What happened on this day in history: The English King Henry V defeats the French at the Battle of Agincourt, painter Pablo Picasso is born in Spain, and more important events on October 25.
1415: The Battle Of Agincourt Takes Place
The Battle of Agincourt takes place in Pas-de-Calais, France. A seminal battle in the Hundred Years’ War, it pitted the English, led by Henry V, against the French army.
Although Henry’s army was far smaller, some 80 percent of his troops were archers, which he used to great effect to massacre the French from afar. Henry even fought hand-to-hand in the battle himself, commanding his army to an overwhelming victory and putting him on his way toward becoming heir to the French throne.
1854: The Charge Of The Light Brigade Fails
A British light cavalry charges Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava. Due to a failure in communications, the “Light Brigade” attacked the wrong artillery battery. Further complicating matters, Captain Louis Nolan, the man who delivered the initial confusing order, died in the first minute of fighting.
The cavalry was forced to retreat immediately and suffered heavy losses. Alfred, Lord Tennyson later depicted the “Charge of the Light Brigade” in a narrative poem published two months later.
1881: Pablo Picasso Is Born
Pablo Picasso is born in Málaga, Spain. A prolific painter, Picasso produced a number of iconic works including Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Guernica (1937), The Weeping Woman (1937), and others.
Although he initially painted naturalist works, he later began experimenting with new forms of expression and is considered a pioneer in the art form of Cubism. Picasso and French painter Henri Matisse held a life-long rivalry that helped inspire some of their greatest works.
1983: The U.S. Invades Grenada
The U.S. invades Grenada under the Reagan administration. After gaining independence from Great Britain in 1974, Grenada experienced a communist power struggle that resulted in a burst of political violence. The U.S. invaded the country following an appeal for help from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. Grenada’s communist leader, Maurice Bishop, was deposed and replaced. Today, the invasion date is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day to commemorate the freeing of political prisoners after Bishop’s removal.
1994: Susan Smith Reports A False Carjacking After Murdering Her Children
Susan Smith falsely reports that a Black man carjacked her vehicle with her two young sons inside. In fact, Smith had murdered both her children by driving her car into a South Carolina lake. After nine days of media frenzy, Smith admitted the truth and was arrested for murder.
At her trial, her defense tried unsuccessfully to persuade the jury that the killings resulted from mental illness. She was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.