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October 1, 1908 - Henry Ford's Model T, a
"universal car" designed for the masses, went on sale for
the first time.
October 1, 1938 - Hitler's troops occupied the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia. In an effort to avoid war, the leaders of Britain and France
had agreed to cede the German-speaking area to Hitler, who later broke the agreement and occupied
all of Czechoslovakia.
October 1, 1946 - Twelve Nazi leaders were sentenced to death at the International
War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.
October 1, 1949 - The People's Republic of China was founded with Mao
Zedong as Chairman.
October 1, 1979 - After 70 years of American control, the Panama Canal Zone was formally
handed over to Panama.
Birthday - Virtuoso
pianist Vladimir Horowitz (1904-1989) was born in Berdichev, Russia.
He made his American debut in 1928 with the New York Philharmonic and
became a U.S. citizen in 1944. In 1986, after a self-imposed absence
of 60 years, he performed a concert in his native Russia.
October 2, 1935 - Mussolini's Italian troops invaded Abyssinia, beginning an occupation
lasting until 1941.
October 2, 1967 - Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) was sworn in as the first African American
associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served until 1991 and
was known for opposing discrimination and the death penalty, and for
championing free speech and civil liberties.
October 2, 1968 - California's Redwood National Park was established. Redwoods are the
tallest of all trees, growing up to 400 feet (120 meters) during a lifetime
that can span 2,000 years.
October 2, 1975 - Japanese Emperor Hirohito made his first-ever visit
to the White House.
Birthday - Indian
political and spiritual leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi (1869-1948)
was born in Porbandar, India. He achieved worldwide fame for his devout
lifestyle and nonviolent resistance which ended British rule over India.
He was assassinated by a religious fanatic in the garden of his home
in New Delhi on January 30, 1948.
Birthday - American
statesman Cordell Hull (1871-1955) was born in Pickett County, Tennessee.
He served in both houses of Congress, as Secretary of State, and was
instrumental in the establishment of the United Nations.
October 3, 1863 - President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
October 3, 1929 - Yugoslavia became the official name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats
October 3, 1932 - Iraq gained independence from Britain and joined the League of Nations.
October 3, 1974 - Frank Robinson was hired by the Cleveland Indians as baseball's first
African American major league manager.
October 3, 1990 - After 45 years of Cold War division, East and West Germany were reunited
as the Federal Republic of Germany.
October 4, 1582 - The Gregorian Calendar took effect in Catholic countries as Pope Gregory
XIII issued a decree stating the day following Thursday, October 4,
1582, would be Friday, October 15, 1582, correcting a 10-day error accumulated
by the Julian Calendar. Britain and the American colonies adopted the
Gregorian Calendar in 1752.
October 4, 1830 - Belgium gained its independence, after having been a part of the Netherlands
October 4, 1943 - The Island of Corsica became the first French territory in Europe
freed from Nazi control as Free French troops liberated the city of
October 4, 1957 - The Space Age began as the Russians launched the first satellite into
orbit. Sputnik I weighed just 184 lbs. and transmitted a beeping radio
signal for 21 days. The remarkable accomplishment by Soviet Russia sent a shockwave through
the American political leadership resulting in U.S. efforts to be the
first on the moon.
October 4, 1965 - Pope Paul VI became the first Pope to visit the U.S. and the first to address the
October 4, 1993 - Russian tank-soldiers loyal to President Boris Yeltsin shelled the
Russian White House, crushing a hard-line Communist rebellion. Yeltsin
then fired Vice-president Alexander Rutskoi and jailed other opposition
Birthday - St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
was born in Assisi, Umbria, Italy (as Giovanni Francesco Bernardone).
He renounced his family's wealth and founded the Friars Minor (Franciscan
Birthday - Rutherford
B. Hayes (1822-1893) the 19th U.S. President was born in Delaware,
Ohio. He served from March 4, 1877 to March 3, 1881. He was a Republican
best known for his much-quoted statement, "He serves his party
best who serves his country best."
Birthday - Artist Frederic Remington (1861-1909) was born in Canton, New York.
He studied at Yale Art School then traveled extensively throughout the
American West in the late 1800s sketching cowboys, Native Americans, frontiersmen,
and soldiers. He also created lively sculptures featuring bucking broncos.
October 5 Return
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October 5, 1813 - Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh was defeated and killed during the War
of 1812. Regarded as one of the greatest American Indians, he was a
powerful orator who defended his people against white settlement. When
the War of 1812 broke out, he joined the British as a brigadier general
and was killed at the Battle of the Thames in Ontario.
October 5, 1877 - Following a 1,700-mile retreat, Chief
Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrendered to U.S. Cavalry troops
at Bear's Paw near Chinook, Montana. "From where the sun now stands,
I will fight no more forever," he declared.
