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|<<||Selected anniversaries for October||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2020 day arrangement
- 1800 – With the signing of the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain returned the colonial territory of Louisiana to France in return for territories in the Tuscany area of Italy.
- 1891 – Stanford University (pictured), founded by railroad magnate and California governor Leland Stanford and his wife Jane on their former farm lands in Palo Alto, California, admitted its first students.
- 1949 – Chinese Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong publicly proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
- 1989 – Denmark became the first country to legalise civil unions between same-sex couples.
- 2012 – A ferry collision off Lamma Island, Hong Kong, killed 39 people and injured 92 others.
- 1879 – Qing China signed the Treaty of Livadia with the Russian Empire, but the terms were so unfavorable to China that their negotiator, Chonghou, was later sentenced to death.
- 1937 – President Rafael Trujillo announced that Dominican troops had begun mass killings of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic.
- 1942 – Second World War: HMS Curacoa (pictured) was accidentally rammed and sunk by RMS Queen Mary while escorting the liner to provide protection from submarine attacks.
- 1996 – A maintenance worker's failure to remove tape covering the static ports of the aircraft caused Aeroperú Flight 603 to crash into the ocean near Lima, Peru, killing all 70 people on board.
- 2004 – The first Parkrun, then known as the Bushy Park Time Trial, took place in Bushy Park, London.
- 1952 – The United Kingdom successfully completed a nuclear test to become the world's third nuclear power.
- 1957 – A California Superior Court judge ruled that "Howl", a poem by Allen Ginsberg (pictured), was of "redeeming social importance" and thus not obscene.
- 1963 – Oswaldo López Arellano replaced Honduran president Ramón Villeda Morales in a violent coup, initiating two decades of military rule.
- 1989 – Major Moisés Giroldi of the Panama Defense Forces failed in his attempt to overthrow dictator Manuel Noriega.
- 2013 – A boat carrying migrants from Libya to Italy sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa, resulting in more than 360 deaths.
- 1941 – Willie Gillis, one of Norman Rockwell's trademark characters, debuted on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
- 1957 – The Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 1 (replica pictured), the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, was launched by an R-7 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
- 1958 – The current Constitution of France was signed into law, establishing the French Fifth Republic.
- 2003 – A suicide bomber killed 21 people and injured 51 others inside the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, Israel.
- 2010 – The dam holding a waste reservoir in western Hungary collapsed, freeing 1 million m3 (35 million cu ft) of red mud, which flooded nearby communities and killed ten people.
- 610 – Heraclius was crowned Byzantine emperor, having personally beheaded the previous emperor, Phocas.
- 1869 – During construction of the Hennepin Island tunnel in St. Anthony, Minnesota (now Minneapolis), the Mississippi River broke through the tunnel's limestone ceiling, nearly destroying Saint Anthony Falls.
- 1936 – Around 200 men began a 291-mile (468 km) march (pictured) from Jarrow to London, carrying a petition to the British government requesting the re-establishment of industry in the town.
- 1975 – Dirty War: The Argentine guerrilla group Montoneros carried out Operation Primicia, a terrorist attack in which they hijacked an Aerolíneas Argentinas flight, captured Formosa International Airport, and attacked a military regiment.
- 1999 – Two trains collided head-on at Ladbroke Grove, London, killing 31 people, injuring 417, and severely damaging public confidence in the management and regulation of safety of Britain's privatised railway system.
- 69 BC – Third Mithridatic War: Forces of the Roman Republic captured the Armenian capital city of Tigranocerta.
- 1762 – Seven Years' War: The Battle of Manila concluded with a British victory over Spain, leading to a twenty-month occupation.
- 1908 – Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, causing a crisis that permanently damaged their relations with the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Serbia.
- 1927 – The Jazz Singer (poster depicted), one of the first feature-length motion pictures with a synchronized recorded music score, was released.
- 2002 – Al-Qaeda bombed the oil tanker Limburg, causing oil to leak into the Gulf of Aden.
- 1542 – Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of California.
- 1913 – The Highland Park Ford Plant in the Detroit area of Michigan became the world's first car factory to implement a moving assembly line (pictured), eventually reducing Ford Model T production time from 12 hours to 93 minutes.
- 1944 – The Holocaust: When Sonderkommando (work unit) members in Auschwitz learned that they were due to be killed, they staged a revolt and although a few managed to escape, most were massacred on the same day.
- 2006 – Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist and human rights activist, was assassinated in the elevator of her apartment block in central Moscow.
- 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Perryville, one of the bloodiest battles of the war, was fought in the Chaplin Hills west of Perryville, Kentucky.
- 1871 – Five large fires broke out in the United States, including the Great Chicago Fire (depicted) in Illinois and the Peshtigo fire in Wisconsin, the latter being the deadliest in U.S. history.
