History 1 Day 2
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4000BC The Universe is created at 8:00pm, according to the 1650 pronouncement of Anglican archbishop James Usher.
1721 Peter the Great is proclaimed Emperor of all of Russia, dropping the title of Tsar.
1746 The Royal Governor of New Jersey officially charters the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University.
1797 The first successful parachute descent is made by Andre-Jacqes Garnerin, who jumps from a balloon at some 2,200 feet above the Parc Monceau, in Paris.
1824 The Tennessee Legislature adjourns ending Davy Crockett's state political career.
1836 General Sam Houston is sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Texas.
1844 The Great Disappointment: The Millerism movement ends this day. You see, William Miller, religious leader and founder of the Adventist church, had committed a cardinal sin of charismatic evangelism: He'd set a date for the return of Christ. Today. Over 100,000 disillusioned followers return to their former churches, or abandon the Christian faith altogether when Christ fails to show. Some of his followers had gotten rid of all their earthly possessions and climbed to high places so as to be among the first saved when the world ends.
1859 Spain declares war on the Moors in Morocco.
1862 US Civil War: Union troops push 5,000 confederates out of Maysbille, Arkansas at the Second Battle of Pea Ridge.
1875 The Sons of the American Revolution is organized.
1882 Birth: N. C. Wyeth, painter, famous for his illustrations of Treasure Island and Robin Hood.
1887 Birth: John Reed, American journalist; poet and revolutionary, will report on Mexican, Russian revolutions (Ten Days That Shook the World).
1896 Birth: Charles Glenn King, biochemist; will identify vitamin C.
1903 Birth: George Wells Beadle, American geneticist, Nobel Prize winner for medicine.
1905 Birth: Karl Jansky; will discover cosmic radio emissions in 1932.
1907 Ringling Brothers buys out Barnum & Bailey.
1909 French aviator, Elise Deroche (Baronne de la Roche), becomes the first woman to make a solo flight, a distance of 300 yards.
1914 The Revenue Act passes the US Congress. It imposes the first income tax on incomes over $3,000 to offset loss of tariff money brought about through enactment of the Underwood-Simmons Act of 1913. (See October 3, 1913) (Schlesinger I)
1914 WW1: The US formally withdraws its demand that Britain keep to the letter of the Declaration of London and cease confiscating American cargoes. The British are now willingly paying for the confiscated goods, and Americans are making a good profits without loss of life to their crews. Thereafter, Britain contains the German fleet in harbor and dries to a trickle the flow of goods to the Central Powers. Smarting under the impact of the blockade, Germany is forced to increase its U-boat activity. (Schlesinger I)
1917 Russian Revolution: Lenin secretly returns from Finland. After giving his instructions to the Bolsheviks at a secret session of the Bolshevik Central Committee, he once again goes into hiding.
1918 The cities of Baltimore and Washington run out of coffins during the 'Spanish Influenza' epidemic.
1920 Birth: Timothy Leary, Harvard professor, American psychologist and counterculture guru who will experiment with and popularize psychedelic drugs.
1925 Birth: Robert Rauschenberg, US painter, pop artist (Gloria).
1928 Herbert Hoover closes his campaign for the presidency in 1928 with a speech that expresses the philosophy not only of Hoover, but of the Republican Party. "During WW1 we necessarily turned to the government to solve every difficult economic problem. The government having absorbed every energy of our people for war, there was no other solution. For the preservation of the state the Federal Government became a centralized despotism which undertook unprecedented responsibilities, assumed autocratic powers, and took over the business of citizens. To a large degree, we regimented our whole people temporally into a socialistic state. However justified in war time, if continued in peacetime it would destroy not only our American system but with it our progress and freedom as well. When the war closed, the most vital of issues both in our own country and around the world was whether government should continue their wartime ownership and operation of many [instruments] of production and distribution. We were challenged with a... choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. The acceptance of these ideas would have meant the destruction of self-government through centralization... [and] the undermining of the individual initiative and enterprise through which our people have grown to unparalleled greatness..."
1929 The president of New York's National City Bank states, " I know of nothing fundamentally wrong with the stock market or with the underlying business and credit structure." Nevertheless, there have been heavy withdrawals of capital from America after the Bank of England raised its interest to 6.5 percent. (Schlesinger I)
1934 Death: Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd, shot dead by the FBI in Ohio.
1934 Hermann Goering, speaking in Hitler's name, offers to guarantee all of Romania's borders, including those with Russia and Hungary, and to completely rearm Romania with modern weapons, if it will pledge to oppose any attempt by Soviet troops to cross Romanian territory. Nicolae Titulescu, the Romanian Prime Minister, however, had previously promised the French and Czechoslovaks to allow the Soviets to cross Romania in case of war. Titulescu then attempts to conceal Goering's offer from his ministry and the Romanian government.
1936 Belgium declares martial law to combat Rexist violence.
1936 Spanish Civil War: Oct 22-25 Spanish Republicans (Socialists) transfer Spain's gold reserves to the Soviet Union. (Edelheit)
1937 The Duke and Duchess of Windsor arrive in Berlin to meet Hitler, study housing conditions and hear a concert by the Nazi District Orchestra.