October 5, 1908 - Bulgaria proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
October 5, 1910 - Portugal became a republic following a successful revolt against King
October 5, 1938 - Czech President Dr. Eduard Benes resigned and fled abroad amid threats
from Adolf Hitler.
October 5, 1964 - The largest mass escape since the construction of the Berlin Wall
occurred as 57 East German refugees escaped to West Berlin after tunneling
beneath the wall.
October 5, 1986 - Former U.S. Marine Eugene Hasenfus was captured by Nicaraguan Sandinistas
after a plane carrying arms for the Nicaraguan rebels (Contras) was
shot down over Nicaragua. This marked the beginning of the "Iran-Contra"
controversy resulting in Congressional hearings and a major scandal
for the Reagan White House after it was revealed that money from the
sale of arms to Iran was used to fund covert operations in Nicaragua.
Birthday - Theologian
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was born in East Windsor, Connecticut.
He led the "Great Awakening" religious revival in the American
colonies and later became president of Princeton.
Birthday - Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886)
the 21st President of the U.S. was born in Fairfield, Vermont. He succeeded
to the presidency following the assassination of James A. Garfield.
He served from September 20, 1881 to March 3, 1885, but was not nominated
by the Republican Party for a second term.
Birthday - "Father of the Space Age" Robert Goddard (1882-1945) was
born in Worcester, Massachusetts. During his lifetime he was ridiculed by the
public and the press over his idea of constructing a space flight machine.
In 1926, he launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket on a farm
near Auburn, Mass. In 1935, his liquid-fueled rocket surpassed the speed
of sound. Other developments included a steering apparatus for rocket
machines, staged rockets to reach high altitudes, rocket fuel pumps,
and a self-cooling rocket motor.
Birthday - Czech
playwright and political leader Vaclav Havel was born in Prague, October
5, 1936. He spent over 5 years in prison for speaking out against government
abuses. He went on to lead the peaceful "velvet revolution"
which ended Soviet-style Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
October 6, 1927 - The first "talkie" opened in New York. The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson was the first full-length feature film using spoken
October 6, 1928 - Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek became president of the Republic of China upon the introduction of a
October 6, 1949 - "Tokyo Rose" (Iva
Toguri d'Aquino) was sentenced in San Francisco to 10 years imprisonment
and fined $10,000 for treason. She had broadcast music and Japanese
propaganda to American troops in the Pacific during World War II. She
was pardoned by President Gerald Ford in 1977.
October 6, 1973 - The Yom Kippur War started as Egypt and Syria launched attacks on
Israeli positions on the East Bank of the Suez and the Golan Heights.
October 6, 1978 - Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini was granted asylum in
France after being expelled from Iran for his opposition to the Shah.
October 6, 1981 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (1918-1981) was assassinated in Cairo by Muslim fundamentalists while
watching a military parade. He had shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize
with Menachem Begin of Israel. He had signed an
American-sponsored peace accord with Israel, but had been denounced
by other Arab leaders.
Birthday - Engineer
and inventor George Westinghouse (1846-1914) was born in Central Bridge,
New York. He developed air brakes for trains and was later responsible
for the adoption of alternating current (AC) systems for electric power
transmission in the U.S. He was also the first employer to give his
employees paid vacations.
Birthday - Norwegian
explorer Thor Heyerdahl was born in Larvik, Norway, October 6, 1914.
He used Kon-Tiki and other primitive ocean-going vessels to prove
the possibility of transoceanic contact between ancient, widely separated
October 7, 1765 - The Stamp Act Congress convened in New York City with representatives
from nine colonies meeting in protest to the British Stamp Act
which imposed the first direct tax by the British Crown upon the American colonies.
October 7, 1940 - During World War II
in Europe, German troops invaded Romania to take seize strategic
October 7, 1949 - The German Democratic
Republic came into existence in East Germany. Dominated by Soviet Russia, it lasted until German reunification in 1990.
October 7, 1985 - Palestinian terrorists seized the Italian passenger ship Achille
Lauro carrying about 440 persons, threatening to blow it up if Israel
did not free 50 Palestinian prisoners. Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly
wheelchair-bound American, was murdered.
October 8, 1871 - The Great Fire of Chicago erupted. According to legend, it started
when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern in her barn on DeKoven
Street. Over 300 persons were killed and 90,000 were left homeless as
the fire leveled 3.5 square miles, destroying 17,450 buildings. Financial
losses totaled over $200 million.
October 8, 1918 - During World War I in the Argonne Forest in France, U.S. Sergeant Alvin C. York single-handedly took
out a German machine-gun battalion, killing over a dozen and capturing
132. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor and the French Croix
October 8, 1993 - The U.N. General Assembly lifted economic sanctions against South
Africa following the end of racial apartheid. The sanctions had been
imposed since the 1960s.
