Today in History – October 29

312 – Constantine the Great entered Rome after his victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and beheaded.

1390 – First trial for witchcraft in Paris which led to the death of three people.

1618 – English adventurer, writer, and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I of England.

1692 – Court of Oyer and Terminer, convened for Salem witch trials, dissolved.

1787 – Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni received its first performance in Prague.

1811 – The first Ohio River steamboat left Pittsburgh for New Orleans.

1814 – “Demologos”, the first steam-powered warship, was launched in New York for the US Navy.

1863 – Eighteen countries met in Geneva and agreed to form the International Red Cross.

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Wauhatchie: Forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant repelled a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet. Union forces thus opened a supply line into Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1901 – In Amherst, Massachusetts, nurse Jane Toppan was arrested for murdering the Davis family of Boston with an overdose of morphine.

1901 – Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley, was executed by electrocution.

1918 – The German High Seas Fleet was incapacitated when sailors mutinied, an action which triggered the German Revolution of 1918–19.

1929 – The New York Stock Exchange crashed in what is called the Crash of ’29 or “Black Tuesday”, which ended the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and was the beginning of the Great Depression.

1936 – Cole Porters musical “Red Hot And Blue”, starring Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante, and Bob Hope, opened at the Alvin Theatre, NYC;.  It ran for 183 performances.

1941 – The Holocaust: In the Kaunas Ghetto, over 10,000 Jews were shot by German occupiers at the Ninth Fort, a massacre known as the “Great Action”.

1945 – The first ballpoint pen went on sale.  

1956 – NBC anchors Chet Huntley and David Brinkley first teamed up in “The Huntley–Brinkley Report”.

1960 – An airplane carrying the Cal Poly football team crashed on takeoff in Toledo, Ohio.  Of the 48 on board, 22 were killed, including both pilots, 16 players, a student manager, and a Cal Poly football booster.

1960 – Cassius Clay’s [Muhammad Ali] first professional fight.  He beat Tunney Hunsaker on points in 6 rounds in Louisville, Kentucky.

1967 – London criminal Jack McVitie was murdered by the Kray twins, which led to their eventual imprisonment and downfall.

1969 – The first-ever computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.

1969 – US Supreme Court ordered an end to all school segregation “at once”.

1975 – ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ Peter Sutcliffe killed his first victim, Wilma McCann.

1982 – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson released “The Girl is Mine”.

1991 – The American Galileo spacecraft made its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, and became the first probe to visit an asteroid.

1993 – “The Sign” single released in Europe by Ace of Base.

1994 – Francisco Martin Duran fired over two dozen shots at the White House; he was later convicted of trying to kill US President Bill Clinton.

1998 – Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on STS-95 with 77-year-old John Glenn on board, which made him the oldest person at the time to go into space.

1998 – ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States was inaugurated with the launch of the STS-95 space shuttle mission.

2004 – Arabic news network, Al Jazeera broadcasted an excerpt from a video of Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist leader first admitted direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and referenced the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

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