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This Day in History – October 12, 2011




1492 Christopher Columbus’s expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached South Asia 1692 The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips. 1773 America’s first insane asylum opens for ‘Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds’ in Virginia 1792 First celebration of Columbus Day in the USA held in New York 1793 The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina 1810 First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. 1823 Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sells the first raincoat. 1861 Confederate ironclad Manassas attacks Union’s Richmond on Mississippi 1862 Maj Gen Earl Van Dorn assumes command of Conf troops in Missisippi 1886 Hurricane & sea surge kills 250 at Indianola Texas 1892 The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage. 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the “Executive Mansion” to the White House. 1915 English nurse Edith Cavell executed by Germans in Belgium (WW II) 1915 Theodore Roosevelt criticizes US citzens with dual nationalities 1920 Man O’War’s last race & win 1927 Hermann Gorner of Germany raises 24 men weighing 4,123 lbs on a plank with the soles of his feet 1928 An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children’s Hospital, Boston 1931 1st International Conference on Calendar Reform 1933 John Dillinger escapes from the Allen County, OH, jail 1933 The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, is acquired by the United States Department of Justice 1945 World War II: Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor. 1960 Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe 1960 Inejiro Asanuma, Chair of the Japanese Socialist Party, is assassinated in Japan by Otoya Yamaguchi, a 17-year-old. The cameras were rolling at the time, so the moment was caught on film. 1962 US/USSR sign joint space effort in telecommunications & meteorology 1962 Infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with record wind velocities; 46 dead and at least U.S. $230 million in damages 1963 Archaeological digs begin at Masada, Israel 1967 Vietnam War: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives are futile because of North Vietnam’s opposition 1970 Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas 1972 En route to the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk 1973 Nixon nominates Gerald Ford to replace Spiro Agnew as VP 1977 US Supreme Court heard arguments in “reverse discrimination” case of Allan Bakke, white student denied admission to U of Calif Med School 1979 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published. 1979 The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip. 1989 Herschel Walker is traded from Cowboys to Vikings for 12 players 1994 NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere). 1999 The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born. 2000 The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39]]]]> ]]>

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