This Week in History, Week of October 26-November 1, 2015


This Week In History

by Dianne Hermann


“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people.

They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

– Thomas Jefferson



Week of October 26-November 1, 2015


October 26


1776 – Benjamin Franklin departs America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.


1787 – The “Federalist Papers” are published calling for the ratification of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay write the series of 85 articles and essays.


1825 – The Erie Canal opens between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.


1881 – Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp along with Doc Holliday are involved in a gunfight near the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, against Billy and Ike Clanton along with Tom and Frank McLaury. Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers are killed. Virgin and Morgan are wounded.


1916 – Margaret Sanger (eugenicist and future Planned Parenthood founder) is arrested for obscenity by advocating birth control.


1949 – President Harry Truman increases the minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents an hour.


1958 – PanAm flies the first transatlantic jet trip from New York to Paris.


1970 – “Doonesbury,” the comic strip by Gary Trudeau, premieres in 28 newspapers across the U.S.


1975 – Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to officially visit the U.S.


1977 – The experimental space shuttle Enterprise successfully lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California after separating from a 747. Watch a video of the live separation:


1982 – Steve Carlton became the first pitcher to win 4 Cy Young awards. Roger Clemens has won 7 Cy Young Awards (combined in both leagues).


1988 – American and Soviet icebreakers free two whales that had been trapped for nearly 3 weeks in an Arctic ice pack.


2000 – The New York Yankees defeat the New York Mets 4-1 to win their 3rd straight World Series championship.


2001 – The U.S. passes the USA PATRIOT Act into law.


2003 – The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, kills 15 people, consumes 250,000 acres, and destroys 2,200 homes around San Diego. Watch a report made by a retired fire captain:


2005 – The Chicago White Sox defeat the Houston Astros in the World Series 4 games to 0.


2012 – China blocks the New York Times from Internet searches and social media in response to an investigation into Premier Wen Jiabao.



October 27


1795 – The Treaty of San Lorenzo provides for the free navigation of Mississippi.


1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Executive Order 44, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated. It is signed in the aftermath of the Battle of Crooked River, a clash between Mormons and a unit of the Missouri State Guard in northern Ray County, Missouri.


1904 – On the first day of operation of the New York City subway, 350,000 people ride the 9.1-mile track. It is the world’s first subway and the fare is 5 cents.


1916 – The first published reference to “jazz” appears in Variety Magazine as a reference to the new style of American music.


1925 – Fred Waller of New York is issued the first patent for water skis. Waller also invents the Cinerama widescreen film format.


1938 – DuPont announces its new synthetic fiber will be called “nylon.” It was patented in 1935. Wallace Carothers, its inventor, died in 1937.


1947 – “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx premieres on the radio and moves to TV in 1950. It is renamed “You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx” and airs until 1961.


1954 – Walt Disney’s first television program, “The Disneyland Story,” premieres on TV. The show is renamed “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World od Color” and airs until 1992.


1954 – Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio get divorced. They were married on January 14, 1954.


1969 – Ralph Nader sets up a consumer organization known as Nader’s Raiders. The former Democrat presidential candidate is 81 years old.


1985 – The Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series 4 games to 3.


1988 – Larry Flynt, Hustler Magazine publisher, pays a hit man $1 million to kill Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, and Frank Sinatra. The alleged hit man, Mitchell Werbell, dies soon after. Flynt, now age 72, is shot and paralyzed in 1978.


2002 – The Anaheim Angels defeat the San Francisco Giants in the World Series 4 games to 3.


2006 – The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series 4 games to 1.



October 28


1636 – Harvard University is founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, making it the oldest university in America.


1793 – Eli Whitney applies for a patent on his cotton gin.


1858 – Macy’s Department store opens in New York City. Rowland Macy opens the store after his first seven business ventures fail. Macy died in 1877 at age 54.


1886 – The Statue of Liberty is dedicated by President Grover Cleveland. The event is celebrated by the first confetti (ticker tape) parade in New York City.


1904 – The St. Louis Police Department is the first to try a new investigation method when they test for fingerprints.


1919 – Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Wilson’s veto, which starts Prohibition.


1936 – President FDR rededicates the Statue of Liberty on its 50th anniversary.


1962 – New York Giant quarterback Y.A. Tittle passes for a record 7 touchdowns against the Washington Redskins, winning 49-34. He shares that record with six other quarterbacks, most recently Payton Manning (Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens on September 5, 2013). Watch a video with an interview with YA:


1965 – The Gateway Arch along the waterfront in St. Louis, Missouri, is completed.


1974 – Luna 23 is launched and lands on the Moon. The spacecraft is damaged on landing and lunar samples could not be collected. Luna 24 is launched in 1976 and successfully collects and returns lunar samples.


1985 – John A. Walker Jr. and his son Michael Lance Walker plead guilty to charges of spying for the Soviet Union.


1986 – The centennial of the Statue of Liberty’s dedication is celebrated in New York Harbor.


1989 – The Oakland A’s sweep the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. A 6.9 earthquake hits the Bay Area at the start of Game 3.


2005 – Lewis Libby, Vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, is indicted in the Valerie Plame case. Libby resigns later that day.


2007 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the Colorado Rockies in the World Series 4 games to 0.


2009 – NASA successfully launches the Ares I-X mission, the only rocket launch for its later-cancelled Constellation program.


2011 – The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Texas Rangers in the World Series 4 games to 3.


2012 – The San Francisco Giants defeat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series 4 games to 0.



October 29


1682 – William Penn lands in what will become Pennsylvania.


1811 – The first Ohio River steamboat leaves Pittsburgh for New Orleans.


1929 – On “Black Tuesday” the stock market crashes, triggering “The Great Depression.”