1938 American inventor Chester Carlson succeeds in making the world's first xerox copy. It will be another 20 years before the first commercial copiers appear. Carlson will attempt to sell the machine to IBM, RCA, Kodak and others, but they see no use for a gadget that makes nothing but copies.
1939 WW2: 'Elections' are held in Soviet-occupied Poland now called "Western Byelorussia" and "Western Ukraine." The USSR confiscates all property including bank accounts, and replaces Polish currency with the ruble. Poles are fired from their jobs and thrown into jail as the NKVD compiles lists for deportation. Factories, hospitals, schools, are dismantled and shipped to the USSR. Polish education and language is phased out; libraries are closed and books burned. Churches are destroyed and priests arrested--even the wearing of crosses is forbidden. Owning a typewriter is now a crime.
1940 Holocaust: The German government deports more than 15,000 German Jews from the Rhineland to several internment camps in France, at the foot of the Pyrenees. Conditions in the camps result in the deaths of nearly 2,000 deportees. (Atlas)
1941 WW2: A notice is posted in Kiev informing the citizens that 100 hostages will be shot for every act of sabotage. (See November 2) (Apparatus)
1952 The complete Jewish Torah is published in English for the first time. A collection of oral and written commentary, dating from 200BC to AD 500, on the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah comprises the basic religious code of Judaism.
1953 Laos gains full independence from France.
1954 As a result of the Geneva accords granting Communist control over North Vietnam, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes a crash program to train the South Vietnamese Army.
1954 West Germany joins the NATO.
1955 The prototype of the F-105 Thunder Chief makes its maiden flight.
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis: The US reveals that the Soviet Union is constructing missile sites in Cuba. US President Kennedy goes on radio and television to inform his nation about his order to send US forces to blockade Cuba. The naval and air blockade is to prevent further shipment of military equipment to Cuba.
1962 British Admiralty clerk William Vassall is jailed for 18 years for spying for the Soviet Union.
1964 Jean Paul Sarttre rejects the Nobel Prize for Literature, fearing it will dull the impact of his writing.
1966 Luna 12 is launched on a mission carrying instrumentation to study the Moon. The spacecraft is equipped with a television system that obtains and transmits photographs of the lunar surface. Pictures of the lunar surface will be returned on 27 October 1966. Luna 12 radio transmissions cease on 19 January 1967, after 602 lunar orbits and 302 radio transmissions.
1966 Soviet spy George Blake escapes from Wormwood Scrubs prison where he was serving a 42 year sentence.
1968 Apollo 7, after orbiting the Earth 163 times, splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean.
1969 Paul McCartney officially denies that he is dead. Some remain unconvinced.
1973 The UN Security Council passes Resolution 338 providing for a cease fire in the Yom Kippur War.
1975 The Soviet spacecraft Venera 9 soft-lands on Venus.
1977 International Sun-Earth Explorers 1 and 2 are launched into Earth orbit.
1979 The deposed Shah of Iran arrives in New York for medical treatment, a decision that will precipitate the Iran hostage crisis.
1980 The new South Korean constitution goes into effect.
1981 The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization is decertified as the US national debt tops $1 trillion; all thanks to the popular President Reagan.
1987 A deer hunter in Star Lake, New York, finds an airplane in a tree. It had taken off 65 miles away after its pilot had cranked the propellor and failed to get aboard.
1987 An Iranian Silkworm missile badly damages Kuwait's supertanker loading terminal. Note: At this time, Kuwait is supporting Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War.
1988 Dominos: In an extraordinary sequence of events, a dog falls from a Buenos Aires building killing a woman. Another woman who is watching is knocked down and killed by a bus. A man who witnesses both incidents dies of a heart attack.
1988 The US Congress passes a bill designed to combat fiscal corruption. The bill doubles the maximum prison term for insider trading, bringing the toughest sentence to ten years in jail. The bill also raises the ceiling on fines for insider trading up to $1 million for individuals and $2.5 million for corporations and partnerships. Along with stricter penalties, the new laws make companies responsible for improper trading committed by their employees. Wall Street greets the new legislation with measured approval. Edward I. O'Brien, president of the Securities Industry Association, deems the new penalties to be "high", though he concedes that the bill is "generally the right thing" for the industry.
1990 President George HW Bush vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1990, saying it will lead to a quota system.
1991 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir warns that Israel will refuse to negotiate with any Palestinians who claim alliance to the PLO.
1991 The European Community and the European Free Trade Association agree to create a free trade zone of 19 nations by the year 1993.
1997 US inspectors discover E. coli bacteria in imported Canadian beef, halting shipments of 34,000 pounds.
2001 The Pentagon announces that nearly 200 US jets have struck Taliban and al Quaida communications facilities, barracks and training camps and disputes Taliban claims that 100 civilians died when a bomb hit a hospital in western Afghanistan.
2001 Israeli tanks continue to roll into Palestinian controlled areas and engage in street battles with Palestinians. The Bush administration asks Israel to leave the West Bank ASAP.
2001 Defense Secretary Rumsfeld scolds the press for troop movement leaks that he claims may jeopardize lives or
2001 President Bush returns to Washington from China.
2001 Two Washington postal workers suddenly die: Anthrax is the suspected cause.
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This page was last updated on October 20, 2005