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October 1

1908 - Henry Ford's Model T, a "universal car" designed for the masses, went on sale for the first time.

1946 - Twelve Nazi leaders were sentenced to death at the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

1949 - The People's Republic of China was founded with Mao Zedong as chairman.

October 2

1869 - Indian political leader Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India.

1975 - Japanese Emperor Hirohito made his first-ever visit to the White House.

October 3

1929 - Yugoslavia became the official name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

1932 - Iraq gained independence from Britain and joined the League of Nations.

October 4

1582 - The Gregorian Calendar took effect in Catholic countries as Pope Gregory XIII issued a decree stating the day following Thursday, October 4, 1582, would be Friday. Britain and the American colonies adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1752.

1830 - Belgium gained its independence, after having been a part of the Netherlands since 1815.

1957 - The Space Age began as the Russians launched the first satellite into orbit. Sputnik I weighed just 184 lbs. and transmitted a beeping radio signal for 21 days.

October 5

1908 - Bulgaria proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

1910 - Portugal became a republic following a successful revolt against King Manuel II.

October 6

1846 - Engineer and inventor George Westinghouse was born in Central Bridge, New York. He developed air brakes for trains and was later responsible for the adoption of alternating current (AC) systems for electric power transmission in the US.

1928 - Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek became president of the Republic of China upon the introduction of a new constitution.

1973 - The Yom Kippur War started as Egypt and Syria launched attacks on Israeli positions on the East Bank of the Suez and the Golan Heights.

1978 - Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini was granted asylum in France after being expelled from Iran.

1981 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (1918-1981) was assassinated in Cairo by Muslim fundamentalists while watching a military parade.

October 7

1949 - The German Democratic Republic came into existence in East Germany. Dominated by Soviet Russia, it lasted until German reunification in 1990.

October 8

1871 - The Great Fire of Chicago erupted. According to legend, it started when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern in her barn on DeKoven Street. Over 300 persons were killed and 90,000 were left homeless as the fire levelled 3.5 square miles, destroying 17,450 buildings. Financial losses totalled over $200 million.

1993 - The UN General Assembly lifted economic sanctions against South Africa following the end of racial apartheid. The sanctions had been imposed since the 1960s.

1996 - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat made his first public visit to Israel for talks with Israeli President Ezer Weizman at his private residence.

1998 - The US House of Representatives voted 258-176 to approve a resolution launching an impeachment inquiry of President Bill Clinton.

October 9

1962 - Uganda achieved independence after nearly 70 years of British rule.

1970 - Cambodia declared itself the Khmer Republic following the abolishment of the monarchy by the legislature.

October 10

1954 - Ho Chi Minh entered Hanoi, Vietnam, after the withdrawal of French troops, in accordance with armistice terms ending the seven-year struggle between Communist Vietnamese and the French.

October 11

1939 - Albert Einstein warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt that his theories could lead to Nazi Germany's development of an atomic bomb. Einstein suggested the US develop its own bomb. This resulted in the top secret "Manhattan Project."

October 12

1492 - After a 33-day voyage, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New World in the Bahamas. He named the first land sighted as El Salvador, claiming it in the name of the Spanish Crown.

1811 - Paraguay declared its independence from Spain and Argentina.

1960 - During a debate over colonialism in the United Nations, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe and pounded his desk repeatedly.

1999 General Pervez Musharraf dismissed the government and and became chief executive of the country. The coup was widely criticized by the international community

October 13

1884 - Greenwich was established as the universal time from which standard times throughout the world are calculated.

October 14

1933 - Nazi Germany announced its withdrawal from the League of Nations and stated it would take no further part in the Geneva Disarmament Conference.

1947 - US Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier, flying in a rocket-powered research aircraft.

1964 - Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the $54,000 in prize money to the Civil Rights movement.

October 15

1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte arrived on the Island of St. Helena beginning a British-imposed exile following his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

1917 - World War I spy Mata Hari was executed by a French firing squad at Vincennes Barracks, outside Paris.

1946 - Nazi leader Hermann Goering committed suicide by swallowing poison in his Nuremberg prison cell just hours before his scheduled hanging for war crimes.

