This Week in History, Week of October 27-November 2, 2014


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This Week In History

by Dianne Hermann


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

Week of October 27-November 2, 2014

 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 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 moved to TV in 1950. It is renamed “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx” and airs until 1961.


1969 – Ralph Nader sets up a consumer organization known as Nader’s Raiders.

1985 – The Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3 in the 82nd World Series.

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 was shot and paralyzed in 1978.


October 28

1636 – Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts is founded, making it the oldest university in America. (See Oct. 22, 1746)

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


1858 – Macy’s Department store opens in New York City.

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 – St. Louis police try a new investigation method when they test for fingerprints.

1919 – The Volstead Act is passed by Congress, which starts Prohibition over President Wilson’s veto.

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

1962 – New York Giant 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).


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.

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.

1992 – Lee Jang Rim predicts that today would be the end of the world on this day!


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.”


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


1966 – The National Organization of Women is founded.

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 to orbit the earth in 1962.



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.


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.


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

1974 – California Angel Nolan Ryan throws the fastest recorded pitch at 100.9 MPH. (See Sept. 22, 1993)


A new record holder threw a 106 mph pitch in April, 2011:

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


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.


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.


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.

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 Enron.


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 is the first president to live in the White House.

1936 – The Rodeo Cowboy’s Association is founded.

1938 – Seabiscuit beats War Admiral in a match race at Pimlico horse racing track. (See Oct. 25, 1870)



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 Houston 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. Blanda died in 2010 at age 83.

1971 – The Eisenhower dollar goes into circulation.


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


November 2

1783 – General George Washington, later the first American President, bids farewell to his army at Fraunces Tavern after winning the American Revolutionary War.


1898 – Cheerleading is started at the University of Minnesota when Johnny Campbell leads the crowd in cheering on the football team.

1917 – The first U.S. soldiers killed in combat in World War I.

1947 – Howard Hughes flies the “Spruce Goose,” a large wooden airplane of his own design.


1948 – President Harry Truman is re-elected in an upset over Republican Thomas Dewey.

1954 – Strom Thurmond (D-SC), once an avowed segregationist, is the first Senator elected by write-in vote. He switches to the Republican Party in 1964. At age 100 he is the oldest person to serve in Congress. Thurmond died in 2003 at age 100.

Thurmond’s Dixiecrat days:

1959 – Contestant Charles Van Doren confesses that the popular TV quiz show “21” is fixed.


1976 – New Jersey voters approve gambling in Atlantic City.

1984 – Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962 after her conviction of murder. She is convicted for one murder but admits to six. She is the first woman executed by lethal injection.

Her last interview. She found God and complained of prison life:


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