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The h2g2 Calendar - 10 - October

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  • 1908 - The first Ford Model T rolls off the production line and starts off a new way of mass-producing cars that would make motoring affordable to the general public.

  • 1943 - US singer and songwriter Jim Croce, best known for the song 'Bad, Bad Leroy Brown', is born as the eldest son of an Italian family.

  • 1957 - The tranquiliser Thalidomide is first marketed, which leads to birth defects in thousands of children worldwide.

  • 1958 - The NASA is created.

  • 1969 - The Beatles' 11th and penultimate album Abbey Road is released in the USA.

  • 1982 - Helmut Kohl replaces Helmut Schmidt as chancellor of Germany.

  • 1982 - Sony launches the first consumer compact disc player (model CDP-101).


  • 1452 - King Richard III of England is born (d. 1485).

  • 1869 - On this day, Mahatma Gandhi, Pacifist and Political Activist, is born.

  • 1889 - In Colorado, USA, Nicholas Creede strikes it rich during the last great silver boom of the Old West, leaving the legacy of the town of Creede.

  • 1890 - Julius Henry Marx - AKA Groucho Marx - is born.

  • 1950 - The Peanuts comic strip has its very first appearance in a couple of newspapers.


  • 610 - Future Emperor Heraclius and his fleet arrive at Byzantium.

  • 1778 - British captain James Cook anchors in Alaska.

  • 1896 - William Morris, the English designer, writer, poet and politician, dies (b. 1834).

  • 1941 - Singer Chubby Checker is born as Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley, South Carolina.

  • 1993 - During a military mission, the 'Black Hawk' helicopters crash in Mogadishu, Somalia.

  • 2005 - Famous British comedian Ronald William George Barker, or Ronnie Barker for short, dies.


  • 1777 - During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Germantown begins on this day in Pennsylvania.

  • 1830 - Belgium is created with its separation from The Netherlands.

  • 1930 - The British Imperial Airship R101 crashes over Beauvais, France, effectively ending the British airship development.

  • 1957 - Earth's first artificial satellite Sputnik is lauched.

  • 1975 - A Cessna 310Q airplane crashes over Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, killing the pilot and severely injuring several pro-wrestlers.


  • 1582 - Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar, this day was skipped in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

  • 1914 - World War I witnesses the first aerial combat to result in a kill.

  • 1918 - Tennis player and aviation pioneer Roland Garros dies in an air crash when he is shot down at Vouziers, Ardennes during WWI.

  • 1962 - The Beatles' first single 'Love me do' is released.

  • 1969 - Monty Python's first episode is aired on British television.

  • 1999 - 31 people lose their lives and more than 500 are injured in a London rail disaster when a three carriage diesel service travelling from London Paddington to Bedwyn and a high speed train travelling from Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington collide on the Ladbroke Grove points crossing.


  • 1600 - Jacopo Peri's Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, premieres in Florence, signifying the beginning of the Baroque period.

  • 1889 - Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture.

  • 1893 - Indian physicist Meghnad Saha is born in the village of Seoratali, near Dhaka in Bangladesh.

  • 1914 - Ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl is born in Larvik, Norway.

  • 1969 - Protests against the war in Vietnam escalate into the 'Days of Rage'.

  • 1976 - All of the Cuban national fencing team die in an air crash, when bombs explode aboard their Cuban Airlines DC-8.

  • 1993 - Aviation legend 'Lawn Chair' Larry Walters commits suicide by shooting himself in the heart.

  • 1995 - 51 Pegasi becomes the first major star to be discovered, apart from the Sun, that has a planet (and extrasolar planet) orbiting it.


  • 1879 - Joe Hill is born in Gefle, Sweden.

  • 1968 - Thom Yorke, singer with the UK band Radiohead, is born.

  • 1985 - The Mediterranean cruise ship Achille Lauro departs from Alexandria and is hijacked on the same day.

  • 2000 - England's national football stadium, Wembley, sees its last competitive match before being demolished, rebuilt and re-opened in 2007. England lost 1:0 to Germany.


  • 1944 - In World War II, the Battle of Crucifix Hill begins just outside Aachen, Germany. The US troops win.

  • 1952 - 114 people die and 340 are injured in the worst London rail disaster to date, at Harrow & Wealdstowe when an express train coming from Perth crashes into the back of a local train.

  • 1967 - Cuba's revolutionary Che Guevara is captured by the Bolivian army.

  • 2005 - The Kashmir earthquake hits Pakistan.


  • 1937 - Actor Brian Blessed is born in Mexborough, Yorkshire.

  • 1973 - Elvis and Priscilla Presley are divorced.

  • 1940 - In World War II, St Paul's Cathedral in London, England, is hit by a bomb in a nighttime air raid by the German Luftwaffe.

  • 1967 - Che Guevara, the Argentine revolutionary and guerilla leader, is executed.

  • 2006 - North Korea tests its first nuclear device, allegedly.