October 8, 1996 - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat made his first public visit to
Israel for talks with Israeli President Ezer Weizman at his private
October 8, 1998 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted 258-176 to approve a resolution launching an impeachment inquiry of President Bill Clinton. It was only
the third time in U.S. history the House launched a formal impeachment inquiry of a sitting president. (The other two: Andrew Johnson and
Birthday - American fighter pilot Ace Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) was born in Columbus, Ohio. He commanded the first U.S.
aero unit to take part in World War I and was credited with 26 victories,
becoming America's leading Ace. He was awarded the Medal
of Honor. He later got involved in auto racing and headed Eastern Air
Lines from 1934-63.
October 9, 1962 - Uganda achieved independence after nearly 70 years of British rule.
October 9, 1970 - Cambodia declared itself the Khmer Republic following the abolishment
of the monarchy by the legislature.
Birthday - John
Lennon (1940-1980) was born in Liverpool, England. He was a member of The Beatles, an influential rock group which captivated audiences
first in England and Germany, and later in America and throughout the
world. He was murdered in New York City on December 8, 1980.
October 10 Return
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October 10, 1954 - Ho Chi Minh entered Hanoi, Vietnam, after the withdrawal of French
troops, in accordance with armistice terms ending the seven-year struggle
between Communist Vietnamese and the French.
October 10, 1973 - Spiro T. Agnew (1918-1996) resigned the office of Vice President of
the United States amid charges of income tax evasion on illegal payments
allegedly received while he was governor of Maryland and after he became
Vice President. He was later given a $10,000 fine and sentenced to serve
three years probation. He was succeeded as Vice President by Gerald
R. Ford, who went on to become President after the resignation of Richard
Birthday - Italian
opera composer Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901) was born in Le Roncole, Italy.
His 26 operas include; Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Traviata and Aida, and are among the most popular of all classical music performed
October 11, 1521 - King Henry VIII of England was given the title "Defender of the
Faith" by Pope Leo X following the publication of the King's book
against Martin Luther.
October 11, 1899 - The Boer War began in South African between the British Empire and
Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. The war ended in 1902
with the Treaty of Pretoria in which the Transvaal and Orange Free State
became British colonies.
October 11, 1939 - Albert Einstein warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt that his theories
could lead to Nazi Germany's development of an atomic bomb. Einstein
suggested the U.S. develop its own bomb. This resulted in the top secret
October 11, 1962 - The Second Vatican Council was opened in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
by Pope John XXIII. Sessions were held in four successive autumns from
1962-65. Vatican II resulted in sweeping changes to the Catholic Church
including the use of English and local native languages in the Mass
instead of Latin, and openness and cooperation with other religions
October 11, 1976 - The "Gang of Four," including the widow of Mao Zedong, was
arrested in China, charged with plotting a coup. They were subsequently
tried and convicted of various crimes against the state.
Birthday - Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
was born in New York City. She was the wife of President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President. As First Lady, she led an unprecedented
independent life, striving to improve the lives of people all over the
world. In 1933, she became the first wife of a president to give her
own news conference in the White House. She traveled extensively on
her own and was affectionately called "First Lady of the world."
She served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for many years and
helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
October 12, 1492 - After a 33-day voyage, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall
in the New World in the Bahamas. He named the first land sighted as
El Salvador, claiming it in the name of the Spanish Crown. Columbus
was seeking a western sea route from Europe to Asia and believed he
had found an island of the Indies. He thus called the first island natives
he met, 'Indians.'
October 12, 1811 - Paraguay declared its independence from Spain and Argentina.
October 12, 1822 - Brazil became independent of Portugal.
October 12, 1960 - During a debate over colonialism in the United Nations, Soviet leader
Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and pounded his desk repeatedly.
British composer and conductor Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was born in
Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England. He combined modern composition
techniques with traditional English folk and Tudor music to create a
uniquely British style. His major compositions include; Mass in G
Minor, Fantasia on a Theme of Tallis and the opera The
Pilgrim's Progress. He also composed nine symphonies, church and
choral music, film and stage music and several operas.
October 13, 54 A.D. - Roman Emperor Claudius died after eating mushrooms poisoned by his
wife, the Empress Agrippina.
October 13, 1775 - The United States Navy was born after the Second Continental Congress authorized
the acquisition of a fleet of ships.
October 13, 1792 - The cornerstone of the White
House was laid by George Washington. The building, located at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue, is three stories tall with over 100 rooms, and
was designed by James Hoban. In November of 1800, President John Adams
and his family moved in. The building was first known as the "Presidential
Palace," but acquired the name "White House" about 10
years after its completion. It was burned by British troops in 1814,
then reconstructed, refurbished and reoccupied in 1817.
