Yom Kippur War

6 October

On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar – a day to confess and repent of the year’s sin – Israel was invaded in 1973 by Egypt and Syria. The conflict became known as the Yom Kippur War (above).

President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated in Cairo on this day in 1981 by Muslim extremists for his efforts to bring peace with Israel.

William Tyndale was executed in Antwerp today in 1536 by being strangled to death at the stake, following which his body was burned. The killing was by order of King Henry VIII of England, in retribution for Tyndale’s crime of translating the Bible into English. Before his own death, however, Henry decreed that English Bibles be put in every church in the country. The King James Bible of 1611 was 90 per cent the same as Tyndale’s, although it sadly dropped some of his colourful details:

‘Then sayd the serpent vnto the woman: tush ye shall not dye.’ The serpent of Eden talks to Eve in Tyndale’s translation of Genesis chapter 3

Matteo Ricci, a founder of Jesuit missionary work in China, was born today in 1552. He first arrived in China just before he was 30.

A household maid, Maria Pauer, 16 years old, was executed in Salzburg for witchcraft today in 1750. After she had run a simple errand, objects in the house she had visited started moving mysteriously and strange knocking was heard, and on this basis she was arrested, interrogated, tried and sentenced. Archbishop Andreas refused to pardon her, and so Maria suffered decapitation and her body was then burned as a final mark of damnation. She was the last person to be executed for witchcraft in what is now Austria.

Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit the White House, today in 1979.

The English poet Alfred Tennyson died today in 1892.

Behold we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last – far off – at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

So runs my dream: but what am I?
An infant crying in the night:
An infant crying for the light:
And with no language but a cry.
Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

Image: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Time-travel news is written by Steve Tomkins and Simon Jenkins

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