This Day In History, October 29th

What happened on this day in history: British explorer Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded in 1618, the Suez Crisis begins when Israel invades Egypt in 1956, and more landmark events.

1618: Sir Walter Raleigh Is Executed

Today In History October 29

Wikimedia CommonsA portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh from 1588.

Sir Walter Raleigh is executed in London, England, around the age of 65. Raleigh was a writer, explorer, and once-favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. But after King James I came to power in 1603, he imprisoned Raleigh in the Tower of London for trying to depose him.

James released Raleigh in 1616 to try to find the legendary golden city of El Dorado, but imprisoned him and sentenced him to death on his return on charges of trying to incite a war between Spain and England. He was beheaded in Old Palace Yard.

1929: The Stock Market Crashes On ‘Black Tuesday’

The New York Stock Exchange crashes, helping to trigger the Great Depression. Stock prices had been falling since September, and they plummeted starting on Oct. 18, leading to “Black Monday” on Oct. 28, and “Black Tuesday” on Oct. 29 as shareholders sought to take their money out in a panic.

Overnight, billions of dollars disappeared while the Dow lost 23.05 percent. The American stock market crash came just a month after the London Stock Exchange crashed in September, leading to a global financial meltdown that lasted until World War II.

1956: The Suez Crisis Begins

Suez Crisis

Fox Photos/Getty ImagesA young Egyptian boy stands among rubble during the Suez Crisis. A British tank is parked behind him.

The Suez Crisis begins when Israel — joined by France and the United Kingdom — invades Egypt. Also known as the Second Arab–Israeli War or the Sinai War, the conflict began because Israel, France, and the U.K. hoped to regain ownership of the Suez Canal, which had been nationalized by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

But the Soviet Union threatened to bomb Europe, and the United States threatened Israel, France, and the United Kingdom with economic sanctions. The “war” lasted just nine days before the three allied powers withdrew from Egypt in defeat.

1969: Bobby Seale Is Gagged During Trial

Bobby Seale is gagged and chained to his seat while standing trial for his role in organizing protests during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. A co-founder of the Black Panthers and one of the “Chicago Eight,” Seale had been accused of conspiracy to incite a riot during the convention in Chicago, which was rocked by anti-war protestors.

Abbie Hoffman With David Dellinger And Bobby Seale

John Olson/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesDavid Dellinger, Abbie Hoffman, and Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale at Seale’s birthday party in New York in 1971.

The judge ordered Seale to be gagged after he repeatedly protested about his lack of legal representation. This lasted for several days of the trial before his case was severed from the other seven men. Seale was later sentenced to 48 months in prison for 16 acts of contempt.

2015: China Ends One-Child Policy

China ends the one-child policy after 35 years. In the 1970s, China feared overpopulation and began implementing restrictions on the marrying age for adults, the number of children a couple could have, and the time intervals between children. The one-child policy was just one way the Chinese government hoped to curb overpopulation, and they strongly enforced it, primarily in urban centers.

By 2015, the Chinese government extended the limit to two children per family. In 2021, it was extended again to three children before being scrapped altogether.