October 13, 1884 - Greenwich was established as the universal time from which standard
times throughout the world are calculated.
October 13, 1943 - Italy declared war on its former Axis partner Germany after the downfall
of Mussolini and collapse of his Fascist government.
October 13, 1990 - The first Russian Orthodox service in over 70 years was held in St.
Basil's Cathedral, next to the Kremlin, in Red Square, Moscow.
Birthday - Molly Pitcher (1754-1832) was born near Trenton, New Jersey (as Mary
Ludwig). She was a water carrier at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778 during
the American Revolution. After her husband, artilleryman John Hays,
collapsed, she took his place at
October 14, 1066 - The Norman Conquest began with the Battle of Hastings in which King
Harold II of England, the last of the Saxon kings, was defeated and
killed by William of Normandy's troops.
October 14, 1912 - Former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot by a fanatic while campaigning
in Milwaukee. Roosevelt was saved by his thick overcoat, a glasses case
and a folded speech in his breast pocket, all of which slowed the bullet.
Although wounded, he insisted on making the speech with the bullet lodged
in his chest and did not go to the hospital until the meeting ended.
Roosevelt, a rugged outdoorsman, fully recovered in two weeks.
October 14, 1933 - Nazi Germany announced its withdrawal from the League of Nations and
stated it would take no further part in the Geneva Disarmament Conference.
October 14, 1947 - U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to break
the sound barrier, flying in a rocket-powered
October 14, 1964 - Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., became the youngest recipient
of the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the $54,000 in prize money to the
Civil Rights movement.
Birthday - Pennsylvania
founder William Penn (1644-1718) was born in London. In 1681, he received
a Royal charter with a large land grant in America from King Charles
II. Penn, a Quaker, welcomed members of all religious faiths and established
a democratic form of government in his province which measured over
50,000 square miles.
Birthday - Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)
the 34th U.S. President was born in Denison, Texas. He served two terms
as President, from January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961. Nicknamed "Ike,"
he was a West Point graduate and career Army officer who became Supreme
Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He held
the rank of Five-star General of the Army.
October 15 Return
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October 15, 1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte arrived on the Island of St. Helena beginning a
British-imposed exile following his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.
October 15, 1917 - World War I spy Mata Hari was executed by a French firing squad at
Vincennes Barracks, outside Paris.
October 15, 1945 - Pierre Laval, the former premier of Vichy France, was executed for
collaborating with Nazi Germany during World War II.
October 15, 1946 - Nazi leader Hermann Goering committed suicide by swallowing poison
in his Nuremberg prison cell just hours before his scheduled hanging
for war crimes.
October 15, 1964 - Soviet Russia's leader Nikita Khrushchev was deposed as First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, and replaced
by Leonid Brezhnev.
October 15, 1991 - The U.S. Senate confirmed Clarence
Thomas to the Supreme Court by a 52-48 vote following several days
of tumultuous hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning
sexual harassment charges made by a former aide. Thomas became the second
African American to sit on the Court, replacing retired Justice Thurgood
Marshall, an African American.
Birthday - German
philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was born in the Province
of Saxony. Best known for stating, "God is dead," and for
his prediction in the late 1800s, "There will be wars such as there
have never been on Earth before." He eventually succumbed to mental
Birthday - Lee Iacocca
was born to Italian immigrant parents in Allentown, Pennsylvania, October
15, 1924 (as Lido Anthony Iacocca). Dubbed "America's first corporate
folk hero," he was a mechanical engineer who became an automobile
executive at Ford and later helped save Chrysler from bankruptcy. He
also served as foundation chairman for the rehabilitation of the Statue
of Liberty and Ellis Island.
October 16, 1701 - Yale University was founded in Killingworth, Connecticut (as the Collegiate
School of Connecticut). The school moved to New Haven in 1716. Two years
later, the name was changed to Yale College to honor Elihu Yale, a philanthropist.
In 1886, it became Yale University.
October 16, 1793 - Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded during the Reign of Terror following
the French Revolution. She was the wife of King Louis XVI and had become
the symbol of the people's hatred for the old regime due to her extravagance
and frivolity. According to legend, she responded, "Let them eat
cake," when told poor people had no bread.
October 16, 1853 - The Crimean War began after the Turkish Ottoman Empire declared war
on Russia, Britain, France and portions of Italy allied with the Turks
against Russia. It became the first war observed up close by newspaper
reporters and photographers. One of the battles was immortalized in Tennyson's poem, The Charge
of the Light Brigade. Amid poor sanitary conditions, disease killed
many wounded French and British troops. British nurse Florence Nightingale
then pioneered modern-style sanitation methods, saving many lives.