- 1952 – Three trains collided at Harrow & Wealdstone station in London, killing 112 people and injuring 340 others.
- 1967 – Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla leader Che Guevara was captured near La Higuera, Bolivia.
- 2019 – A series of antigovernment protests began in Baku.
- 1676 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek wrote a letter to the Royal Society describing "animalcules" – the first known description of protozoa.
- 1874 – The Universal Postal Union, then known as the General Postal Union, was established with the signing of the Treaty of Bern to unify disparate postal services and regulations so that international mail could be exchanged easily.
- 1986 – The Phantom of the Opera (scene pictured), a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and currently the longest-running Broadway show in history, opened in London's West End.
- 2012 – Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was severely injured by a Taliban gunman in a failed assassination attempt.
- 680 – Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad, was killed in the Battle of Karbala by the forces of Yazid I, whom Husayn had refused to recognize as caliph.
- 1933 – In the first proven act of sabotage in the history of commercial aviation, a Boeing 247 operated by United Airlines exploded in mid-air near Chesterton, Indiana, killing all seven people aboard.
- 1964 – The opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics took place in Tokyo (torchbearer Yoshinori Sakai pictured), becoming the first Games to be held in Asia and the first to be broadcast live internationally via satellite.
- 1982 – Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish friar who had volunteered to die in place of a stranger in Auschwitz concentration camp, was canonized by the Catholic Church.
- 1531 – Swiss Reformation leader Huldrych Zwingli was killed in battle when Zürich forces were attacked by Catholic cantons in response to a food blockade being applied by his alliance.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: A British fleet defeated American ships at the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain, but gave American forces enough time to prepare their defenses for the Saratoga campaign.
- 1840 – Bashir Shihab II (portrait pictured) surrendered to the Ottoman Empire and was removed as Emir of Mount Lebanon after an imperial decree by Sultan Abdülmecid I.
- 1937 – Edward, Duke of Windsor, and Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, arrived at Friedrichstraße station in Berlin to begin their tour of Germany.
- 1871 – The Criminal Tribes Act entered into force in British India, giving law enforcement sweeping powers to arrest, control, and monitor the movements of the members of ethnic or social communities that were defined as "habitually criminal".
- 1890 – The Uddevalla Suffrage Association was founded in Uddevalla, Sweden, with the purpose of bringing about universal suffrage.
- 1917 – First World War: New Zealand troops suffered more than 2,000 casualties, including more than 800 deaths, in the First Battle of Passchendaele, making it the nation's largest loss of life in one day.
- 1979 – Typhoon Tip, the largest and most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded, reached a worldwide record-low sea-level pressure of 870 mbar (25.69 inHg) in the western Pacific Ocean.
- 1999 – Pakistani general Pervez Musharraf (pictured) led a military coup against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
- 1307 – Agents of King Philip IV of France launched a raid on the Knights Templar at dawn, arresting many members, subsequently torturing them into giving false confessions and burning them at the stake (depiction shown).
- 1710 – Queen Anne's War: French and Wabanaki forces surrendered to end the Siege of Port Royal, giving the British permanent possession of Nova Scotia.
- 1843 – B'nai B'rith, the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world, was founded in New York City.
- 1917 – At least 30,000 people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun in the fields of Cova da Iria near Fátima, Portugal.
- 1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed into a remote area in the Andes mountains near the border of Chile and Argentina; the remaining 16 survivors were not rescued until December 23.
- 1758 – Third Silesian War: At the Battle of Hochkirch, an Austrian army under Leopold Joseph von Daun surprised the Prussians commanded by Frederick the Great, overwhelming them and forcing a general retreat.
- 1912 – Former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt was shot in an assassination attempt, but delivered a speech before receiving treatment from preeminent surgeon John Benjamin Murphy.
- 1939 – Second World War: The German submarine U-47 torpedoed and sank the Royal Navy battleship HMS Royal Oak while the latter was anchored at Scapa Flow in Orkney, Scotland.
- 1944 – Having been linked to a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, German field marshal Erwin Rommel (pictured) was forced to commit suicide.
- 1979 – At least 75,000 people attended the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Washington, D.C., to demand equal civil rights for LGBT people.
- 1529 – Ottoman–Habsburg wars: The Siege of Vienna ended as the Austrians repelled the invading Turks, turning the tide against almost a century of conquest in Europe by the Ottoman Empire.
- 1864 – American Civil War: Confederate forces captured Glasgow, Missouri, although it had little long-term benefit as Price's Missouri Expedition was defeated a week later.
- 1982 – Ata'ollah Ashrafi Esfahani was assassinated by the People's Mujahedin of Iran during Friday prayers.
- 2003 – Shenzhou 5, China's first crewed space mission, was launched, carrying astronaut Yang Liwei.
- 2011 – Global demonstrations against economic inequality (protests in Madrid pictured), corporate influence on government, and other issues, were held in more than 950 cities in 82 countries.
