1600: Jacopo Peri’s Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, premiered in Florence, Italy, signifying the beginning of the Baroque period
1683: German immigrants founded Germantown in the colony of Pennsylvania, becoming the first major immigration of German people to America.
1876: The American Library Association was founded in Philadelphia.
1889: American inventor Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture in New York City.
1927: The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue, was released, heralding the commercial ascendance of ‘talkies’ and the decline of the silent-film era.
1945: “The Curse of the Billy Goat” was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs when Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, and his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series because some fans complained about the goat’s odor. Outraged, Sianis angrily declared, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” which has been interpreted to mean that there would never be another World Series game won at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have not won a National League pennant since this incident and have not won a World Series since 1908.
1963: Born this day: actor Jsu Garcia (Nightmare on Elm Street), and actress Elisabeth Shue (Karate Kid, Back to the Future Part II).
1979: Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit the White House.
2012: A world record was set when 249 combines in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, reaped 200 acres of oats in 12 minutes.
2014: Teresa Romero, 44, a nurse in Madrid, Spain, became the first person in the world to contract the deadly Ebola virus outside of western Africa. (She contracted it while treating two missionaries who had been flown home to Spain after contracting the disease in West Africa. She made a full recovery.)
1477: Uppsala University, the oldest university in Sweden, opened.
1826: The Granite Railway, from Quincy to Milton, Mass., began operating as the first chartered railway in the U.S.
1868: Cornell University opened in Ithaca, N.Y., with 412 students.
1916: Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University 222-0 in the most lopsided college football game in American history.
1959: USSR probe Luna 3 transmitted the first ever photographs of the far side of the Moon. Born this day: actor Dylan Baker (Planes, Trains and Automobiles), and Simon Cowell (creator of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent).
1993: The Mississippi River at St. Louis, Mo., fell below flood stage for the first time in 103 days, ending the Great Flood of 1993.
1996: The Fox “News” Channel began broadcasting.
1904: Edmonton, Alberta, and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, were incorporated as cities.
1921: The first live radio broadcast of a football game occurred over KDKA at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh.
1943: Born this day: actor Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), and author R. L. Stine (Fear Street, Goosebumps, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room).
1956: Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitched the only perfect game in a World Series, one of only 21 perfect games in MLB history.
1969: Born this day: actors Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan), and Dylan Neal (The Bold and the Beautiful).
1974: Franklin National Bank of Long Island, N.Y., collapsed due to fraud and mismanagement. It was the largest bank failure to date in the history of the United States.
1604: Supernova 1604 occurred in the Milk Way and became the most recent supernova to be observed with the naked eye.
1701: The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later Yale) was founded in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
1919: The Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, allowing the Cincinnati Reds to win. The infamous event became known as the Black Sox scandal.
1976: Born this day: actors Sam Riegel (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Nick Swardson (Reno 911!).
1980: Pope John Paul II shook hands with the Dalai Lama during a private audience in Vatican City.
1981: France abolished capital punishment.
1985: Beatrice Foods unveiled its “Monday Night Winning Lineup” scratch card game, a marketing disaster that soon cost the company about $14 million in prize payments and class-action lawsuit settlements.
1992: A 28½-pound fragment of a meteorite landed in the driveway of the Knapp residence in Peekskill, N.Y., destroying the family’s 1980 Chevrolet Malibu.
1911: Whisky distiller Jack Daniel died from blood poisoning as a result of an infection in one of his toes. (The toe had become infected after he injured it while kicking his safe in anger because he could not remember the combination.)
1969: Born this day: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, and actress Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911!).
1971: The reassembled London Bridge officially opened in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Robert McCulloch had bought the bridge from the British government in 1962 for $2.46 million. He had it disassembled and moved by ships and trucks to Arizona.
1973: U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned after being charged with federal income tax evasion.
2002: Mike Taylor, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate against Montana Democrat Max Baucus, dropped out of the race 26 days before the election after TV ads revealed he had been involved in defrauding the U.S. government when he was operating a beauty school in Colorado in the 1990s.
1884: Born this day: First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt (died 1962), and German actor Sig Ruman (A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, died 1967).
1910: Former President Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers at Kinloch Field (now Lambert-St. Louis International Airport), St. Louis, Mo.
1929: J.C. Penney opened store #1252 in Milford, Del., making it the first nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.
1975: Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC with George Carlin as host. Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in Little Rock, Ark.
2001: The Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.
1492: Christopher Columbus made landfall on one of the islands of the Bahamas, believing he had reached East Asia.
1773: America’s first insane asylum, The Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, in Williamsburg, Va., admitted its first patient.
1792: The first celebration of Columbus Day in the United States was held in New York City.
1810: The first Oktoberfest was celebrated in Munich, Germany.
1892: The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited by students in many U.S. public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.
1928: The negative-pressure ventilator, a.k.a. “iron lung,” was used for the first time at Children’s Hospital in Boston.
1933: The U.S. Justice Department acquired the United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island for use as a federal prison.
Montana History with “The Eagle”
The Eagle, Roland W. Reed, 1913. Three Piegan, Montana Blackfeet, posed in Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. Roland W. Reed’s heroic compositions paid tribute to earlier times. His romantic images displayed technical brilliance in lighting, focus, and form. Reed and other pictorialists helped establish photography as a fine art, worthy of display in museums.
Photo courtesy of
Montana History Consortium