So many things have happened throughout history. It is easy to forget everything good or bad that has been recorded happened to people just like you and me. It is easy to say “oh that is just history,” and not give things a second thought. What if we told you major things in history happened all throughout October? It can be mind blowing to think, things which we never thought could happen to us, happened to people just like us, on days much like any other day we have. As you read this list, the hope is you can gain perspective about time and the world we live in… or maybe just learn random facts, and that’s okay too.
October 1, 1891
Stanford University, California opened its doors after being founded by Leland Stanford and his wife Jane with a $40M donation, in memory of their son. Among its first graduation class was future US President Herbert Hoover.
Beatrix Potter published “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” with the help of Frederick Warne & Co. in London.
October 3, 52 BC
Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrendered to the Romans under Julius Caesar, ending the siege and battle of Alesia.
October 4, 1926
The Dahlia was designated as the official flower of San Francisco, California.
October 5, 1274
1,000 soldiers of the Mongol army landed on the Japanese island of Tsushim, beginning Kublai Khan’s Mongol invasion of Japan.
Adolf Hitler makes first public announcements for plans to regulate the “Jewish problem.”
October 7, 1915
English nurse Edith Cavell was sentenced to death along with 34 others by German court martial for running an underground network to free soldiers of the Allies during WW2.
October 8, 1604
Supernova “Kepler’s nova” was first sighted by Lodovico delle Colombe in Italy.
October 9, 1665
Due to the Great Plague of London, the British Parliament was forced to meet at the University of Oxford rather than the Palace of Westminster
October 10, 1871
The Great Chicago Fire was finally extinguished after 3 days, leaving approximately 300 dead, 100,000 homeless, and costing $222m in damage.
JC Penney opened their 1,252 store in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.
Theodore Roosevelt renamed the “Executive Mansion” the “The White House.”
October 13, 1978
US President Jimmy Carter answered callers’ questions on National Public Radio.
George Floyd, African American bouncer, murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
October 15, 1924
US President Calvin Coolidge declared the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French, a national monument.
October 16, 1946
10 Nazi leaders were hung as war criminals after Nuremberg war trials, including Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Alfred Jodl.
October 17, 1904
The Bank of Italy opened the first Bank of America in San Francisco, founded by Amadeo Giannini.
October 18, 1931
American gangster Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
October 19, 1596
Spanish galleon San Felipe is shipwrecked on the Japanese island of Shikoku en route from Manila to Acapulco. This led to the crucifixion of 26 Christians who became known as the Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan.
October 20, 1917
US suffrage advocate, Alice Paul, began a 7 month jail sentence for protesting women’s rights in Washington D.C..
October 21, 1966
116 children and 28 adults died as a coal waste heap slid and engulfed a school in Aberfan, South Wales.
October 22, 1907
Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth and Barnum & Bailey circus merge into one show. They went on to perform together for over 100 years.
October 23, 42 BC
Roman Republican civil wars: Second Battle of Philippi – Brutus’s army is decisively defeated by Mark Antony and Octavian. Brutus commits suicide.
October 24, 1881
Levi P. Morton, US ambassador to France, drives the first rivet in the Statue of Liberty.
October 25, 1586
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots was found guilty of treason for being complicit in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I of England, and sentenced to be beheaded the following February.
Benjamin Franklin departed the USA for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
October 27, 1962
The height of the one month and four day Cuban Missile Crisis: An American spy plane was shot down over Cuba and the navy dropped warning depth charges on Soviet submarines.
Eli Whitney applied for a patent on the first cotton gin. The machine separates seeds from cotton. Many people believe the original invention came from slaves he had at the time.
October 29, 1692
The court chosen to judge the Salem Witch Trials was dissolved ending the witch hysteria.
October 30, 1973
The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey was completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time.
The Spanish Flu killed 21,000 people in the USA in a single week. Overall the pandemic claimed over 21 million people.
Written by: Erinn Malloy