October 9


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.

1986: The musical The Phantom of the Opera had its first performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

1995: An Amtrak Sunset Limited train on Southern Pacific Railroad tracks was derailed near Palo Verde, Ariz., by saboteurs calling themselves “Sons of the Gestapo.“ One man was killed, and 78 people were injured. The saboteurs were never caught.


October 10


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.)

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.


October 11


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.

1961: Air Force pilot Robert Michael White piloted the X-15 rocket jet to 215,000 feet, setting a record.

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.


October 12


1945: U.S. Army Private First Class Desmond T. Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia, was presented the Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery as a medical corpsman, the first conscientious objector in American history to receive the nation’s highest military award.

1953: The Caine Mutiny Court Martial by Herman Wouk opened to rave reviews at Plymouth Theatre, New York City.

1964: The Soviet Union launched the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits.

2014: Nina Pham, 26, a hospital worker in Dallas, Texas, became the first person to contract Ebola in the United States, while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan (1972-2014), who had contracted the virus in Liberia, Africa, before returning home to the U.S.


October 13


1892: Comet D/1892 T1 became the first comet discovered by photographic means, by astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard on the night of Oct. 13-14.

1917: The “Miracle of the Sun” was witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal.

1984: Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first U.S. cell phone network, in Chicago.

2010: The 2010 Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile, came to an end as the last of 33 trapped miners arrived at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground while awaiting rescue.


October 14


1967: Folk singer Joan Baez was arrested after physically blocking the U.S. Army induction center in Oakland, California.

1982: President Ronald Reagan proclaimed a “War on Drugs.”

2003: Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman became infamous for reaching out to catch a fly ball, causing the Cubs to lose game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series to the Florida Marlins.

2012: Felix Baungartner jumped from the stratosphere and set the world record for longest free fall of 128,018 feet (24¼ miles).


October 15


1928: The rigid airship Graf Zeppelin completed its first Atlantic crossing, landing at Lakehurst, N.J.

1951: The first episode of I Love Lucy, starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley, aired on CBS.

1964: Mrs. Olga Worth Stephens, 75, of Dallas, burst into flames while sitting in her car, in front of many eyewitnesses. She burned to death before anyone could help her. Firemen who responded said her car was undamaged and contained nothing that could have started the fire.

1997: The first supersonic land speed record was set by English driver Andy Green in ThrustSSC, 50 years and one day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier.

2008: The Great Recession began as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 733.08 points, or 7.87 percent, the second worst day in the Dow’s history based on a percentage drop.