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 "Did You Know..."


Notable Historic Events

for the Month of October




October 21st


 El Capitan at Yosemite

El Capitan, Yosemite

1890...Congress creates Yosemite National Park in California.  Yosemite becomes known for its giant sequoia trees, tall waterfalls and giant granite rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome.

1949...China becomes a Communist country, as Mao Zedong announces the "People's Republic of China" and proclaims himself the premier.


October 22nd

Highway History

Highway History

1963...President Kennedy addresses the nation on television to inform Americans about missiles going up in Cuba and the need to protect American cities from attack.  Cuba is blockaded and the Cuban Missile Crises begins.

1965...President Lyndon Johnson signs the Highway Beautification Act. Excessive billboards and junk yards are no longer allowed on highway roads and steps are taken to make the preserve and improve the scenery along the roadways.

2012...Lance Armstrong is stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for use of performance enhancing drugs and other unethical practices.


October 23rd

Marcus Brutus

Marcus Brutus

42...Marcus Junius Brutus is defeated at the second battle at Philippi and kills himself.  Brutus is well-known as being a friend of Caesar, yet he participates in his assassination. When Caesar recognizes him, he utters the oft quoted words "Et tu Brute?" meaning "Even you, Brutus?"

1983...A truck filled with explosives drives into the U.S. Marine Corps barracks at the airport in Beirut. A total of 241 American Military servicemen are killed in the explosion.

2002...Fifty Chechen rebels storm a theater in Moscow and take 700 people hostage.  The Islamist terrorist demand the Russians remove their forces from Chechnya and end the war.


October 24th

The George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge

1861...For the first time instantaneous coast-to-coast communication is possible as Western Union Telegraph links east and west lines at Salt Lake City, Utah.

1901...Annie Edson Taylor, a 63 year old school teacher, is the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1931...The George Washington Bridge is dedicated.  It is a 4,760 foot suspension bridge, and it connects New York and New Jersey over the Hudson River.


October 25th

Kamikaze damage

Kamikaze damage

1854...The "Charge of the Light Brigade" occurs as Lord James Cardigan leads British cavalry again Russian artillery in the Crimean War.   About 110 men die and 161 are wounded. The obviously doomed charge is looked back on as both heroic and disastrous.

1944...The Japanese deploy Kamikaze suicide bombers against American warships for the first time during The Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines.

1971...The United Nations, with the affirmative votes of  the US representatives, allow  Communist China to become a member of the United Nations.  However, contrary to the objections of the United States, Taiwan is expelled.


October 26th

Bill Buckner

Bill Buckner

1825...The Erie Canal opens, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River to New York.

1881...Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday face off against the Clanton Cowboy Gang, in the legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

1986...Bill Buckner, of the Boston Red Sox, lets an easy ground ball dribble between his legs, allowing the Mets to score and then win the World Series. It has become the most famous error in baseball history.


October 27th

Vintage NY Subway

Vintage NY Subway

1873...Joseph Glidden, of Illinois, gets a patent for his design of barbed wire fencing. This invention will greatly aid settlers homesteading in the American West.

1904...The New York Subway System opens. London had the first world subway and  Boston the first in the US.  However, the York Subway would become the largest subway system in the world.

2014...Boston wins the World Series for the first time since 1918, allowing them to overcome the "Curse of the Bambino" after the sale Babe Ruth to the Yankees.


October 28th

  The Gateway Arch   

The Gateway Arch

1918...German sailors, knowing of pending peace talks, refuse five orders from  German Admiralty to launch suicidal attacks against the British Navy.

1962...The Cuban Missile Crisis comes to an end as Khrushchev agrees to remove Russian missiles in Cuba in exchange for no future US invasion of Cuba.

1965...The 630 foot high stainless steel Gateway Arch, designed by the American educated and Finnish born architect Eero Saarinan, is completed. 


October 29th

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh

1618...Sir Walter Raleigh, organizer of three expeditions to America and the first English settlement, is beheaded in London for conspiracy against King James I.

1777...John Hancock resigns his position as President of the Continental Congress because of ill health.  Hancock was the first member to sign the Declaration of Independence and is well known for his large, clear signature.

1998...John Glen goes back into space at age 77.  John Glen was the first American to orbit the earth, and now he is aboard the space shuttle Discovery.


October 30th

Orson Welles

Orson Welles

1893...On the last day of the Chicago Exposition, which celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Columbus and his discovery of America,  the exhibition demonstrates the first gas powered motor car, electric light, and Juicy Fruit Gum.

1938...Orson Welles, 23 years old but a Veteran of radio productions, causes panic with his realistic "War of the Worlds" radio dramatization of an  invasion from Mars.

1975...Prince Juan Carlos becomes head of the Spanish state when dictator Franco is too ill to govern.  When Franco dies a few days later, Carlos begins his country's change to democracy.

October 31st


Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

1517...Martin Luther, priest and scholar, nails his Proclamation to the door of the Castel Church in Wittenberg, Germany.  His 95 Thesis document would begin the Protestant Reformation.

1926...The most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, Harry Houdini, dies at age 52, of a burst appendix in a Detroit hospital. 

1950...Twenty-one year old Earl Lloyd, of the University of West Virginia, becomes the first African-American to play in the National Basketball Association for The Washington Capitals.


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