This Day In History
1492 - Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, sighted Watling Island in the Bahamas. He believed that he had found Asia while attempting to find a Western ocean route to India. The same day he claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain.
1792 - The first monument honoring Christopher Columbus was dedicated in Baltimore, MD.
1810 - Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The royalty invited the public to attend the event which became an annual celebration that later became known as Oktoberfest.
1860 - Inventor Elmer Sperry was born on this day. He held patents on more than 400 inventions. The most important being the Sperry Automatic Pilot.
1892 - In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Columbus landing the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in public schools.
1895 - In Newport, RI, the first amateur golf tournament was held.
1915 - Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt criticized U.S. citizens who identified themselves by dual nationalities.
1915 - British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium during World War I.
1920 - Construction of the Holland Tunnel began. It opened on November 13, 1927. The tunnel links Jersey City, NJ and New York City, NY.
1933 - John Dillinger, bank robber, escaped from a jail in Allen County, OH. The sheriff was killed by his gang as they helped Dillinger escape.
1933 - The U.S. Department of Justice acquired Alcatraz Island from the U.S. Army.
1937 - "Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons" debuted on radio.
1938 - Filming began on "The Wizard of Oz."
1942 - During World War II, Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.
1945 - Private First Class Desmond T. Doss was presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery as a medical corpsman. He was the first conscientious objector in American history to win the award.
1950 - The Kefauver Crime Commission convened in New York to investigate interstate organized crime.
1960 - Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev pounded a shoe on his desk during a dispute at a U.N. General Assembly.
1961 - The first video memoirs by a U.S. president were made. Walter Cronkite interviewed Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1964 - The Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1 into orbit around the Earth. It was the first space flight to have a multi-person crew and the first flight to be performed without space suits.
1972 - During the Vietnam War, a racial brawl broke out aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. Nearly 50 sailors were injured.
1976 - China announced that Hua Guo-feng was named to succeed the late Mao Tse-tung as chairman of the Communist Party.
1984 - An attempt on British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's life was unsuccessful, but did take the lives of five people. The bomb had been planted by the I.R.A.
1988 - Federal prosecutors announced that the Sundstrand Corp. would pay $115 million dollars to settle with the Pentagon for overbilling airplane parts over a five-year period.
1989 - The U.S. House of Representatives approved a statutory federal ban on the destruction of the American flag.
1993 - The play "Mixed Emotions" opened at the John Golden Theatre.
1994 - Haitian military leader Raoul Cedras was granted political asylum by Panama.
1994 - The Magellan space probe ended its four-year mission to Venus for the purpose of mapping.
1997 - The St. Francis Basilica and 15th-century bell tower above Foligno city hall in Italy were damaged by 3 earthquakes.
1998 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Online Copyright Bill.
1999 - Rob Reiner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1999 - In Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup that toppled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Supreme Court ruled that the coup was legal but insisted that a civilian government be restored within three years.
2000 - In Aden, Yemen, the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer, experienced a large explosion while refueling. The explosion was the result of a terrorist attack using a small boat. 17 crewmembers were killed and at least 39 were injured.
2000 - In Denver, CO, the U.S. District Court denied Timothy McVeigh's request for a new trial.
2001 - A special episode of America's Most Wanted was aired that focused on 22 wanted terrorists. The show was specifically requested by U.S. President George W. Bush.
2001 - A car bomb exploded in Madrid, Spain, that injured 17 people. Basque separatists claimed responsibility.
2002 - In Bali, Indonesia, over 180 people were killed and over 300 were injured when a bomb was detonated in a nightclub district.
2006 - The Dow Jones industrial average advanced over 11,900 for the first time.
Whose Birthday Is It?
Elmer Sperry 1860
Perle Mesta 1891
Joe Cronin 1906
Guitar Gabriel 1925
Antonia Rey 1927
Nappy Brown 1929
Ned Jarrett 1932
Jean Nidetch 1932
Dick Gregory 1932
Luciano Pavarotti 1935
Samuel Moore 1935
Lawrence Jeffrey 1940
Melvin Franklin 1942
Chris Wallace 1947
Rick Parfitt 1948
Susan Anton 1950
Ronald E. McNair 1950
Pat DiNizzio 1955
Dave Vanian 1956
Claude McKnight 1962
Adam Rich 1968
Hugh Jackman 1968
Garfield Bright 1969
Martie Seidel 1969
Kirk Cameron 1970
Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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