This Week in History, October 5-11


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 5-11, 2015




October 5


1877 – Chief Joseph surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the Nez Perce War.


1892 – The Dalton Gang’s daylight 2-bank holdup in Coffeville, Kansas, ends in a shoot-out when townspeople recognize the gang and organize the town to confront them. All the gang members except Emmett Dalton are killed. Emmett is tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison but is paroled after 14 years. He uses his notoriety to become a Hollywood screenwriter. He died in 1937 at age 66.


1921 – The first radio broadcast of the World Series airs. The Yankees beat the Giants 3-0. The Giants go on to defeat the Yankees 5 games to 3.


1923 – Astronomer Edwin Hubble identifies Cepheid as a variable star. His measurements place “M31” one million light-years away, far outside the Milky Way, making it a galaxy containing millions of stars. The Hubble Space Telescope is named for the Rhodes Scholar Edwin Hubble. He died in 1953 at the age of 63.


1931 – The first nonstop trans-pacific flight lands in Wenatchee, Washington, having left Misawa, Japan, some 41-hours earlier. Pilots Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn perform a controlled crash landing and emerge unhurt.


1945 – “Meet the Press” premieres on the radio. It begins airing on TV in November of 1947, making it the longest running TV show in history. Hosts include Lawrence Spivek, Tim Russert, and David Gregory.


1947 – Harry Truman delivers the first televised presidential address from the White House.


1953 – Earl Warren is sworn in as 14th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.



1953 – The New York Yankees win their record 5th consecutive World Series, beating the Dodgers 4 games to 2.


1970 – PBS (Public Broadcasting System) forms as a TV network.


1998 – The U.S. pays $60 million for Russia’s research time on the International Space Station to keep the cash-strapped Russian space agency afloat.


2001 – Robert Stevens becomes the first of five victims in the 2001 anthrax attacks.


2005 – Vampire novel “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer is published.


2006 – Walmart rolls out its $4 generic drug program to the entire state of Florida after a successful test in the Tampa area.



October 6


1781 – American and French troops begin the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, the last battle of Revolutionary War.


1857 – The American Chess Association is organized and the first major U.S. chess tournament is played in New York City.


1866 – John and Simeon Reno stage the first train robbery in U. S. when they stop a moving train. The brothers steal $13,000 from an Ohio and Mississippi train in Indiana. The Reno Brothers gang goes on to rob several other trains. Vigilantes at the New Albany jail hang the brothers on December 12, 1868.


1882 – The first World Series baseball game is played. The Cincinnati Red Stockings (American Association) beat the Chicago White Stockings (National League) 4-0. The American Association lasts only ten years. The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the Cincinnati Reds.


1889 – Thomas Edison screens his first motion picture.


1893 – Nabisco Foods invents Cream of Wheat.


1911 – Cy Young makes his farewell appearance in a major league baseball game at age 44. He loses to Brooklyn 13-3 in a Brave’s uniform in his 906th game. The award that bears his name is given annually to the best pitcher in each league.


1927 – “Jazz Singer,” the first movie with a sound track, premieres in New York City. The movie is based on the life of singer Al Jolson. Watch Jolson at his best:


1949 – President Truman signs the Mutual Defense Assistance Act passed by Congress. It is the first U.S. military foreign aid legislation of the Cold War era.


1961 – President Kennedy advises American families to build or buy bomb shelters to protect them in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.


1979 – President Carter welcomes Pope John Paul II, the first Pope to visit the White House.


1991 – Elizabeth Taylor gets married for the 8th (and last) time to Larry Fortensky at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. They get divorced in 1996. Liz Taylor died in 2011 at age 79. Larry Fortensky is now 63 years old.


2010 – Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launch Instagram as a free mobile app.



October 7


1765 – Nine American colonies send a total of 28 delegates to New York City for the Stamp Act Congress. The delegates adopt the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.”


1816 – The first double-decker, paddle-wheel steamboat, the Washington, arrives in New Orleans. Shipbuilder Henry Shreve launches the steamboat earlier that year from the Monongahela River near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.