October 16, 1859 - Fanatical abolitionist John Brown seized the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry with about 20 followers.
Three days later, Brown was captured and the insurrection was put down
by U.S. Marines under the command of Col. Robert E. Lee. Brown was convicted
by the Commonwealth of Virginia of treason, murder, and inciting slaves
to rebellion, and was hanged on December 2, 1859.
October 16, 1916 - The first birth control clinic in America was opened in Brooklyn,
New York, by Margaret Sanger, a nurse who worked among the poor on the
Lower East Side of New York City.
October 16, 1946 - Ten former Nazi leaders were hanged by the Allies following their
conviction for war crimes at Nuremberg, Germany.
October 16, 1964 - China detonated its first nuclear bomb at the Lop Nor test site in
October 16, 1978 - Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland was elected Pope. He was the first
non-Italian Pope chosen in 456 years and took the name John Paul II.
October 16, 1995 - The Million Man March took place in Washington, D.C., under the direction
of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who delivered the main address
to the gathering of African American males.
Birthday - American
teacher and journalist Noah Webster (1758-1843) was born in West Hartford,
Connecticut. His name became synonymous with "dictionary"
after he compiled the first American dictionaries of the English language.
Birthday - Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin,
Ireland. Best known for his comedies including; The Importance of
Being Earnest. And his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray in
which he wrote, "There is only one thing in the world worse than
being talked about and that is not being talked about."
Birthday - David
Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) was born in Plonsk, Poland. He was largely responsible
for founding the modern state of Israel in 1948 and is revered as "Father
of the Nation."
Birthday - American playwright Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) was born in New York City. He wrote more than 35 plays and
was the first American dramatist awarded a Nobel Prize for literature.
He also received four Pulitzers. His dramas, which dealt realistically with
psychological and social problems, included; Beyond the Horizon,
The Iceman Cometh, The Emperor Jones and Long Day's Journey into
Birthday - American
jurist William O. Douglas (1898-1980) was born in Maine, Minnesota.
He served as an associate justice on the Supreme Court for 36 years
and was also a world traveler, conservationist, outdoorsman and author.
October 17, 1777 - During the American
Revolutionary War, British General John Burgoyne and his entire
army of 5,700 men surrendered to American General Horatio Gates after
the Battle of Saratoga, the first big American victory.
October 17-25, 1944 -
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history, took
place off the Philippine Islands, during World War II in the Pacific. The battle involved 216 U.S. warships
and 64 Japanese ships and resulted in the destruction of the Japanese
Navy including the Japanese Battleship Musashi, one of the largest
Birthday - Pope
John Paul I (1912-1978) was born in Forno di Canale, Italy (as Albino
Luciani). He was elected the 263rd Pope of the Roman Catholic Church
on September 28, 1978, but died in Rome just 34 days later.
October 18, 1685 - The Edict of Nantes was revoked
by King Louis XIV of France thus depriving Protestant Huguenots
of all religious and civil liberties previously granted to them by Henry
IV in 1598.
October 18, 1945 - The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial began with indictments against 24 former Nazi leaders including Hermann
Göring and Albert Speer. The trial lasted 10 months, with delivery
of the judgment completed on October 1, 1946. Twelve Nazis were sentenced
to death by hanging, three to life imprisonment, four to lesser prison
terms, and three were acquitted.
October 19, 1781 -
As their band played The World Turned Upside Down, the British
Army marched out in formation and surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown.
More than 7,000 British and Hessian troops, led by British General Lord
Cornwallis, surrendered to General George Washington. The war between
Britain and its American colonies was effectively ended. The final peace
treaty was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783.
October 19, 1960 -
The U.S. embargo of Cuba began as the State Department prohibited shipment
of all goods except medicine and food.
October 19, 1987 -
"Black Monday" occurred on Wall Street as stocks plunged a
record 508 points or 22.6 per cent, the largest one-day drop in stock
October 19, 1990 -
Beset by a seriously eroding economy, Soviet Russia's President Mikhail Gorbachev won
parliamentary approval to switch to a market economy.
October 20 Return
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October 20, 1818 -
The U.S. and Britain agreed to set the U.S.- Canadian border at the 49th
October 20, 1935 -
Mao Zedong's 6,000 mile "Long March" ended as his Communist
forces arrived at Yanan, in northwest China, almost a year after fleeing
Chiang Kai-shek's armies in the south.
October 20, 1944 - During World War II in the Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur set
foot on Philippine soil for the first time since his escape in 1942,
fulfilling his promise, "I shall return."
October 20, 1968 - Jacqueline Kennedy married multi-millionaire Greek businessman Aristotle
Onassis, ending nearly five years of widowhood following the assassination
of her first husband, President John
October 20, 1973 - The 'Saturday Night Massacre' occurred during the Watergate scandal
as President Richard M. Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox
and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Attorney General Elliot
Richardson resigned. A firestorm of political protest erupted over the
firings leading to widespread demands for Nixon's impeachment.
