look at crowds and congestion during Motor Show week at Earls Court.

22.40Newsroom and Weather

23.05Late Night Line-Up
Round off the day with Denis Tuohy, Michael Dean
Nicholas Tresilian and tonight’s guests

1967: Petty criminal Jack “The Hat” McVitie is supposedly murdered by the Kray twins, leading to their eventual imprisonment and downfall.

1971: Iconic guitarist Duane Allman is killed when he loses control of his motorcycle on a Macon, Georgia street while trying to avoid a tractor-trailer.

1975: General Franco’s 36-year dictatorship of Spain is effectively ended with the announcement that heir designate Prince Carlos will take over as provisional head of state. On the same day, ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ Peter Sutcliffe kills his first victim, Wilma McCann.

1982: Australian Lindy Chamberlain is found guilty of the murder of her nine-week-old daughter Azaria after a jury dismisses her claim that a dingo took the baby while on a visit to Ayres Rock in Northern Territory.

1986: Prime minister Margaret Thatcher opens the final stretch of London’s Orbital Motorway, the M25.

1987: Thomas “Hitman” Hearns wins an unprecedented fourth different weight boxing title.

1996: The Stone Roses split up.

1997: Iraq’s Revolution Command Council announces that it will no longer allow US citizens and US aircraft to serve with UN arms inspection teams.

1998: 77-year old John Glenn becomes the oldest person to go into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

1999: A massive cyclone sweeps through the state of Orissa in eastern India, killing up to 10,000 people and leaving many more homeless.

2003: Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, resigns.

2015: China announces the end of their one-child policy after 35 years.

2018: Far right politician Jair Bolsonaro wins Brazil’s presidential election. On the same day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces she will not seek re-election in 2021.

2019: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns after two weeks of nationwide protests during an economic crisis.

2020: Jeremy Corbyn is suspended from the Labour Party after saying a report into anti-semitism in the party was “overstated”.

BIRTHDAYS: Denny Laine, (Brian Hines) guitarist/singer (The Moody Blues/Wings) 78; Richard Dreyfuss, actor, 75; Kate Jackson, actress, 74; Lee Child (James Grant), novelist, 68; Dan Castellaneta, voice of Homer Simpson, 65; Finola Hughes, actress, 63; Rufus Sewell, actor, 55; Roni Size (Ryan Williams), DJ, producer, 53; Edwin van der Sar, goalkeeper, 52; Winona Ryder, actress, 51; Robert Pirès, footballer, 49; Michael Vaughan, cricketer, 48; Andrew-Lee Potts, actor, 43; Fleur East, singer, 35; Jacqueline Jossa, actress, 29.