1826 – The Granite Railway, the first chartered railway in the U.S., begins operations.


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


1944 – Australian-born opera singer Marjorie Lawrence sings at the White House at the request of President FDR. Lawrence was stricken by polio and paralyzed from the waist down at the height of her career. She recovers and returns to singing but encounters obstacles when she returns to singing. FDR encourages her to “carry on.” Watch a 1947 performance:


1950 – U.S. forces invade North Korea by crossing the 38th parallel (Demilitarized Zone).


1952 – The first “Bandstand” show is broadcast on TV from Philadelphia. Dick Clark becomes the host of “American Bandstand” in 1956 and serves until the show ends in 1989. Clark died in April 2012 at age 82.


1963 – President JFK signs the ratified Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.


1965 – Robert Mitera, age 21, aces the 447-yard 10th hole at Miracle Hills Golf Course in Omaha, Nebraska, to score world’s longest straight hole-in-one.


1968 – The Motion Picture Association of America adopts the film-rating letter system to rate a film’s thematic and content suitability for certain audiences.


1985 – Lynette Woodard, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist in basketball, is chosen as the first woman basketball player for the Harlem Globetrotters. She plays with the Globetrotters until 1987 when she joins an Italian pro basketball team. Woodard is now 56 years old.


2001 – The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan starts with an air assault and covert operations on the ground.


2003 – Gray Davis is recalled as Governor of California, three years before the official end of his office term. Film star Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor.



October 8


1871 – The Great Chicago Fire kills 200 people, destroys over 4 square miles of buildings, and burns the original Emancipation Proclamation.


1896 – Dow Jones starts reporting an average of selected industrial stocks.


1918 – During World War I, Sgt. Alvin York single-handedly kills 25 Germans and captures 132 others. Sergeant York is awarded his nation’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions. The film “Sergeant York” starring Gary Cooper becomes one of the top grossing Warner Brothers films of the entire war era and earns Cooper the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1942. Watch a report on Sgt. York including an interview with his son:


1935 – Ozzie Nelson marries Harriet Hilliard (Ozzie & Harriet).


1944 – The “Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” debut on the radio and airs until 1954. (See Oct. 10, 1952)


1952 – Amy Vanderbilt’s “Complete Book of Etiquette” is published for the first time.


1956 – Donald James Larsen (New York Yankees) pitches the first perfect game in the history of the World Series.


1957 – The Brooklyn Dodgers announce their plans to move to Los Angeles, California. They move to LA for the 1958 season.


1988 – Fire in Seattle’s Space Needle causes evacuation and $2,000 damage.


1990 – U.S. doctors Joseph E. Murray and E. Donnall Thomas win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries in organ and cell transplantation.


1993 – The U.S. government issues a report absolving the FBI of any wrongdoing in its final assault in Waco, Texas, on the Branch Davidian compound. The fire that ended the siege killed as many as 85 people.


2001 – President George W. Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security. Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge is sworn in as its director.



October 9


1635 – Dissident Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs. In 1636 he purchases land from the Narragansett Indians and founds the colony of Rhode Island.


1855 – Isaac Singer patents sewing machine motor.


1855 – Joshua Stoddard of Worcester, Massachusetts, patents the first calliope. The musical instrument is used to attract attention for circuses and arriving steamboats.


1872 – Aaron Montgomery starts his mail-order business.


1888 – The Washington Monument opens for public admittance. Construction begins in 1848 but the completion is delayed by the Civil War. It is still the tallest stone structure in the world.


1915 – Woodrow Wilson becomes the first president to attend a World Series game. (World Series #12)


1916 – Babe Ruth (Boston Red Sox) pitches in the longest World Series game ever (14 innings) and beats the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-1.


1930 – Aviator Laura Ingalls lands in Glendale, California, to complete the first solo transcontinental flight across the U.S. by a woman. Amelai Earhart completes the flight non-stop in 1932.


1936 – Hoover Dam begins transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.