  • 1811 - The HMS Pomone shipwrecks near the Isle of Wight because of human error.

  • 1954 - In the First Indochina War, the Viet Minh take control of North Vietnam.

  • 1957 - Celebrated comedienne and actress Dawn French is born in Holyhead, Wales.

  • 1982 - The Mary Rose, a Tudor gunship that sunk in 1545, is raised from the sea bed in the Solent Channel, near Portsmouth, UK.

  • 1984 - Three people are killed and 17 injured in a London rail disaster when two trains collide just south of Wembley Central station.


  • 1492 - Christopher Columbus 'discovers' America.

  • 1875 - Aleister Crowley, the English occultist and author, is born (d. 1947).

  • 1940 - During the London Air Raid, seven people die when a World War 2 bomb hits the Trafalgar Square station of the London Underground.

  • 1994 - NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus.

  • 1997 - US singer/songwriter John Denver dies in an air crash near Pacific Grove, California, when he was piloting his Rutan Long EZ.


  • 1307 - Simultaneous arrests of Knights Templars all across France.

  • 1660 - General Thomas Harrison, having played an incriminating role in the execution of King Charles I, is executed at Charing Cross.

  • 1884 - Greenwich, London, is established as the universal time meridian of longitude.

  • 1908 - Suffragettes, led by Emmeline Pankhurst attempt to storm the British Parliament.

  • 1940 - During the London Air Raid, highly explosive World War 2 bombs hit the Paddington Praed street station of the London Underground.

  • 1972 - The 'Old Christians' rugby team of Stella Maris College, Montevideo, Uruguay is caught up in an air crash, when their plane crashes into a remote snow-covered area in the Andes. It's a Friday 13th.

  • 1990 - Syrian forces remove general Michel Aoun from the presidential palace and effectively end the war in the Lebanon.


  • 1066 - William the Conqueror invades Britain in the Battle of Hastings.

  • 1644 - William Penn, the English founder of Pennsylvania, USA, is born.

  • 1890 - President Dwight D Eisenhower is born in Denison, Texas.

  • 1940 - During the London Air Raid, 68 people die when a World War 2 bomb destroys the road above one of the London Underground Northern Line platforms at Balham.

  • 1999 - Irish Tenor Josef Locke dies aged 82.

  • 1977 - Singer and Actor Bing Crosby dies from a heart attack during a golfing holiday to Madrid.

  • 1981 - Amnesty International charges the USA government with holding Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement as a political prisoner, citing official misconduct in the investigation and trial.


  • 1881 - Writer PG Wodehouse is born.

  • 1946 - At the Nuremberg Trials, the Nazi Hermann Göring poisons himself the night before his execution.

  • 1948 - Singer/Songwriter Chris de Burgh is born in Argentina.

  • 1951 - The Mexican chemist Luis Miramontes creates the first oral contraceptive.

  • 1967 - In an attempt to exorcise it of evil spirits, 50,000 demonstrators try to levitate the Pentagon.



  • 1781 - General Cornwallis orders the British troups to surrender to the US in the American Revolutionary War.

  • 1931 - The US gangster Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.

  • 2000 - Four people are killed and 70 are injured in a London rail disaster at Hatfield when an express train derails due to a broken track.

  • 2003 - An eastbound Piccadilly line London Underground train derails just after calling at Hammersmith station, due to a broken track section.

  • 2007 - The Dalai Lama receives the USA's congressional gold medal.


  • 1016 - The Danes defeat the Saxons at the Battle of Ashingdon.

  • 1867 - Alaska is acquired by USA from Russia.

  • 1904 - Gustav Mahler's purely instrumental 5th Symphony premieres in Cologne, Germany.

  • 1926 - Rock'n'Roll pioneer Charles Edward Anderson Berry, better known as Chuck Berry, is born in St Louis, Missouri as one of six children, two older and three younger.

  • 1931 - Thomas Edison, the US inventor, dies.

  • 2000 - British comedian Ivan Owen dies.


  • 1216 - King John of England dies.

  • 1453 - The French recapture Bordeaux, bringing the Hundred Years' War to a close, with the English retaining only Calais on French soil.

  • 1911 - Eugene Ely loses his life in an air crash during a demonstration flight with his Wright Flyer at the Georgia State Fair.

  • 1940 - First recorded snowfall in Pennsylvania, USA.

  • 1986 - Mozambique's political leader Samora Machel dies in an air crash returning from a congress in Zambia approaching Maputo airport.

  • 1991 - Oasis play their first live gig at the Manchester Boardwalk.

  • 2003 - Beatification of Mother Theresa.


  • 1953 - US Musician Tom Petty is born in Gainsville, Florida.

  • 1968 - Former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

  • 1971 - The Nepal stock exchange collapses.

  • 1977 - Three band members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, undisputed kings of Southern Rock, die in an air crash near Gillsburg, Mississippi.