October 16

1853 - The Crimean War began after the Turkish Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia, Britain, France and portions of Italy allied with the Turks against Russia. It became the first war observed up close by newspaper reporters and photographers. One of the battles was immortalised in Tennyson's poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. Amid poor sanitary conditions, disease killed many wounded French and British troops. British nurse Florence Nightingale then pioneered modern-style sanitation methods, saving many lives.

1964 - China detonated its first nuclear bomb at the Lop Nor test site in Sinkiang.

October 17

1777 - During the American Revolutionary War, British General John Burgoyne and his entire army of 5,700 men surrendered to American General Horatio Gates after the Battle of Saratoga, the first big American victory.

October 18

1945 - The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial began with indictments against 24 former Nazi leaders including Hermann Göring and Albert Speer. The trial lasted 10 months, with delivery of the judgment completed on October 1, 1946. Twelve Nazis were sentenced to death by hanging, three to life imprisonment, four to lesser prison terms, and three were acquitted.

October 19

1960 - The US embargo of Cuba began as the State Department prohibited shipment of all goods except medicine and food.

October 20

1935 - Mao Zedong's 6,000 mile "Long March" ended as his Communist forces arrived at Yanan, in northwest China, almost a year after fleeing Chiang Kai-shek's armies in the south.

October 21

1805 - The Battle of Trafalgar took place between the British Royal Navy and the combined French and Spanish fleets. The victorious British ended the threat of Napoleon's invasion of England. British naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson was mortally wounded aboard his ship Victory.

1879 - Thomas Edison successfully tested an electric incandescent lamp with a carbonised filament at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, keeping it lit for over 13 hours.

October 22

1979 - The exiled Shah of Iran arrived in the United States for medical treatment. Iranians demanded the return of the Shah for trial. The US refused. The Shah died of cancer in July of 1980.

October 23

1989 - Hungary declared itself a republic 33 years after Soviet Russian troops crushed a popular revolt against Communist rule.

October 24

1945 - The United Nations was founded.

1980 - Communist authorities in Poland granted recognition to the trade union "Solidarity".

October 25

1881 - Artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was born in Malaga, Spain.

1955 - Austria reassumed its sovereignty with the departure of the last Allied forces.

October 26

1951 - Winston Churchill became Britain's prime minister for a second time.

October 27

1958 - Ayub Khan deposed Iskander Mirza and took over the control of the country in a bloodless coup.

1978 - The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Menachem Begin of Israel and Anwar Sadat of Egypt.

October 28

1918 - The Republic of Czechoslovakia was founded, assembled from three provinces - Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia - which had been part of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.

1949 - Helen Anderson became the first woman ambassador, appointed by President Harry Truman to be ambassador to Denmark.

1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis ended with the announcement by Soviet Russia's leader Nikita Khrushchev that his Soviet government was halting construction of missile bases in Cuba and would remove the offensive missiles. President Kennedy immediately accepted the offer then lifted the US naval blockade of Cuba.

1955 - Microsoft founder Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington. In 1975, he co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, designing software for IBM computers.

October 29

1618 - British explorer Sir Walter Raleigh was executed in London for treason on orders from King James I.

1897 - Nazi propaganda minister Paul Joseph Goebbels was born in Rheydt, near Dusseldorf, Germany. Considered a master propagandist, he controlled all Nazi newspapers, radio and film production. He was a virulent anti-Semite who advocated the extermination of the Jews. Devoted to Hitler until the end, he died at Hitler's Berlin bunker in 1945 after poisoning his six children.

October 30

1735 - John Adams the second US president was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He served from March 4, 1797 to March 3, 1801. He had been George Washington's vice president, and was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President.

1990 - For the first time since the Ice Age, Great Britain was connected with the European continent, via a new rail tunnel under the English Channel.

October 31

1517 - Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg's palace church, denouncing the selling of papal indulgences and questioning various ecclesiastical practices. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

1952 - The US detonated its first hydrogen bomb at the Elugelab Atoll in the Eniwetok Proving Grounds in the Pacific Marshall Islands.

1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by three Sikh members of her bodyguard while walking in the garden of her New Delhi home.

Source: JWT
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