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This Day in History – October 15, 2011

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1582 Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15. 1764 Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 1783 The Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon marks the first human ascent, by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, (tethered balloon). 1789 1st presidental tour-George Washington in New England 1793 Queen Marie-Antoinette of France is tried and convicted in a swift, pre-determined trial in the Palais de Justice, Paris, and condemned to death the following day. 1846 Dr William Thomas Green Morton 1st public use of ether 1860 11-year-old Grace Bedell writes to Lincoln, tells him to grow a beard 1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Glasgow is fought, resulting in the surrender of Glasgow, Missouri, and its Union garrison, to the Confederacy. 1878 The Edison Electric Light Company begins operation. 1881 1st American fishing magazine, American Angler published 1883 Supreme Court declares Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional 1888 The “From Hell” letter sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators. 1894 The Dreyfus affair: Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying. 1910 Airship America launched from New Jersey in the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by a powered aircraft. 1914 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) founded 1914 Clayton Antitrust Act passed 1919 14 horses begin 300-mile race from Vt to Mass for $1000 prize money 1928 The airship, Graf Zeppelin completes its first trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States. 1937 Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have & Have Not” published 1939 The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed La Guardia Airport) is dedicated. 1941 Jews caught outside the Polish Ghetto walls could be put to death 1944 The Arrow Cross Party (very similar to Hitler’s NSDAP (Nazi party)) takes power in Hungary. 1951 Mexican chemist Luis E. Miramontes conducts the very last step of the first synthesis of norethisterone, the progestin that would later be used in one of the first two oral contraceptives. 1951 “I Love Lucy” debuts on CBS TV 1965 Vietnam War: The Catholic Worker Movement stages an anti-war rally in Manhattan including a public burning of a draft card; the first such act to result in arrest under a new amendment to the Selective Service Act. 1966 LBJ signs a bill creating Dept of Transportation 1966 Black Panther Party is created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. 1969 Vietnam War; The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam is held in Washington DC and across the US. Over 2 million demonstrate nationally; about 250,000 in the nation’s capitol. 1977 Arkansas’ Steve Little kicks a record tying 67 yard field goal 1985 Shelley Taylor of Australia makes fastest swim ever around Manhattan Island, doing it in 6 hours 12 minutes 29 seconds 1986 Longest post season game, Mets beat Astros 7-6 in 16 & win NL pennant 1989 Wayne Gretzky becomes the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL. 1990 Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation. 1997 The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (United Kingdom), exactly 50 years and 1 day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere. 1997 The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn. 2001 NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter’s moon Io. 2005 A riot in Toledo, Ohio breaks out during a National Socialist/Neo-Nazi protest; over 100 are arrested. 2007 Seventeen activists in New Zealand are arrested in the country’s first post 9/11 anti-terrorism raids. 2008 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 733.08 points, or 7.87%, the second worst day in the Dow’s history based on a percentage drop.]]]]> ]]>

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