May 30, 1431 French heroin Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by the English for heresy, aged 19 years old. Inspired by the voices of Catholic saints in her head, she helped secure several victories for France against England during the Hundred Years War. The first major coup was the lifting of the siege of Orleans and other victories followed that many historians believe turned the tide of the war in France’s favour. It was largely thanks to her military leadership and inspiration that Charles VII was able to be crowned at Reims. She was captured by Burgundian troops, who then sold her to their allies the English. Eventually she was found guilty of heresy for rejecting the authority of the church and was burned in Rouen. Joan of Arc was canonised in 1920.
Also on May 30: English king Henry VIII marries his third wife, Jane Seymour (1536); start of the first ever Indianapolis 500 motor race (1911); Assassination of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1961).
Born on May 30: Peter Carl Fabergé (1846), Mel Blanc (1908), Steven Gerrard (1980).
Back in the Day: Joan of Arc burned at the stake