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1692: The first people were hanged in Salem, USA, after a witch hunt: 19 men and womenwere convicted of witchcraft and hanged in Salem. The hysteria began in February 1692 when 10-year-old Betty Parris became ill. It was probably a combination of stress, asthma, guilt, child abuse, epilepsy and psychosis, but some of her playmates also fell ill with the same symptoms and people believed that witches had targeted the children. The number of girls afflicted grew, rising to seven. An Indian slave, Tituba, was told to bake a cake with the victims' urine and feed it to dogs as dogs were thought to be used by witches as agents.

Sometime after February 29 she was arrested with two other women and the girls named them as the afflictors. Tituba admitted being a witch and said she'd been approached by a tall man who was the Devil himself. A four-year-old girl, the daughter of one of the accused, was also arrested for witchcraft. 60-year-old Bridget Bishop was the first to be hanged on June 10.

Also on this day: 1793: The first public zooopened in Paris; 1865: The first performance of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde took place; 1948: The first heart operations to unblock valves were carried out on three women by RC Broch at Guy's Hospital in London; 1967: The Six-Day War ended when Israel agreed to observe the UN ceasefire.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 10, 2003
Words:232
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