October 7


3761 BC: Reference origin date of the modern Hebrew calendar.

2003: An historic recall election took place in California in which the sitting governor, Gray Davis, a Democrat, was overwhelmingly voted out of office. Actor/bodybuilder and Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as the 38th governor of California. This was the first recall election in the history of California in which a sitting governor was successfully recalled from office.

2014: Speaking at the United Nations, Choe Myang Nam, a foreign ministry official from North Korea, acknowledged for the first time that his country operates prison camps, which he called “reform through labor” camps … “where people are improved through their mentality and look on their wrongdoings.”


October 8


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).

1944: Born this day: U.S. Marine Corps Capt. and actor Dale Dye (Band of Brothers), and country singer Susan Raye (Hee Haw, “L.A. International Airport,” “Pitty Pitty Patter”).

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.

1982: Cats opened on Broadway. (The musical play ran for almost 18 years before closing on Sept. 10, 2000.)

October 9


1446: The Korean hangul alphabet was first published in Korea.

1604: Supernova 1604 occurred in the Milk Way and became the most recent supernova to be observed with the naked eye.

1635: Theologian Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a religious dissident after he spoke out against punishments for religious offenses and the taking Native American land. (He went on to found the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1636.)

1701: The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later Yale) was founded in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

1900: Born this day: inventor Joseph Friedman (invented the bendable straw, died 1982), and Scottish-English actor Alastair Sim (Scrooge, died 1976).

1907: Las Cruces, New Mexico, was incorporated.

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.

1920: Born this day: jazz instrumentalist Yusef Lateef (died 2013), and actor Jason Wingreen (Airplane!, All in the Family, Archie Bunker’s Place).


October 10


1845: The Naval School (later renamed the United States Naval Academy) opened in Annapolis, Md., with 50 midshipman students and seven professors.

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.)

1913: Construction of the Panama Canal was officially completed.

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 1975: Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC with George Carlin as host. Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in Little Rock, Ark.

1976: George Washington was promoted posthumously to General of the Armies of the United States in a law passed by Congress and signed by President Gerald R. Ford.

2001: The Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.


October 11


1793: Yellow fever broke out in Philadelphia, killing 100 people the first day. (The epidemic ultimately killed over 5,000 people in about three weeks.)

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.

1962: Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council, during which he encouraged the widespread use of local language in Holy Mass instead of the Latin language.

1975: Saturday Night Live premiered on NBC with George Carlin as host. Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in Little Rock, Ark.

1976: George Washington was promoted posthumously to General of the Armies of the United States in a law passed by Congress and signed by President Gerald R. Ford.


October 12


1492: Christopher Columbus made landfall on one of the islands of the Bahamas, believing he had reached East Asia.

1654: The city of Delft, Netherlands, was nearly destroyed when a gunpowder store exploded. Over 100 people were killed and thousands wounded.

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.

1960: Inejiro Asanuma, 61, the head of the Japanese Socialist Party, was stabbed to death with a wakizashi sword by extreme rightist Otoya Yamaguchi during a political rally. The entire incident was captured on multiple live-broadcast TV cameras.

2000: A motorized rubber dinghy loaded with explosives blew a 40-by-40-foot hole in the port side of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer that was refueling at Aden, Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded in the attack carried out by two suicide terrorists alleged to be members of Saudi exile Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network.

2002: A terrorist bomb killed 202 people in an Irish pub on the tranquil Indonesian island of Bali.

October 13


A.D. 54: Roman Emperor Claudius was poisoned to death under suspicious circumstances. His 17-year-old stepson Nero succeeded him to the Roman throne.

1775: The United States Continental Congress ordered the establishment of the Continental Navy, later renamed the United States Navy.

1792: The cornerstone for the White House (then called the Executive Mansion) was laid in Washington, D.C.

1843: A group of 12 men in New York City founded B’nai B’rith. (It continues as the oldest Jewish service organization in the world.)

1881: The revival of the Hebrew language began when Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and friends agreed to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations. (Through Ben-Yehuda’s efforts, the language’s usage changed from the sacred language of Judaism to a spoken and written language used for daily life in Israel, the only such language conversion in human history.)

1884: Several countries adopted Greenwich longitude as the prime meridian.

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.

1909: Born this day: Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herblock (died 2001), and virtuoso jazz pianist Art Tatum (died 1956).

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

1925: Born this day: comedian Lenny Bruce (died 1966), and U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (died 2013).

1923: Ankara replaced Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) as the capital of Turkey.

(executed in Ohio 2004).

1967: The first game of the American Basketball Association was played in Oakland, Calif., as the Anaheim Amigos lost to the Oakland Oaks, 134-129.

1969: Born this day: singer-songwriter Rhett Akins (The Peach Pickers); figure skater Nancy Kerrigan; and actress Cady McClain (St. Elsewhere, Cheers, Spenser for Hire).

1976: Dr. F.A. Murphy obtained the first electron micrograph of an Ebola virus while working at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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.