This Day in History
In 1997 on this day, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony.
|October||1||In 1961, Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run of the season, breaking Babe Ruth’s record of 60 set in 1927.|
|October||2||In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court; he was the first African-American appointed to the nation’s highest court.|
|October||3||In 1990, West Germany and East Germany ended 45 years of postwar division, declaring the creation of a new unified country.|
In 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into orbit.
|October||5||In 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.|
|October||6||In 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot to death by extremists while reviewing a military parade.|
|October||7||In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean with more than 400 people aboard.|
|October||8||In 1982, all labor organizations in Poland, including Solidarity, were banned.|
In 1967, Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara was executed in Bolivia while attempting to incite revolution.
|October||10||In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew pleaded no contest to one count of federal income tax evasion and resigned his office.|
|October||11||In 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, was launched with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard.|
|October||12||In 2000, the Navy destroyer Cole was attacked in an al-Qaeda suicide bombing while in port in Aden, Yemen, killing 17 sailors and injuring dozens more.|
|October||13||In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.|
In 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
|October||15||In 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev had been removed from office. He was succeeded as premier by Alexei N. Kosygin and as Communist Party secretary by Leonid I. Brezhnev.|
|October||16||In 1964, China detonated its first atomic bomb.|
|October||17||In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was released in 1939.|
|October||18||In 1968, the United States Olympic Committee suspended two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a “black power” salute as a protest during a victory ceremony in Mexico City.|
In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value – its biggest-ever percentage drop.
|October||20||In 1973, in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, President Nixon abolished the office of special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, accepted the resignation of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and fired Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus.|
|October||21||In 1879, Thomas Edison invented a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.|
|October||22||In 1962, President Kennedy announced an air and naval blockade of Cuba, following the discovery of Soviet missile bases on the island.|
|October||23||In 1983, a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon killed 241 United States Marines and sailors; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.|
In 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.
|October||25||In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly voted to admit mainland China and expel Taiwan.|
|October||26||In 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali of Jordan signed a peace treaty in a ceremony attended by President Clinton.|
|October||27||In 1904, the first rapid transit subway, the IRT, opened in New York City.|
|October||28||In 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland.|
In 1929, Black Tuesday descended upon the New York Stock Exchange. Prices collapsed amid panic selling and thousands of investors were wiped out as America’s Great Depression began.
|October||30||In 1974, Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in the eighth round of a 15-round bout in Kinshasa, Zaire, to regain his world heavyweight title.|
|October||31||In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated near her residence by two Sikh security guards.|