  • 1805 - Admiral Nelson defeats the French and Spanish fleets in the Battle of Trafalgar.

  • 1879 - Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13½ hours before burning out).

  • 1966 - 144 people die, mostly children, in the Aberfan Disaster.

  • 1833 - Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize, is born (d. 1896).

  • 1989 - The first collection of 'Dilbert' books is published.


  • 1797 - From 1,000 metres (3,200 feet) above Paris, France, André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first recorded parachute jump.

  • 1878 - The first rugby match under floodlights takes place in Salford, UK, between Broughton and Swinton.

  • 1969 - Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' is released.

  • 1996 - Insurance tycoon and sponsor of the London football club Chelsea Matthew Harding dies in an air crash when his helicopter crashes near Middlewich, Cheshire.


  • 1642 - During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell's army fights the Royalists of Charles I in the Battle of Edge Hill.

  • 1940 - Pelé, the legendary Brazilian footballer, is born.

  • 1956 - The Budapest protests against the Russian occupation begin.

  • 1982 - TV show Star Fleet first airs in the UK.

  • 2001 - The first Apple iPod is announced.

  • 2004 - A powerful earthquake hits Niigata, northern Japan, killing 35 people, injuring 2,200, and leaving 85,000 homeless or evacuated.


  • 1601 - Danish astronomer (also alchemist, astrologer, elk-owner, prosthetic nose-wearer and nobleman) Tycho Brahe dies from an infection of his bladder.

  • 1857 - Sheffield FC becomes the world's first football club, in Sheffield, England.

  • 1947 - 32 People are killed in a London rail disaster at South Croydon due to human error.

  • 1961 - During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy announces the blockade of Cuba.

  • 1995 - A total solar eclipse is visible from Iran, India, Thailand, and other parts of South-east Asia.


  • 1415 - Henry V of England's army defeats the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

  • 1875 - Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 premieres in Boston, during Hans von Bülow's American Tour.

  • 1951 - The Panmunjom peace talks begin, which eventually leads to the end of the Korean War.

  • 1955 - The Japanese girl Sadako dies aged 12, leaving the legacy of peace cranes.

  • 1999 - US golfer Payne Steward, known for his flamboyant dress sense, dies in an air crash near Aberdeen, South Dakota.

  • 2001 - Microsoft's Windows XP becames available.


  • 899 - Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, dies.

  • 1783 - Mozart's Mass in C Minor, considered such a great musical work that it is called the 'Great Mass', is first performed.

  • 1905 - Norway gains independence from Sweden.

  • 1956 - As an answer to the Hungarian Uprising, Soviet tanks are sent into Budapest.

  • 2004 - Respected radio DJ and champion of new music for over 30 years John Peel dies at the age of 64.


  • 1914 - Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is born in Swansea, South Wales.

  • 1954 - TV show 'Disneyland' is first broadcast, featuring The Ballad of Davy Crockett.

  • 1984 - Kelly Osbourne, the British celebrity daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, is born.

  • 2002 - The ITV television network stops airing a constant regional service in England and Wales. The national ITV1 is formed, with regional references only before regional programmes.


  • 1347 - The first documented Great Peal of Bells in Frankfurt, Germany takes place in honour of the then recently deceased Louis IV of Bavaria, Holy Roman Emperor.

  • 1949 - French virtuose violonist Ginette Neveu dies in an air crash when her Air France Lockheed Constellation crashes into a mountainside while approaching San Miguel Island in the Azores.

  • 1971 - UK satellite Prospero is launched into a polar orbit.

  • 1982 - The Socialist Workers' Party wins the Spanish elections, leading to the first Socialist government after the death of Franco.

  • 1998 - The British poet Ted Hughes dies (b. 1930).


  • 1891 - Comedienne Fanny Brice is born Fania Borach to Hungarian Jewish immigrant parents on the Lower East Side in New York.

  • 1956 - During the Suez Crisis, Israel invades Egypt.

  • 1956 - The Tangiers Protocol is signed, reintegrated the city of Tangiers into Morocco.

  • 2005 - Bomb blasts in Delhi, India, kill more than 60 people.


  • 1485 - The coronation of King Henry VII takes place.

  • 1883 - The first ever terror attack happens on the London Underground when a bomb explodes between Charing Cross and Westminster stations, and a second explosion follows at Paddington Praed Street, injuring over 60 people.

  • 1944 - Anne Frank and sister, Margot, are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

  • 1946 - The first episode of one of the first ever children's TV shows Muffin the Mule is aired.

  • 1960 - Football legend Diego Armando Maradona is born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • 1960 - Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the UK, at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.


  • Every Year - On the day before All Saints Day, Halloween is celebrated in many countries worldwide.

  • 1892 – Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

  • 1940 – The Battle of Britain ends, with the UK preventing a German invasion.

  • 1963 - Johnny Marr, best known as guitarist with The Smiths, is born.

  • 1968 - President Johnson announces a complete halt of US bombing of North Vietnam.

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