British architect Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was born in Wiltshire, in southwestern
England. Considered one of the greatest minds of his time, he designed
St. Paul's Cathedral and 52 churches for the City of London. His secular
buildings included the "new" wing of Hampton Court near London
and Greenwich Hospital, now the Royal Naval College.
October 21, 1805 - The Battle of Trafalgar took place between the British Royal Navy
and the combined French and Spanish fleets. The victorious British ended
the threat of Napoleon's invasion of England. British naval hero Admiral
Horatio Nelson was mortally wounded aboard his ship Victory.
October 21, 1879 - Thomas Edison successfully tested an electric incandescent lamp with
a carbonized filament at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, keeping
it lit for over 13 hours.
October 21, 1915 - The first transatlantic radio voice message was made by the American
Telephone and Telegraph Company from Virginia to Paris.
October 21, 1944 - During World War II
in Europe, American troops captured Aachen in western Germany after
a week of hard fighting. It was the first large German city taken by
October 21, 1967 - Thousands of anti-war protesters stormed the Pentagon during a
rally against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. About 250 were arrested.
No shots were fired, but demonstrators were struck with nightsticks
and rifle butts.
Birthday - Jazz
great Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)
was born in Cheraw, South Carolina (as John Birks Gillespie). He was
a trumpet player, composer, band leader and one of the founding fathers
of modern jazz, known for his trademark puffed cheeks and bent trumpet.
October 22, 1962 - President John F. Kennedy appeared
on television to inform Americans of the existence of Russian missiles
in Cuba. The President demanded their removal and announced a naval
"quarantine" of Cuba. Six days later, the Russians announced
they would remove the weapons. In return, the U.S. later removed missiles
October 22, 1979 - The exiled Shah of Iran arrived in the United States for medical treatment.
A few weeks later, Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran
and took 66 Americans hostage. They demanded the return of the Shah
for trial. The U.S. refused. The Shah died of cancer in July of 1980.
The hostages were freed in January of 1981.
Birthday - Hungarian
composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was born in Raiding, Hungary. He was
a brilliant pianist best known for Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Liebestraum No. 3, and his Faust and Dante symphonies.
October 23, 1942 -
British General Bernard Montgomery launched a major offensive against German forces under Erwin Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt.
October 23, 1956 -
A Hungarian uprising against Communist rule began with students and
workers demonstrating in Budapest. Soviet Russians responded by sending
in tanks and put down the revolt after several days of bitter fighting.
October 23, 1983 -
Terrorists drove a truck loaded with TNT into the U.S. and French headquarters
in Beirut, Lebanon, exploding it and killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58
October 23, 1989 -
Hungary declared itself a republic 33 years after Soviet Russian troops crushed
a popular revolt against Communist rule.
October 23, 1990 -
Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitaly Masol resigned after mass protests by
students, becoming the first Soviet official of that rank to quit under
October 24, 1861 -
The first transcontinental telegram in America was sent from San Francisco
to Washington, addressed to President Abraham
Lincoln from the Chief Justice of California.
October 24, 1922 -
The Irish Parliament voted to adopt a constitution for an Irish Free
State, which formally came into existence in December.
October 24, 1929 -
"Black Thursday" occurred in the New York Stock Exchange as
nearly 13 million shares were sold in panic selling. Five days later
"Black Tuesday" saw 16 million shares sold.
October 24, 1931 -
Chicago gangster "Scarface" Al Capone was sentenced to 11
years in jail for Federal income tax evasion. In 1934, he was transferred
to Alcatraz prison near San Francisco. He was paroled in 1939, suffering
from syphilis. He retired to his mansion in Miami Beach where he died
October 24, 1945 - The United Nations was founded.
October 24, 1980 -
Communist authorities in Poland granted recognition to the trade union
"Solidarity." It was subsequently outlawed in 1981 after the government
imposed martial law. In 1989, it was re-legalized.
October 24, 1994 -
For the first time in 25 years, British troops were absent from the
streets of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, following cease-fires by Irish Republican Army
(IRA) and pro-British forces.
October 25 Return
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October 25, 1854 -
During the Crimean War, the Charge of the Light Brigade occurred as
Lord Cardigan led the British cavalry against the Russians at Balaclava.
Of 673 British cavalrymen taking part in the charge, 272 were killed.
The Charge was later immortalized in the poem
by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
October 25, 1955 -
Austria reassumed its sovereignty with the departure of the last Allied
forces. The country had been occupied by the Nazis from 1938-45. After World
War II, it was divided into four occupation zones by the U.S., Russia, Britain and France.
