This Week In History, October 7-13


by Dianne Hermann


“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

         – Winston Churchill           

Week of October 7-13, 2013


October 7

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.

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

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

1952 – The first “Bandstand” show is broadcast from Philadelphia on WFIL-TV. 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 Woodward, 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.



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. 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.


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

2001 – U.S. President George W. Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.


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.


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

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


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.


October 10

1845 – The Naval School (now called 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.

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

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.


1978 – Congress approves 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.



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.

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 U.S. states.

1975 – “Saturday Night Live” premieres with George Carlin as its guest host.

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). (Additional information is not available from NOAA due to the government shutdown.)


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.



October 12

1692 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony discontinues the witch trials in Salem. A total of 20 “witches” are executed, including eight women who are hanged on September 22nd.

1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens in Williamsburg, Virginia, for “Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds.” The building is destroyed in an 1885 fire. The grounds are excavated in 1972, the building is reconstructed, and it opens as a museum in 1985.

1850 – The Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the first women’s medical school in the world, opens.

1915 – Ford Motor Company manufactures its 1 millionth Model T automobile.

1920 – Man O’War runs his last race and wins. He retires and sires 379 foals, including Triple Crown winner War Admiral.


1928 – The iron lung, invented by Philip Drinker and Louis Shaw, is first used at the Boston Children’s Hospital. It is used to successfully treat a girl suffering from polio.TIS_12_iron_lung


2000 – The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew and wounding at least 39.


October 13

1775 – The Continental Congress creates the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Army is created on June 14, 1775.

1792 – Robert B. Thomas publishes “The Farmer’s Almanac.” The work “Old” is added to the title after 39 years. It is the oldest continuously published periodical in America.


1792 – George Washington lays the cornerstone of the Executive Mansion. President Teddy Roosevelt renames it the White House on October 12, 1901.

1860 – The first aerial photo in U.S. is taken from a balloon in Boston, Massachusetts.


1914 – Garrett Morgan invents and patents gas mask.

1987 – The U.S. Navy first uses trained dolphins for military purposes in the Persian Gulf. The dolphins detect and mark underwater mines. The Navy uses over 100 dolphins as part of the program.


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