Forthcoming historic anniversaries, Oct 2008

You may wish to write about the following historical events. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing. Dates and facts are taken from a reliable source, but we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Please cross-check all information as part of your research and let us know of any errors. 

400 years ago (2 Oct 1608)
Dutch lens maker Hans Lippershey demonstrated the first telescope

250 years ago (16 Oct 1758)
Birth of Noah Webster, American lexicographer

150 years ago (27 Oct 1858)
Birth of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

100 years ago (1 Oct 1908)
Henry Ford’s ‘Model T’ cars went on sale for $825 each

100 years ago (5 Oct 1908)
Bulgaria declared its independence from Turkey

100 years ago (6 Oct 1908)
Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina

100 years ago (6 Oct 1908)
Birth of Carole Lombard, American actress

100 years ago (7 Oct 1908)
Crete revolted against the Ottoman Empire and proclaimed union with Greece

100 years ago (9 Oct 1908)
Birth of Jacques Tati, French comic actor and film director

100 years ago (18 Oct 1908)
Belgium annexed the Congo Free State

80 years ago (2 Oct 1928)
Opus Dei was founded in Madrid, Spain by Roman Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá (later made a saint)

80 years ago (15 Oct 1928)
The German airship ‘Graf Zeppelin’ made its first trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA

75 years ago (12 Oct 1933)
The US Justice Department acquired Alcatraz Island and announced plans to turn it into a federal maximum-security prison

75 years ago (17 Oct 1933)
Physicist Albert Einstein arrived in the USA as a refugee from Nazi Germany

75 years ago (29 Oct 1933)
Death of Albert Calmette, French doctor, bacteriologist and immunologist, developed the first antivenin for snake venom and discovered the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis

70 years ago (1 Oct 1938)
German forces entered Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, which Hitler had annexed under the Munich Agreement

70 years ago (5 Oct 1938)
Nazi Germany demanded that the passports of all German and Austrian Jews must be stamped with the letter ‘J’

70 years ago (30 Oct 1938)
Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’s ‘The War of the Worlds’ was broadcast in the USA, causing nationwide panic

50 years ago (1 Oct 1958)
NASA began operations, replacing the NACA

50 years ago (2 Oct 1958)
Guinea proclaimed its independence from France

50 years ago (2 Oct 1958)
Death of Marie Stopes, Scottish birth-control campaigner

50 years ago (4 Oct 1958)
BOAC (now British Airways) launched the first regular transatlantic passenger jet service, between London and New York

50 years ago (9 Oct 1958)
Death of Pope Pius XII

50 years ago (14 Oct 1958)
Death of Douglas Mawson, Australian Antarctic explorer

50 years ago (16 Oct 1958)The BBC broadcast the first episode of ‘Blue Peter’, the popular, long-running children’s television programme

50 years ago (22 Oct 1958)
The first female peers entered Britain’s House of Lords

50 years ago (23 Oct 1958)
Belgian cartoonist Peyo launched a new comic strip: ‘The Smurfs’

50 years ago (27 Oct 1958)
The first President of Pakistan, Iskander Mirza, was deposed in a bloodless coup by defence minister General Ayub Khan

50 years ago (28 Oct 1958)
Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli of Venice was elected Pope, taking the title John XXIII

40 years ago (11 Oct 1968)
NASA launched Apollo 7, their first successful manned mission

40 years ago (20 Oct 1968)
Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of US President John F. Kennedy, married Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis

30 years ago (12 Oct 1978)
British punk rocker Sid Vicious was arrested for murder after his girlfriend Nancy Spungen’s body was found in their New York hotel room

30 years ago (16 Oct 1978) Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland was elected Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in over 400 years

25 years ago (4 Oct 1983)
British driver Richard Noble set a new land speed record of 633.468 mph (1,019 km/h) driving ‘Thrust II’ at Black Rock Desert, Nevada

25 years ago (5 Oct 1983)
Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity movement in Poland, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

25 years ago (5 Oct 1983)
Death of Earl Tupper, American inventor of ‘Tupperware’

25 years ago (10 Oct 1983)
Death of Ralph Richardson, British actor

25 years ago (20 Oct 1983)
Death of Yves Thériault, Canadian writer

25 years ago (24 Oct 1983)
British civil servant Dennis Nilsen went on trial in London, accused of six murders and two attempted murders

25 years ago (25 Oct 1983)
Operation Urgent Fury: US troops invaded Grenada to restore order and democracy after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was killed in a left-wing coup

20 years ago (1 Oct 1988)
Mikhail Gorbachev was elected President of the USSR

20 years ago (13 Oct 1988)
Radiocarbon dating tests on the Shroud of Turin dated it to between 1260 and 1390 A.D. The press immediately branded it a ‘Medieval fake’

20 years ago (21 Oct 1988)
Former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda were indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on charges of fraud and racketeering

15 years ago (4 Oct 1993)
Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered tanks to storm the parliament building, crushing a hardline Communist rebellion

15 years ago (8 Oct 1993)
The United Nations General Assembly lifted economic sanctions against South Africa following the end of apartheid

10 years ago (2 Oct 1998)
Death of Gene Autry, American entertainer (‘The singing cowboy’)

10 years ago (3 Oct 1998)
Death of Roddy McDowall, British actor

10 years ago (12 Oct 1998)
US Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (Became law on 28th October)

10 years ago (14 Oct 1998)
Eric Robert Rudolph, one of FBI’s 10 most-wanted fugitives, was charged with the bombing of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta

10 years ago (17 Oct 1998)
Death of Joan Hickson, British actress

10 years ago (22 Oct 1998)
Death of Eric Ambler, British novelist

10 years ago (28 Oct 1998)
Death of Ted Hughes, British Poet Laureate

10 years ago (29 Oct 1998)
US Senator John Glenn, age 77, the first American to orbit the earth, returned to space in the space shuttle Discovery

10 years ago (31 Oct 1998)
Iraq announced that it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors

For more historic anniversaries check out The Date-A-Base Book 2008 and The Date-A-Base Book 2009, each spanning a whole year and containing over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – more than twice as many entries per month than in our standard lists featured here.

The Date-A-Base Books are a terrific source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners. Just one article sale will pay for your copy many times over!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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2 thoughts on “Forthcoming historic anniversaries, Oct 2008

  1. Hi Dave,

    The independence of Bulgaria shows up in September and October’s date-a-base.

    100 years ago (22 Sep 1908)
    Bulgaria proclaimed full independence from Turkey

    Google throws up conflicting results as well.

  2. I think both dates are technically correct, but the September one uses the old style (Julian) date format and the October one is in the new style (Gregorian). Although Britain changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, some countries (including Bulgaria I believe) still used the Julian calendar well into the 20th century, and would have been using the old style format at this time. Confusing isn’t it!

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