1940 – The first peacetime military draft begins in the U.S.


1945 – The first ballpoint pen goes on sale, 57 years after it is patented by John J. Loud. (See Oct. 30, 1888)


1956 – Chet Huntley and David Brinkley of NBC News team up for a nightly broadcast. The last Huntley-Brinkley Report airs in 1970.


1960 – Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight, beating Tunney Hunsaker in 6 rounds.


1966 – The National Organization of Women (NOW) is founded by Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, and Muriel Fox.


1974 – President Gerald Ford signs a new law forbidding discrimination in credit applications on the basis of gender or marital status.


1998 – The Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on Mission STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making Glenn the oldest person to go into space. Glenn is the first American is space in 1962. Glenn is now 94 years old.


2004 – The Arabic news network Al Jazeera broadcasts an excerpt from a video of Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist leader first admits direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and references the 2004 U.S. presidential election.


2008 – Delta Air Lines merges with Northwest Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline and reducing the number of U.S. carriers to 5.


2008 – The Philadelphia Phillies defeat Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series 4 games to 1.


2012 – Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey resulting in 110 deaths, $50 billion in damage, and forcing the New York stock exchange to close.


2012 – Publishing companies Penguin and Random House merge to form the world’s largest publisher.


2014 – The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals in the World Series 4 games to 3.



October 30


1768 – Wesley Chapel in New York City is initiated as the first Methodist church in the U.S.


1873 – The P T Barnum’s circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” debuts in New York City.


1888 – John J. Loud patents the ballpoint pen. (See Oct. 29, 1945)


1938 – Orson Welles creates a national panic with his radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds.”


1945 – Branch Rickey signs Jackie Robinson to the Montreal Royals baseball team to break the major league color barrier.


1954 – The Defense Department announces the elimination of all segregated regiments in the U.S. Armed Forces.


1974 – California Angels pitcher Nolan Ryan throws the fastest recorded baseball pitch at 100.9 MPH. Watch a video of the top 5 fastest pitchers in MLB history:


1989 – Smith Dairy at Orrville, Ohio, makes largest milk shake at 1,575.2 gallons to celebrate the opening of its newest plant.


2012 – Walt Disney purchases Lucasfilm Ltd and its rights for Star Wars and Indiana Jones for $4.05 billion.


2013 – The Boston Red Sox defeat St Louis Cardinals to win the World Series 4 games to 2.



October 31


1846 – The Donner party, unable to cross the Sierra Nevada pass, constructs a winter camp. Only half of the 90 people who left Illinois arrive in California the following spring. They resorted to cannibalism to survive.


1892 – Arthur Conan Doyle publishes “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.”


1913 – The first U.S. paved coast-to-coast highway, the Lincoln Highway, is dedicated.


1926 – Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. His appendix had been damaged twelve days earlier when a student unexpectedly punches Houdini in the stomach. Houdini was 52 years old.


1941 – Mount Rushmore is declared complete after 14 years of work showing the 60-foot busts of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.


1950 – Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola of Puerto Rico attempt to kill President Truman at his Blair House residence in Washington, DC. Torresola shoots and mortally wounds police guard Leslie Coffelt, but not before the officer shoots and kills Torresola. Collazo is captured, tried, and sentenced to death. His sentence is later commuted to life in prison. In 1979 President Carter reduces his sentence to time served (27 years) and Collazo is released. He died in Puerto Rico in 1994 at age 80.


1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam.


1974 – One of Ted Bundy’s 30+ victims, Laura Aime, disappears in Utah. Her body is found November 27th. Bundy is executed in the electric chair in 1989.


1988 – The first Monday Night National Football League game is played. The Indianapolis Colts beat the Denver Broncos 55-23.


2002 – A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas, formally indicts former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his company Enron. In 2006 Fastow is sentenced to only 6 years in prison and is released in 2011. Fastow is now 53 years old.


2003 – Bethany Hamilton, age 13, has her arm bitten of by a shark while surfing in Hawaii. Her story is the basis for the inspirational 2011 movie “Soul Surfer.” Hamilton is now 25 years old. Watch Bethany tell her own story:


2012 – The New York stock exchange opens after being closed for two days following Hurricane Sandy.



November 1


1765 – The Stamp Act goes into effect in the American colonies.


1776 – Mission San Juan Capistrano is founded in California. Swallows return to the mission on March 19th each year.


1800 – John Adams becomes the first president to live in the White House.


1870 – The U.S. Weather Bureau makes its first meteorological observations using 24 locations that provided reports via telegraph.


1936 – The Rodeo Cowboy’s Association is founded.


1938 – Seabiscuit beats War Admiral in a match race at Pimlico horse racing track. Watch the original footage of the race:


1951 – Jet magazine founded by John H. Johnson.


1959 – Jacques Plante is the first National Hockey League goalie to wear a hockey mask.


1964 – George Blanda of the Houston Oilers throws a National Football League record 37 passes in 68 attempts. (Drew Bledsoe breaks the record with 70 in 1994.) Blanda also holds the record as the oldest player to start a game at age 48 and the longest career with 26 seasons. Blanda died in 2010 at age 83. Watch 46-year-old Blanda complete a 28-yard pass:


1968 – The movie rating system of G, M, R, X, PG-13 and NC-17 goes into effect.


1971 – The Eisenhower dollar goes into circulation.


1973 – Leon Jaworski is appointed the new Watergate special prosecutor in the Watergate case.


1981 – The U.S. Postal Service raised the first-class letter rate to 20 cents.


1994 – The domain name is registered.


2012 – American scientists detect evidence of light from the universe’s first stars, predicted to have formed 500 million years after the big bang.


2012 – Google’s Gmail becomes the world’s most popular email service.