This Week in History

October 19

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.

October 20

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.

October 21

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.

October 22

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.)

October 23

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.


October 24

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.”

October 25

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.


This holiday is all about making room for new connections in your life.

October 20 –
Their closest relatives are anteaters and armadillos.

Fall screams pumpkin in every way!

We invite you to celebrate the power of colors today!

October 24 – NATIONAL
Everyone’s favorite processed luncheon meat has its own day.

There is no history or culture without art. This day celebrates all forms of art.