October 25-30, 1983 - The Caribbean island of Grenada was invaded by the U.S. to restore
"order and democracy." Over 2,000 Marines and Army Rangers
seized control after a political coup the previous week had made the
island a "Soviet-Cuban colony," according to President Ronald
Birthday - Artist Pablo
Picasso (1881-1973) was born in Malaga, Spain. He was an experimental
painter and also became a fine sculptor, engraver and ceramist.
October 26, 1881 -
The shoot-out at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, occurred between
the feuding Clanton and Earp families. Wyatt Earp, two of his brothers
and "Doc" Holliday gunned down two Clantons and two others.
October 26, 1825 - The Erie Canal opened as the first major man-made waterway in America,
linking Lake Erie with the Hudson River, bypassing the British-controlled
lower St. Lawrence. The canal cost over $7 million and took eight years
October 26, 1951 - Winston Churchill became Britain's prime minister for a second time,
following his Conservative Party's narrow victory in general elections.
In his first term from 1940-45 he had guided Britain through its struggle
against Nazi Germany.
October 26, 1955 - Ngo Dinh Diem proclaimed South Vietnam a republic and declared himself
Birthday - Hillary Rodham Clinton was born in Park Ridge, Illinois, October
26, 1947. She was First Lady from 1993-2001 during the presidency of her husband Bill Clinton. In 2000, she became the only First Lady ever elected to the U.S. Senate, serving as a Democrat from New York. She was re-elected in 2006 and then began a presidential campaign, hoping to become America's first female president. She lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama who went on to win the general election and appointed her as U.S. Secretary of State in 2008.
October 27, 1787 - The first of 85 Federalist Papers appeared in print in a New York
City newspaper. The essays argued for the adoption of the new U.S. Constitution.
They were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.
October 27, 1904 - The New York City subway began operating, running from City
Hall to West 145th Street, the first underground and underwater
rail system in the world.
October 27, 1978 - The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Menachem Begin of Israel
and Anwar Sadat of Egypt.
British navigator James Cook (1728-1779) was born in Yorkshire, England. He
explored New Zealand, Australia, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Birthday - Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
the 26th U.S. President was born in New York City. He succeeded to the
presidency following the assassination of President William McKinley.
Roosevelt served from September 14, 1901 to March 3, 1909. Best remembered
for stating, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."
Birthday - Welsh
poet and playwright Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was born in Swansea, Wales.
His works included; The World I Breathe, Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Dog, The Doctor and the Devil and the drama Under
October 28, 1636 - Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in America,
was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was named after John Harvard, a Puritan
who donated his library and half of his estate. Distinguished alumni include;
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Henry James, and NAACP founder
W.E.B. Du Bois.
October 28, 1846 - The Donner Party departed Illinois heading for California. The group
totaled 90 persons, including immigrants, families and businessmen,
led by George and Jacob Donner. Tragedy later struck as they became
stranded in snow in the Sierras where famine and cannibalism took its
toll. There were 48 survivors by the end of their journey in April of
October 28, 1886 - The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Bedloe's Island in New York
Harbor. The statue was a gift from the people of France commemorating
the French-American alliance during the American
Revolutionary War. Designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the entire
structure stands 300 feet (92.9 meters) tall. The pedestal contains
the words: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside
the golden door!"
October 28, 1918 - The Republic of Czechoslovakia was founded, assembled from three provinces
- Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia - which had been part of the former
October 28, 1918 - In the waning days of World War I, mutiny broke out in the German
fleet at Kiel. Ships in port ran up the red flag of revolution. The
uprising spread to Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck, resulting in a general
strike in Berlin which brought the government of Kaiser Wilhelm to a
October 28, 1919 - Prohibition began in the U.S. with the passage of the National Prohibition
(Volstead) Act by Congress. Sales of drinks containing more than one
half of one percent of alcohol became illegal. Called a "noble
experiment" by Herbert Hoover, prohibition last nearly 14 years
and became highly profitable for organized crime which manufactured
and sold liquor in saloons called speakeasies.
October 28, 1922 - Fascist blackshirts began their "March on Rome" from Naples
which resulted in the formation of a dictatorship under Benito Mussolini.
October 28, 1949 - Helen Anderson became the first woman ambassador, appointed by President
Harry Truman to be Ambassador to Denmark.
October 28, 1958 - Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Patriarch of Venice, was elected
Pope, taking the title John XXIII. Best known for undertaking the 21st
Ecumenical Council (Vatican II).
October 28, 1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ended with the announcement by Soviet Russia's leader Nikita Khrushchev
that his Soviet government was halting construction of missile bases in Cuba
and would remove the offensive missiles. President Kennedy immediately accepted
the offer then lifted the U.S. naval blockade of Cuba.