- 1813 – The Sixth Coalition attacked French forces led by Napoleon in the Battle of Leipzig, the largest conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, with over 500,000 troops involved.
- 1905 – Authorities of the British Raj partitioned the Bengal Presidency, separating the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas.
- 1943 – The Holocaust: The Gestapo conducted a raid on the Roman Ghetto, capturing 1,259 members of the Jewish community, most of whom were sent to Auschwitz.
- 1964 – With the success of Project 596 (mushroom cloud pictured), China became the world's fifth nuclear power.
- 1991 – A man drove his vehicle through the window of a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, and opened fire, killing 23 people before he committed suicide.
- 1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler began observations of an exceptionally bright object, now known as Kepler's Supernova, which had suddenly appeared in the constellation Ophiuchus earlier in the month.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: General John Burgoyne's Saratoga campaign ended with his surrender to the Americans, which later convinced France to enter the war in alliance with the United States.
- 1814 – A wooden beer fermenting vat in London burst, destroying a second vat and causing a flood of at least 128,000 imperial gallons (580,000 l; 154,000 US gal) of porter that killed eight people.
- 1969 – The Caravaggio painting Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence (shown) was stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo, Italy.
- 1587 – Filipino sailors disembarked from the Manila galleon Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza in what is now Morro Bay, California, the first documented instance of Asians in the Americas.
- 1851 – Moby-Dick (illustration shown), a novel by American writer Herman Melville, was first published as The Whale in London.
- 1929 – In the Persons Case, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decided that women were eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate.
- 1963 – The first cat in space, later known as Félicette, launched aboard a French Véronique rocket.
- 1596 – The Spanish ship San Felipe was shipwrecked on the Japanese island of Shikoku and its cargo confiscated by the local daimyō.
- 1781 – American Revolutionary War: British forces led by Lord Cornwallis officially surrendered to Franco-American forces under George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau, ending the Siege of Yorktown (depiction shown).
- 1944 – The Guatemalan Revolution began when a small group of army officers led by Francisco Javier Arana and Jacobo Árbenz launched a coup against dictator Jorge Ubico.
- 1965 – A group of ethnic Hutu officers from the Burundian military failed in their attempt to overthrow the government.
- 1987 – Iran–Iraq War: U.S. Navy forces destroyed two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in response to an Iranian missile attack on a Kuwaiti oil tanker three days earlier.
- 1740 – Under the terms of the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, Maria Theresa assumed the throne of the Habsburg Monarchy.
- 1939 – Pope Pius XII (pictured) published his first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus, critiquing ideologies such as racism, cultural superiority and totalitarianism.
- 1951 – African-American college football player Johnny Bright was the victim of an on-field assault that eventually provoked changes in NCAA football rules and mandated the use of more protective helmets with face guards.
- 2011 – Libyan Civil War: Deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi was captured by rebel forces during the Battle of Sirte and killed less than an hour later.
- 1858 – French composer Jacques Offenbach's operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, featuring the music most associated with the can-can, was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in Paris.
- 1867 – The first and second of three treaties were signed near Medicine Lodge, Kansas, between the United States and several Native American tribes in the Great Plains, requiring them to relocate to areas in present-day western Oklahoma.
- 1959 – The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (pictured), designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York City.
- 1969 – Siad Barre led Supreme Revolutionary Council forces in a military coup and established the Somali Democratic Republic.
- 1983 – At the 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures, the length of a metre was redefined as the distance that light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second.
- 906 – Ahmad ibn Kayghalagh, an Abbasid military officer of Turkic origin, led a raid against the Byzantine Empire, taking at least 4,000 captives.
- 1727 – George II and Caroline of Ansbach were crowned king and queen of Great Britain in Westminster Abbey.
- 1877 – Scotland's worst mining accident occurred when an explosion at a colliery in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, killed 207 miners.
- 1940 – After evading French and Spanish authorities, Belgian prime minister Hubert Pierlot (pictured) arrived in London, marking the beginning of the Belgian government in exile.
- 2001 – The controversial video game Grand Theft Auto III was first released to critical acclaim, and went on to popularise open-world and mature-content games.
- 1641 – Irish Catholic gentry in Ulster tried to seize control of Dublin Castle, the seat of English rule in Ireland, to force concessions to Catholics.
- 1850 – The first National Women's Rights Convention, presided over by Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis (pictured), began in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- 1942 – World War II: Japanese forces began their ill-fated attempt to recapture Henderson Field in Solomon Islands from the Americans.
- 1956 – The Hungarian Revolution began as a peaceful student demonstration that attracted thousands as it marched through central Budapest to the parliament building.
- 1982 – An attempt to arrest members of a cult in Miracle Valley, Arizona, led to a shootout in which two church members were killed and seven police officers were injured.
