It happened today – this day in history – October 29

539BC: King Cyrus “the Great” of Persia marches into Babylon, freeing Jewish captives.

1390: First witchcraft trial in Paris.

1618: Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded.

1692: The court convened for the Salem witch trials in dissolved.

1787: Mozart’s Don Giovanni premieres in Prague.

1859: Spain declares war on Morocco.

1923: Mustafa Kemal officially declares Turkey a republic.

1924: Death of playwright and children’s author Frances Hodgson Burnett.

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

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

1945: The first ballpoint pen goes on sale, manufactured by Biro.

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

1956: The Suez Crisis erupts into war as Israel invades the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.

1957: Death of film producer Louis B Mayer.

1958: Boris Pasternak refuses the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1960: Cassius Clay wins his first professional fight, beating Tunney Hunsaker on points.

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

1967: Criminal Jack “The Hat” McVitie is murdered by the Kray twins.

1971: Guitarist Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle on a Macon, Georgia street while trying to swerve to avoid a tractor-trailer. He was 24.

1975: The ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ Peter Sutcliffe kills first victim, Wilma McCann.

1987: Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns wins an unprecidented fourth different weight boxing title.

1998: Politician and former astronaut John Glenn becomes the oldest person to go into space at age 77 aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

1999: A tropical super cyclone hits Odisha, India, killing almost 10,000 people with winds of up to 300 mph.

2008: “Quantum of Solace” 22nd James Bond film starring Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko, premieres in London.

2011: Death of Jimmy Savile.

2012: Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey resulting in 110 deaths and $50 billion in damage, forcing the New York Stock Exchange to close.

2017: Lewis Hamilton wins his fourth Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

2018: German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces she will not seek re-election in 2021 and will step down as party leader. On the same day Japanese Princess Ayako of Japan marries commoner Kei Moriya at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, giving up her royal status.

BIRTHDAYS: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, 81; Denny Laine (Brian Hines), musician (Wings), 75; Peter Green (Greenbaum), guitarist (Fleetwood Mac), 73; Richard Dreyfuss, actor, 72; Kate Jackson, actress, 71; James Williamson, guitarist (The Stooges), 70; Dan Castellaneta, voice of Homer Simpson, 62; Rufus Sewell, actor, 52; Roni Size, DJ, producer, 50; Edwin van der Saar, former footballer, 49; Winona Ryder, actress, 48; Robert Pires, former footballer, 46; Michael Vaughan, former cricketer, 45; Chris Baio, musician (Vampire Weekend), 35.

Mick Ferris

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