1814: The first documented public singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” occurred when Baltimore actor Ferdinand Durang sang it at Captain McCauley’s tavern.
1864: Confederate raiders attacked Saint Albans, Vermont, from Canada, in the northernmost land battle of the American Civil War.
1914: The U.S. Post Office began delivering mail using government-owned vehicles for the first time, instead of contracted vehicles.
1917: Love Field, an airport in Dallas, Texas, opened for business.
1936: Watertown High School in Watertown, S.D., became the first high school to fingerprint students.
1943: Streptomycin, the first antibiotic treatment for tuberculosis, was isolated by researchers at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J.
1987: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 percent, 508 points.
2003: Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
1818: The Convention of 1818 between the United States and the United Kingdom settled the U.S.-Canada border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.
1964: Herbert Clark Hoover (31st U.S. president, 1929-1933) died in New York City at age 90.
1968: Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
1973: After 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II; the $80 million structure, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and funded by the profits of the Opera House Lotteries, was built on Bennelong Point, in Sydney, Australia.
1824: Joseph Aspdin patented Portland cement in England.
1921: President Warren G. Harding delivered the first speech by a sitting President against lynching in the deep south. The silent movie The Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino, premiered in New York.
1940: The first edition of the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway was published in New York by Charles Scribner’s Sons.
1945: Women in France were allowed to vote for the first time.
1746: The College of New Jersey received its charter. (It was later renamed Princeton University.)
1797: André-Jacques Garnerin (1769-1823) performed the first parachute jump from a hot air balloon, 3,200 feet above Paris, France.
1879: Inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) tested the first practical electric incandescent light bulb using a filament of carbonized thread. (It lasted 13½ hours before burning out).
1914: Congress enacted the first U.S. income tax.
1926: McGill University student J. Gordon Whitehead (age unknown) sucker punched magician Harry Houdini (born 1874) in the stomach in Montreal, Quebec. (Houdini died of peritonitis on Oct. 31.)
1936: The first Volkswagen was publicly driven in Germany.
1966: The Supremes became the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A-Go-Go).
1976: Red Dye No. 4 was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after it was discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs. (The dye is still used in Canada.)
1861: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Washington, D.C., for all military-related cases.
1899: The first stage play featuring the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), opened at the Star Theatre in Buffalo, NY.
1911: An Italian pilot took off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War, in what was the first use of an aircraft in war.
1946: The United Nations General Assembly convened for the first time, at an auditorium in Flushing, Queens, New York City.
1947: On a cloudless day, thousands of freshwater fish fell from the sky in Marksville, Louisiana.
1861: The first transcontinental telegraph message was transmitted from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, bringing the end of the 18-month-old Pony Express.
1901: Annie Edson Taylor (1838-1921) rode in a barrel over Niagara Falls and survived, becoming the first person to do so.
1931: The George Washington Bridge opened across the Hudson River, linking New Jersey and New York.
1939: Nylon stockings first went on sale at the New York World’s Fair.
1946: A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of earth from outer space.
2003: The last passenger flight of the Concorde jet airliner took place from New York to Paris.
2008: Many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10 percent, in what became known as “Bloody Friday.”
1764: Abigail Smith (1744-1818) married John Adams (1735-1826), who later became the second U.S. president, from 1797 to 1801.
1938: The Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa, Francis J. L. Beckman (1875-1948), denounced swing music as “a degenerated musical system… turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fiber of young people.” He warned that it leads down a “primrose path to hell.” (His warning was not widely heeded.)
1940: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. (1877-1970), was appointed as the first general of African-American descent in the U.S. Army.
1960: Archibald J. Turner (age unknown) was granted a patent for the football shoulder pad.
2004: Cuban dictator Fidel Castro (born 1926) announced that transactions using the U.S. dollar would be banned.
ON THIS DAY… OCTOBER 19 – OCTOBER 25
October 19 – NATIONAL NEW FRIENDS DAY
This holiday is all about making room for new connections in your life.
October 20 –
INTERNATIONAL SLOTH DAY
Their closest relatives are anteaters and armadillos.
October 21 – NATIONAL PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE DAY
Fall screams pumpkin in every way!
October 22 – NATIONAL COLOR DAY
We invite you to celebrate the power of colors today!
October 24 – NATIONAL
Everyone’s favorite processed luncheon meat has its own day.
October 25-INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY
There is no history or culture without art. This day celebrates all forms of art.