1960 – Cowboy quarterback Eddie LeBaron throws the shortest touchdown pass in football history (2 inches).


1973 – Elvis and Priscilla Presley divorce after 6 years of marriage. They have one daughter, Lisa Marie, who is now 47 years old.


1974 – Frank Robinson (Cleveland Indians) becomes the first black baseball manager.


1989 – Art Shell becomes the first black coach of an NFL game. His Los Angeles Raiders beat the New York Jets 14-7 on Monday Night Football.


2007 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at an all-time high of 14,164. The stock market crashes on September 29, 2008, cloing at 10,365 and wiping out $1.2 trillion in market value.


2009 – President Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize nine months after taking office. Obama is nominated by the Nobel Committee, in part, for calling for “a new start to relations between the Muslim world and the West based on common interests and mutual understanding and respect.” Watch his short acceptance speech:


2014 – JFK airport in New York begins enhance screening for the Ebola virus.



October 10


1845 – The Naval School (now the U.S. Naval Academy) opens in Annapolis, Maryland.


1886 – The first dinner jacket (tuxedo) is worn to autumn ball at Tuxedo Park, New York.


1913 – President Woodrow Wilson triggers the explosion of the Gamboa Dike that ends the construction of the Panama Canal.


1920 – The Cleveland Indian’s Elmer Smith hits the first World Series grand slam.


1933 – Dreft, the first synthetic detergent, goes on sale.


1952 – “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” premiers on TV and airs until 1966. The Ozzie and Harriet show airs on radio and TV simultaneously from 1952 to 1954.


1963 – The U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R. sign a treaty banning atmospheric nuclear tests.


1965 – The Red Baron makes his first appearance in the “Peanuts” comic strip.


1973 – Vice President Spiro T. Agnew pleads no contest to tax evasion and resigns. President Nixon nominates Gerald Ford as Vice President on October 12th to replace Spiro Agnew.


1975 – Liz Taylor gets married for the 6th time when she re-marries Richard Burton.


1978 – Congress approves the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. It is minted from 1979 to 1981 and again in 1999. Women’s suffragette Susan B. Anthony is the first woman to be honored by having her likeness appear on a circulating U. S. coin.


1991 Greyhound emerges from bankruptcy reorganization after filing for Chapter 11 protection in 1990. The company names Frank Schmeider as its new CEO.



October 11


1809 – Explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder’s Stand along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. His death remains an unsolved mystery.


1865 – President Andrew Johnson paroles Confederate States Vice President Alexander H. Stephens.


1869 – Thomas Edison files for a patent on his first invention. The electric machine is used for counting votes for Congress, however Congress did not buy it.


1890 – The Daughters of American Revolution (DAR) is founded.


1929 – JC Penney opens store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all lower 48 states. James Cash Penney died in 1971 at age 95.


1936 – The radio show “Professor Quiz” premiers as the first true quiz program and airs until 1948.


1958 – The U.S. launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1. The probe does not reach its destination and falls back to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere.


1968 – Apollo 7 is launched as the first manned Apollo mission in which live television broadcasts are received from orbit.


1975 – “Saturday Night Live” premieres with George Carlin as its guest host. Carlin died in 2008 at age 71. Watch the trailer for the first show:


1975 – Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham are married in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


1983 – The last hand-cranked telephones in the U.S. went out of service as 440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine, are switched over to direct-dial.


1984 – Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan is the first American woman to walk in space. She flies on three Space Shuttle missions and logs 532 hours in space. Sullivan is now the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and the Deputy Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


1984 – Vice Presidential candidates Geraldine Ferraro (D) & George H. W. Bush (R) participate in a debate. Ferraro is the first woman from a major political party to be nominated as Vice President.


1990 – Oil hits a record high of $40.42 per barrel. Crude oil prices rose to $127 in 2008 and dropped to less than $40 per barrel this summer.


1994 – The Colorado Supreme Court declares that the anti-gay rights measure in the state is unconstitutional.


2006 – “30 Rock” starring Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan debuts on TV and airs until 2013.


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