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 the Muslim Brotherhood.

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.

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


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.

1972: Singles chart:

  1. Mouldy Old Dough – Lieutenant Pigon
  2. Claire – Gilbert O’Sullivan
  3. Donna – 10cc
  4. In A Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson
  5. Elected – Alice Cooper
  6. Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las
  7. Loop Di Love – Shag
  8. You’re A Lady – Peter Skellern
  9. Burning Love – Elvis Presley
  10. There Are More Questions Than Answers – Johnny Nash
1972: Black Sabbath – Vol 4

Album chart:

  1. 20 All Time Greats Of The 50s – Various Artists
  2. 20 Star Tracks – Various Artists
  3. Greatest Hits – Simon and Garfunkel
  4. Sing along with Max – Max Bygraves
  5. Catch Bull At Four – Cat Stevens
  6. Never A Dull Moment – Rod Stewart
  7. 20 Fantastic Hits – Various Artists
  8. Glitter – Gary Glitter
  9. Vol 4 – Black Sabbath
  10. Best Of – Bread

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 its 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”. On the same day, three people are stabbed to death in a church in Nice, France, in a terrorist attack.

2022: A crowd surge during Halloween festivities in Seoul, South Korea, leaves 155 people dead.

Fleur East

BIRTHDAYS: Denny Laine, (Brian Hines) guitarist/singer (The Moody Blues/Wings) 79; Richard Dreyfuss, actor, 76; Kate Jackson, actress, 75; Lee Child (James Grant), novelist, 69; Dan Castellaneta, voice of Homer Simpson, 66; Finola Hughes, actress, 64; Rufus Sewell, actor, 56; Roni Size (Ryan Williams), DJ, producer, 54; Edwin van der Sar, goalkeeper, 53; Winona Ryder, actress, 52; Robert Pirès, footballer, 50; Michael Vaughan, cricketer, 49; Andrew-Lee Potts, actor, 44; Fleur East, singer/TV presenter, 36; Jacqueline Jossa, actress, 30.