Today in History

1066 – Edgar the Ætheling is proclaimed King of England, but is never crowned. He reigns until 10 December 1066.
1211 – Battle of the Rhyndacus: The Latin emperor Henry of Flanders defeats the Nicaean emperor Theodore I Laskaris.
1529 – The Siege of Vienna ends as the Austrians rout the invading Turks, turning the tide against almost a century of unchecked conquest throughout eastern and central Europe by the Ottoman Empire.
1582 – Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15.
1764 – Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
1783 – The Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon (tethered) makes the first human ascent, piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier.
1793 – Queen Marie Antoinette of France is tried and convicted in a swift, pre-determined trial in the Palais de Justice, Paris, and condemned to death the following day.
1815 – Emperor Napoleon I begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
1863 – American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sinks during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Glasgow is fought, resulting in the surrender of Glasgow, Missouri and its Union garrison, to the Confederacy.
1878 – The Edison Electric Light Company begins operation.
1888 – The “From Hell” letter allegedly sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators.
1894 – The Dreyfus affair: Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying.
1904 – The Russian Baltic Fleet leaves Reval, Estonia for Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War.
1910 – Airship America is launched from New Jersey in the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by a powered aircraft.
1917 – World War I: At Vincennes outside Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for the German Empire.
1923 – The German Rentenmark is introduced in Germany to counter hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic.
1928 – The airship, Graf Zeppelin completes its first trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States.
1932 – Tata Airlines (later to become Air India) makes its first flight.
1934 – The Soviet Republic of China collapses when Chiang Kai-shek’s National Revolutionary Army successfully encircles Ruijin, forcing the fleeing Communists to begin the Long March.
1939 – The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed LaGuardia Airport) is dedicated.
1940 – The President of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, is executed by the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco, making him the only European president to have been executed.
1944 – The Arrow Cross Party (very similar to Hitler’s NSDAP (Nazi party)) takes power in Hungary.
1945 – World War II: The former premier of Vichy France Pierre Laval is shot by a firing squad for treason.
1951 – Mexican chemist Luis E. Miramontes conducts the very last step of the first synthesis of norethisterone, the progestin that would later be used in one of the first three oral contraceptives.
1951 – The first episode of I Love Lucy, an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley, airs on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
1953 – British nuclear test Totem 1 is detonated at Emu Field, South Australia.
1954 – Hurricane Hazel devastates the eastern seaboard of North America, killing 95 and causing massive floods as far north as Toronto. As a Category 4 upon landfall, it is the strongest storm on record to strike as far north as North Carolina.
1956 – Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time.
1965 – Vietnam War: The Catholic Worker Movement stages an anti-war rally in Manhattan including a public burning of a draft card; the first such act to result in arrest under a new amendment to the Selective Service Act.
1966 – The Black Panther Party is created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
1969 – Vietnam War; The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam is held in Washington D.C. and across the US. Over two million demonstrate nationally; about 250,000 in Washington D.C..
1970 – Thirty-five construction workers are killed when a section of the new West Gate Bridge in Melbourne collapses.
1979 – Black Monday in Malta. The building of the Times of Malta, the residence of the opposition leader Eddie Fenech Adami and several Nationalist Party clubs are ransacked and destroyed by supporters of the Malta Labour Party.
1989 – Wayne Gretzky becomes the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL.
1990 – Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation.
1991 – The “Oh-My-God particle”, an ultra-high-energy cosmic ray measured at 40,000,000 times that of the highest energy protons produced in a particle accelerator is observed at the University of Utah HiRes observatory in Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
1995 – Marco Campos is killed in an accident in an International Formula 3000 race at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours circuit, making him the only driver ever killed in the International Formula 3000 series.
1997 – The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (United Kingdom), 50 years and one day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere.
1997 – The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.
2001 – NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter’s moon Io.
2003 – China launches Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission.
2005 – A riot in Toledo, Ohio breaks out during a National Socialist/Neo-Nazi protest; over 100 are arrested.
2006 – Kiholo Bay earthquake: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocks Hawaii, causing property damage, injuries, landslides, power outages, and the closure of Honolulu International Airport.
2007 – Seventeen activists in New Zealand are arrested in the country’s first post-9/11 anti-terrorism raids.
2008 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes down 733.08 points, or 7.87%, the second worst day in the Dow’s history based on a percentage drop.
2011 – The 2011 Global Protests occur.
2013 – A 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes the Philippines, resulting in more than 215 deaths.

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