This Day in History - October 1

October 1

331 BC – Alexander the Great destroys King Darius III’s Persian army at Gaugamela (Arbela) in a tactical masterstroke that leaves him, master of the Persian Empire

1273 – Rudolf of Hapsburg is elected emperor in Germany

1588 – The feeble Sultan Mohammed Shah of Persia hands over power to his 17-year old son Abbas

1776 – During the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin receives information that the French are going to purchase arms and ammunition and send to the West Indies for use by the American Patriots

1791 – The National Legislative Assembly holds its first meeting in Paris

1800 – Spain ceded Louisiana to France in the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso

1837 – Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment during America’s Civil War

1839 – The British government decides to send a punitive naval expedition to China

1847 – Maria Mitchell, the American astronomer, discovers a comet and is elected the same day to the American Academy of Arts, the first woman to be so honored. The King of Denmark awarded her a gold medal for her discovery

1856 – The first installment of Gustav Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary appears in the Revue de Paris after the publisher refuses to print a passage in which the character Emma has a tryst in the back seat of a carriage

1864 – The Condor, a British blockade-runner, is grounded near Fort Fisher, North Carolina by a Yankee craft during the Civil War, drowning Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow

1878 – General Lew Wallace is sworn in as governor of New Mexico Territory. He went on to deal with the Lincoln County War, Billy the Kid and write Ben-Hur. His Civil War heroics earned him the moniker Savior of Cincinnati

1890 – Yosemite National Park is dedicated in California

1896 – Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan is born

1904 – Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-born American virtuoso pianist is born

1908 – The Ford Model T, the first car for millions of Americans, hits the markets

1910 – American criminal Bonnie Parker is born

1918 – A combined Arab and British force captured Damascus from the Turks during World War I. A commander of the Allied campaign was T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia

1920 – Scientific American magazine reported that the rapidly developing medium of radio would soon be used to broadcast music

1924 – 39th president of the US, Jimmy Carter is born

1924 – 16th Chief Justice of the US, William Rehnquist is born

1932 – Guitarist Albert Collins is born

1935 – Actress and singer Julie Andrews was born

1936 – General Francisco Franco is named head of the rebel Nationalist government in Spain

1942 – The German Army grinds to a complete halt within the city of Stalingrad during World War II

1943 – British troops in Italy enter Naples and occupy Foggia airfield during World War II

1944 – The US First Army begins the siege Aachen, Germany during World War II

1944 – The first two sets of medical experiments involving castration are performed on homosexuals at the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany during World War II

1946 – Eleven Nazi war criminals are sentenced to be hanged at the Nuremberg trials following World War II

1946 – Novelist Tim O’Brien is born

1947 – Game designer who co-created Dungeons & Dragons, Dave Arneson is born

1947 – First flight of F-86 Sabre jet fighter, which would win fame in the Korean War

1949 – Mao Zedong establishes the People’s Republic of China

1950 – Golden Globe-winning actor Randy Quaid is born

1955 – Pro baseball pitcher Jeff Reardon is born

1957 – “In God We Trust” appears on US paper currency as an act to distinguish the US from the officially atheist USSR; the motto had appeared on coins at various times since 1864

1958 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration replaces the 43-year old National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in the US

1960 – Nigeria proclaims its independence from the UK

1961 – The Federal Republic of Cameroon is formed by the merger of East and West Cameroon

1961 – New York Yankee Roger Maris becomes the first-ever major league baseball player to hit more than 60 home runs in a single season

1961 – South Vietnam requests a bilateral defense treaty with the US during the Vietnam War

1962 – The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson debuts

1963 – Pro baseball player Mark McGwire is born

1964 – Record producer and president of one of Japan’s largest music labels, Avex Group, Max Matsuura is born

1964 – Japanese “bullet trains” begin high-speed rail transit between Tokyo and Osaka

1965 – A communist coup against Indonesian President Sukarno is defeated by General Mohammed Suharto, the Indonesian army chief of staff

1971 – Walt Disney World opens near Orlando, Florida as the second of Disney’s Magic Kingdoms

1971 – First CT or CAT brain scan performed at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London

1972 – Kenyan and English archaeologist Louis Leakey dies

1974 – Five Nixon aides go on trial for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation

1975 – Legendary boxing match takes place: Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila”

1982 – First compact disc player is released by Sony

1987 – 6 people are killed and 100 are injured by an earthquake in Whittier, California

1988 – Mikhail Gorbachev names himself head of the Supreme Soviet, after forcing the resignation of Andrei Gromyko

1989 – Denmark introduces the world’s first “civil union” law granting same-sex couples certain legal rights and responsibilities but stopping short of recognizing same-sex marriages

1990 – American general Curtis LeMay dies

1991 – Siege of Dubrovnik begins in the Croatian War of Independence

1993 – Polly Klaas is abducted by knifepoint by an intruder in her California home during a sleepover party with two friends. Authorities found a car stuck in the woods which was traced back to Richard Allen Davis. Davis led them to Polly’s burial site. Davis was charged and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Polly’s father, Marc Klaas, then went on to lobby for tougher punishment for criminals and the “three strikes” law was enacted as a result. However, the law wasn’t drafted well and even lesser criminals, such as those charged with stealing a slice of pizza, have faced life in prison as a result

2004 – American photographer Richard Avedon dies

2009 – The Supreme Court of the UK takes over judicial functions of the House of Lords

2012 – Egyptian and English historian and author Eric Hobsbawm dies

2013 – Espionage and military thriller author Tom Clancy dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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