May 30 - 1431 - Joan of Arc is Burned at the Stake
Everything about Joan of Arc is strange, contradictory, and bizarre. A peasant girl who came to prominence for having religious visions that predicted the outcome of battles, Joan of Arc became thoroughly enmeshed with King Charles VII of France and his court as they fought against the English. She might have never swung a sword, and she certainly never actually commanded any French troops. She was actually just a sort of talisman, seen with a banner on the field and giving advice to the generals. After helping to lift the Siege of Orleans and retaking the city of Reims, the location of the coronation for French Kings, Joan of Arc became a hero for the French and an embodiment of evil for the English. So the English captured Joan of Arc near Compiegne, then tried for heresy. The trial was more complicated than it probably should have been, but eventually the English were able to burn Joan of Arc at the stake for heresy.