October – An Interesting Historical Month


The month of October has seen many incredible occurrences. I have only listed the most notable here and have removed many of the other events - I thought I would share them with you:


October 1, 1908 - Henry Ford's Model T, a "universal car" designed for the masses, went on sale for the first time.


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 - 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.


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, 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 6, 1927 - The first "talkie" opened in New York. The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson was the first full-length feature film using spoken dialogue.


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.


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 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 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, 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 "Manhattan Project."


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 and denominations.


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 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 14, 1947 - U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier, flying in a rocket-powered research aircraft.


October 15, 1917 - World War I spy Mata Hari was executed by a French firing squad at Vincennes Barracks, outside Paris.


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 Sinkiang.


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 20, 1818 - The U.S. and Britain agreed to set the U.S.- Canadian border at the 49th parallel.


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 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 in 1947.


October 24, 1945 - The United Nations was founded.


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 to complete.


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 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 1847.


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, 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, 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.


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%.


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, 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, 1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by three Sikh members of her bodyguard while walking in the garden of her New Delhi home.


HERE'S HOPING EVERYONE HAS A GREAT MONTH!!!