- 1260 – Qutuz, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, was assassinated by a fellow Mamluk leader, Baibars, who then seized power for himself.
- 1789 – The Brabant Revolution, sometimes considered as the first expression of Belgian nationalism, began with the invasion of the Austrian Netherlands by an émigré army from the Dutch Republic.
- 1889 – Sir Henry Parkes, the premier of the Colony of New South Wales, gave a speech where he called for the federation of the six Australian colonies.
- 1912 – First Balkan War: Serbian forces defeated the Ottoman army at the Battle of Kumanovo in the Kosovo Vilayet.
- 1949 – The cornerstone of the United Nations headquarters (pictured) was laid in New York City.
- 1147 – Reconquista: Forces under Afonso I of Portugal captured Lisbon from the Moors after a four-month siege in one of the few Christian victories during the Second Crusade.
- 1616 – Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog left a plate (pictured) on an island in Shark Bay, the oldest-known artifact of European exploration in Australia still in existence.
- 1944 – USS Tang, the U.S. Navy submarine credited with sinking more ships than any other American submarine, sank when it was struck by its own torpedo.
- 1980 – Proceedings on the Hague Abduction Convention, a multilateral treaty providing an expeditious method to return a child taken from one member nation to another, concluded at The Hague.
- 1341 – The Byzantine army proclaimed chief minister John VI Kantakouzenos emperor, triggering a civil war between his supporters and those of John V Palaiologos, the heir to the throne.
- 1881 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, one of the most famous shootouts of the American Old West, took place in Tombstone, Arizona, between Ike Clanton's gang and lawmen including Wyatt Earp.
- 1909 – An Jung-geun, a Korean independence activist, assassinated Itō Hirobumi, the president of the Privy Council of Japan.
- 1977 – Somali hospital cook Ali Maow Maalin began displaying symptoms of smallpox, becoming the last person to be naturally infected by the disease.
- 2001 – President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act into law (pictured), significantly expanding the authority of law enforcement agencies in fighting terrorism in the United States and elsewhere.
- 1662 – King Charles II of England sold Dunkirk to King Louis XIV of France.
- 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The French Army of the Rhine under François Bazaine was forced to surrender after a nine-week siege of the fortifications of Metz.
- 1904 – The first underground segment of the New York City Subway opened, connecting New York City Hall (station pictured) with Harlem.
- 1944 – World War II: German forces captured Banská Bystrica, the center of anti-Nazi opposition in Slovakia, bringing the Slovak National Uprising to an end.
- 1999 – Armed men led by Nairi Hunanyan attacked the National Assembly of Armenia, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, President of the National Assembly Karen Demirchyan, and six others.
- 1664 – The Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot, the forerunner to the Royal Marines, was established at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company in London.
- 1891 – The Mino–Owari earthquake, the strongest known inland earthquake in Japan's history, caused widespread damage and 7,273 deaths.
- 1919 – The U.S. Congress passed the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson's veto, reinforcing Prohibition in the United States.
- 1925 – The funerary mask of Tutankhamun (pictured), possibly originally made for Queen Neferneferuaten, was uncovered for the first time in approximately 3,250 years.
- 1971 – Prospero, the first British satellite launched on a British rocket, lifted off from Launch Area 5B at Woomera, South Australia.
- 1787 – Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, based on Don Juan, the legendary fictional libertine, premiered at the Estates Theatre in Prague.
- 1955 – An explosion, likely caused by a World War II–era mine, capsized the Soviet ship Novorossiysk in the harbor of Sevastopol, with the loss of 608 men.
- 1969 – A student at UCLA sent the first message on the ARPANET (message log shown), the precursor to the Internet, to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute.
- 1999 – About 10,000 people died when a tropical cyclone made landfall in the Indian state of Odisha near the city of Bhubaneswar.
- 1806 – War of the Fourth Coalition: Believing that they were massively outnumbered, the 5,300-man German garrison at Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, Poland), surrendered to a much smaller French force without a fight.
- 1888 – King Lobengula of Matabeleland granted the Rudd Concession to agents of Cecil Rhodes, setting in motion the creation of the British South Africa Company.
- 1950 – Blanca Canales led the Jayuya Uprising against the Puerto Rican government supported by the United States.
- 1965 – English model Jean Shrimpton wore a controversially short minidress (pictured) to Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia – a pivotal moment of the introduction of the miniskirt to women's fashion.
- 802 – Irene of Athens, the first empress regnant of the Byzantine Empire, was deposed and exiled to the island of Lesbos.
- 1517 – According to one account, Martin Luther (depicted) posted his Ninety-five Theses onto the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, present-day Germany, marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
- 1973 – Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin aboard a hijacked helicopter that landed in the prison's exercise yard.
- 1999 – Australian sailor Jesse Martin arrived in Melbourne, becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo, non-stop, and unassisted.