A series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693, caused by mass hysteria. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, while five others (including two infant children) died in prison.
Salem Witch Trials
Fact of the Day
Pope Innocent VIII allegedly drank the blood of three young Jewish boys in the hope of capturing their youth. He is also reported to have had the first blood transfusion, in 1492.
Quote of the Day
"Were this the skeleton of the oldest man, then the oldest man was a freak "
~ Mayer on the Neanderthal, 1864.
On This Day
205 Plautianus, long-time friend of Roman emperor Septimius Severus, was exceuted for allegedly plotting to kill the imperial family.
1536 The leaders of the Münster Rebellion, that turned Münster into an Anabaptist commune, were tortured and executed.
1552 The deposed Lord Protector and uncle to Edward VI, was executed for 'plotting' to change the government.
1561 Francis Bacon, statesman, lawyer, philosopher, essayist and Lord Chancellor of England, was born.
1666 Mogul Emperor of India, Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, died under house-arrest in Agra Fort having been locked away by his son.
1719 William Paterson, one of the founders of the Bank of England and main proponents of the Darien scheme (Scottish colony in Panama) died. A mystery still surrounds his burial site.
1788 'Mad, bad, and dangerous to know', romantic poet Lord Byron was born.
1901 Queen Victoria died, aged 81. At the time, she was the longest reigning monarch and was succeeded by her son, Edward VII.
1924 Ramsay MacDonald became the first Labour Prime Miniter. It didn't last long - he lost the general election in October 1924.
1959 Mike Hawthorn, the UK's first F1 World Champion driver died in a car crash on the A3 in Surrey. He was 29.