October 28, 1971 - The British House of Commons voted 356-244 in favor of joining the
European Economic Community.
Birthday - Dr. Jonas
Salk (1914-1995) was born in New York City. In 1952, he developed a
vaccine for the dreaded childhood disease Polio (poliomyelitis, also
known as infantile paralysis). His vaccine reduced deaths from Polio
in the U.S. by 95%.
Birthday - Microsoft
founder Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, October 28, 1955.
In 1975, he co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, designing software
for IBM computers. By 1980, Microsoft became the leading software company
for IBM compatible computers. Gates became a billionaire by age 31 and
remains one of the world's wealthiest individuals.
October 29, 1618 - British explorer Sir Walter Raleigh was executed in London for treason
on orders from King James I.
October 29, 1929 - The stock market crashed as over 16 million shares were dumped amid
tumbling prices. The Great Depression followed in America,
lasting until the outbreak of World War II.
Birthday - Nazi
propaganda minister Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) was born in Rheydt,
near Dusseldorf, Germany. Considered a master propagandist, he controlled
all Nazi newspapers, radio and film production. He was a virulent
anti-Semite who advocated the extermination of the Jews. Devoted to
Hitler until the end, he died at Hitler's Berlin bunker in 1945 after
poisoning his six children.
October 30, 1905 - To counter the spread of revolutionary movements in Russia, Czar Nicholas
II took a step toward constitutional government by allowing for an elected
parliament (Duma) with legislative powers and guaranteeing civil liberties.
October 30, 1938 - The War of the Worlds radio broadcast panicked millions of
Americans. Actor Orson Welles and the Mercury Players dramatized the
story by H.G. Wells depicting a Martian invasion of New Jersey. Their
script utilized simulated radio news bulletins which many listeners
thought were real.
October 30, 1990 - For the first time since the Ice Age, Great Britain was connected with the
European continent, via a new rail tunnel under the English Channel.
Birthday - John Adams (1735-1826) the
2nd U.S. President was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He served from March
4, 1797 to March 3, 1801. He had been George Washington's vice president,
and was the father of John Quincy Adams, the 6th President. He died
on July 4, 1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson, on the 50th anniversary
of adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
Birthday - Emily
Post (1872-1960) was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She wrote influential
books on etiquette and a syndicated newspaper column giving advice on
manners in specific situations.
Birthday - Admiral
William "Bull" Halsey (1882-1959) was born in Elizabeth, New
Jersey. He was the American fleet commander during World
War II in the Pacific and played a leading role in the defeat of
the Japanese. In 1942, he launched the Doolittle Raid, the first air
raid on Japan. From 1942-44, he coordinated successful attacks on the
Solomon Islands and New Guinea. In 1944, he led the U.S. fleet to victory
at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history.
October 31st - Halloween
or All Hallow's Eve, an ancient celebration combining the Christian
festival of All Saints with Pagan autumn festivals.
October 31, 1517 - Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg's palace church, denouncing the selling of
papal indulgences and questioning various ecclesiastical practices.
This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
October 31, 1940 - The Battle of Britain concluded. Beginning on July 10, 1940, German
bombers and fighters had attacked coastal targets, airfields, London
and other cities, as a prelude to a Nazi invasion of England. British
pilots in Spitfires and Hurricanes shot down over 1,700 German aircraft
while losing 915 fighters. "Never in the field of human conflict
was so much owed by so many to so few," declared Prime Minister Winston
October 31, 1941 - Mount Rushmore National Memorial was completed after 14 years of work. The memorial contains 60-foot-tall sculptures of the heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt - representing America's
founding, political philosophy, preservation, and expansion and conservation.
October 31, 1950 - Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in a National
Basketball Association (NBA) game when he took the floor for the Washington
Capitols in Rochester, New York.
October 31, 1952 - The U.S. detonated its first hydrogen bomb at the Elugelab Atoll in
the Eniwetok Proving Grounds in the Pacific Marshall Islands.
October 31, 1961 - The body of Joseph Stalin was removed from the mausoleum in Red Square
and reburied within the Kremlin walls among the graves of lesser Soviet
heroes. This occurred as part of Russia's de-Stalinization program under
his successor Nikita Khrushchev. Stalin's name was also removed from
public buildings, streets, and factories. Stalingrad was renamed Volgograd.
October 31, 1968 - During the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson ordered a halt of
American bombing of North Vietnam.
October 31, 1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by three Sikh
members of her bodyguard while walking in the garden of her New Delhi
Birthday - Chinese
soldier and statesman Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) was born in Chekiang.
Educated at the Wampoa Military Academy, he led the KMT (nationalist)
forces in the struggle against the Communist army led by Mao Zedong.
(Photo and picture credits:
Library of Congress and U.S. National Archives)