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October 1

1908  Henry Ford’s Model T was first sold.

1918  Arab forces led by Lawrence of Arabia (T. E. Lawrence) captured Damascus.

1921  Lisbeth Holz Roessler was born in Cincinnati.

1963  Mark McGuire was born in Pomona, California.

October 2

1869  Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi was born in India.

1890  Groucho Marx was born in New York City.

1959  The Twilight Zone premiered on television.

1968  California’s Redwood National Park was established.

2015  15th Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.


1925  Gore Vidal was born in West Point, New York.

1957  California Superior Court ruled that Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems was not obscene.

October 4

1957  Dawn of Space Age as USSR launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite into Earth orbit.

1957  Leave It To Beaver premiered on CBS.

October 5

1923  American peace activist Philip Berrigan was born in Two Harbors, Minnesota.

1923  British actress Glynis Johns was born in Pretoria, South Africa.

1936  Vaclav Havel was born in Prague.

1978  Kathryn Blum was born.

1986  Israeli secret nuclear weapons revealed in British newspaper The Sunday Times.

October 6

1927  Sportscaster Bill King was born in Bloomington, Illinois.

1928  Chiang Kai-shek became president of the Republic of China.

October 7

1849  Edgar Allan Poe died at age 40 in Baltimore.

1916  Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland University 222-0 in the most lopsided college football game in American history.

1955  Six Gallery poetry reading, San Francisco.

2001  The United States of America and Great Britain began bombing Afghanistan.

October 8

1860  The first telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco was established.

1946  53rd Mayor of Cleveland and long-time U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich was born in Cleveland.

2001  Tom Ridge became the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security.

October 9

1635  Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1708  Peter the Great defeats the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya.

1776  Father Francisco Palóu founded Mission San Francisco de Asis in what is now San Francisco.

1940  John Lennon was born in Liverpool, England.

1960  D. A. Wilson was born in Walnut Creek, California.

1975  Sean Lennon was born in New York City.

1981  Capital punishment abolished in France.

October 10

1813  Giuseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole, Italy.

1985  Orson Welles died in Los Angeles at age 70.

October 11

1961  Leonard “Chico” Marx died in Hollywood, California at age 74.

1963  Poet Jean Cocteau died in Milly-la-Forêt, France at age 74 (...on learning of  the death of his friend, the singer...)

1963  Singer and songwriter Édith Piaf Piaf died in Plascassier, France at age 47.

October 12

1492  After a 33-day voyage, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New World in the Bahamas.

1810  First Oktoberfest - Citizens of München, invited by Bavarian royalty, join in celebrating the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

1875  Aleister Crowley was born in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England.

1979  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams was published.

1994  NASA lost radio contact with Magellan spacecraft as the probe descended into the thick atmosphere of Venus.

October 13

1884  Greenwich, London, England was established as the Universal Time meridian of longitude.

October 14

1066  In the Battle of Hastings, King Harold II, last Saxton king of England, was defeated and killed by William of Normandy’s troops.

1582  Due to implementation of the Gregorian calendar, this day did not exist in the year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

1926  Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne was first published.

1933  Nazi Germany withdrew from the League of Nations.

1947  U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier.

October 15

1928  Airship Graf Zeppelin completes its first trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

1953  Christina Johns Wilson was born in Idaho.

1956  Fortran, the first modern computer language, was initially shared by computer coders.

1966  Black Panther Party founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.

October 16

1854  Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland.

1859  Fanatical abolitionist John Brown and about 20 followers seized the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

1941  Simon Ward was born in Beckenham, England.

1947  Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead was born in San Francisco.

October 17

1091  A tornado landed in the heart of London.

1989  7.1 scale Loma Prieta earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:04 PM Pacific time.

2002  Derek Bell, Northern Irish harpist of The Chieftains, died in Phoenix.

October 18

1851  Herman Melville's Moby Dick published as The Whale by R. Bentley of London.

1973  Cartoonist Walt Kelly died in Woodland Hills, California at age 60.

October 19

1386  Universität Heidelburg, the oldest German university, held its first lecture.

1936  Psychic Sylvia Browne was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

1960  The U.S. embargo on Cuba began as the State Department prohibited shipment of all goods except medicine and food.

1987  Black Monday on Wall Street, Dow Jones Average fell 508 points - 22%.

October 20

1854  Poet Arthur Rimbaud was born in Charleville, France.

1977  Lynyrd Skynyrd band’s plane crashed.

1991  Oakland Hills firestorm.

October 21

1772  Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in England.

1952  Brent Mydland was born in Munich.

2003  Images of dwarf planet Eris were taken and subsequently used to document its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.

2012  Alan Farley died at age 76.

2012  George McGovern died.

October 22

1920  Timothy Leary was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1922  In Italy, Fascist blackshirts began their “March on Rome” from Naples.

1926  J. Gordon Whitehead sucker punched Harry Houdini; Houdini’s death ensued nine days later.

1972  Brian Cox, DJ and artist, was born.

2012  Russell Means died in Porcupine, South Dakota at age 72.

October 23

1844  Poet Robert Bridges was born in Walmer, England.

1958  First appearance of The Smurfs in the weekly comics magazine Spirou.

October 24

1861  First transcontinental telegram in America sent from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

2008  “Bloody Friday” world stock exchanges crashed about 10% in most indices.

October 25

1881  Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain.

1944  Romanian Army liberated Carei, last Romanian city under Axis occupation.

1983  Island of Grenada invaded by the U.S.

1991  Bill Graham, Melissa Gold, and Steve Kahn died in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, California.

2002  U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone died in Eveleth, Minnesota at age 58.

October 26

1861  The Pony Express officially ceased operations.

October 27

1787  First of 85 Federalist Papers appeared in print in a New York City newspaper.

1870  Siege of Metz concluded with decisive Prussian victory during the Franco-Prussian War.

1904  The New York City Subway began operating, world’s first underground and underwater rail system.

1914  Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, Wales.

1975  American Author Rex Stout died in Danbury, Connecticut at age 88.

2013  Lou Reed died in Long Island, New York at age 71.

October 28

1919  Alcohol Prohibition began in the U.S.

1998  English poet Ted Hughes died in London at age 68.

2012  San Francisco Giants won Major League Baseball’s World Series, defeating Detroit Tigers 4 games to 0.


1618  Sir Walter Raleigh was executed for treason on order of King James I.

1929  Wall Street stock market crashed. The Great Depression followed.

1942  Robert Norman “Bob” Ross, American painter, art instructor, and television host, was born in Daytona Beach, Florida.

1971  Musician Duane Allman died.

1995  Author Terry Southern died.

1997  Anton Szandor LaVey, carny, occulist and Church of Satan founder, died.

October 30

1922  Benito Mussolini was installed as the Prime Minister of Italy.

1938  A radio broadcast by Orson Welles and the Mercury Players of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds panicked millions of Americans.

1987  Mythologist Joseph Campbell died in Honolulu.


1887  Chiang Kai-shek was born in Chekiang.

1926  Magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit, Michigan at age 52.

1984  Indira Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi at age 66.

1992  Jerry Garcia’s last “comeback” concert in Oakland, California.

1993  Filmmaker Federico Fellini died in Rome at age 73.

1993  Actor and singer River Phoenix died in West Hollywood, California at age 23.

2008  Writer and interviewer Studs Terkel died in Chicago at age 96.

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