Historic anniversaries in October 2011

You might like to write about the following historic anniversaries. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing.

The list presented here is just a fraction of that available in The Date-A-Base Book 2011. For example, there are 60 anniversaries listed below, but 191 anniversaries for the same month in the book, which also covers the whole of 2011. The Date-A-Base Book 2012 is also available.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

200 years ago (22 Oct 1811)
Birth of Franz Liszt, Hungarian piano virtuoso, composer and teacher

200 years ago (27 Oct 1811)
Birth of Isaac Singer, American inventor, developed the first practical domestic sewing machine, founded the Singer Sewing Machine Company

150 years ago (21 Oct 1861)
American Civil War – Battle of Ball’s Bluff, Virginia

150 years ago (24 Oct 1861)
The first transcontinental telegraph system in the USA was completed and the first message sent (this made the Pony Express obsolete)

125 years ago (28 Oct 1886)
The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour was dedicated by U.S. President Grover Cleveland

100 years ago (2 Oct 1911)
Birth of Jack Finney, American science fiction/thriller novelist, short story writer and playwright (‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’)

100 years ago (3 Oct 1911)
Birth of Sir Michael Hordern, British stage, film and television actor

100 years ago (4 Oct 1911)
The first escalator on the London Underground began operating at Earl’s Court station

100 years ago (10 Oct 1911)
The Wuchang Uprising in China. This republican revolution led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the founding of the Republic of China

100 years ago (13 Oct 1911)
Birth of Ashok Kumar, Indian actor, one of the most popular and enduring Bollywood actors

100 years ago (18 Oct 1911)
Death of Alfred Binet, French psychologist who developed the first practical intelligence test

100 years ago (23 Oct 1911)
The first use of an aircraft in war. During the Italo-Turkish war, Italian pilot Carlo Piazza made a reconnaissance flight from Benghazi, Libya to observe Turkish army lines

100 years ago (24 Oct 1911)
American aviation pioneer Orville Wright tested his new glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and remained in flight for 9 mins 45 seconds – a world record that stood for more than 10 years

100 years ago (26 Oct 1911)
Birth of Mahalia Jackson, ‘Queen of Gospel’, American gospel singer

100 years ago (29 Oct 1911)
Death of Joseph Pulitzer, Hungarian-born American newspaper editor and publisher, posthumously established the prestigious Pulitzer Prizes

80 years ago (18 Oct 1931)
Death of Thomas Edison, American inventor

75 years ago (5 Oct 1936)
The Jarrow March (also known as the Jarrow Crusade) began. 200 men set off from Jarrow in north-east England to Westminster in London to draw attention to the severe unemployment and poverty in their area following the closure of a shipyard. They reached London on 31st October

75 years ago (9 Oct 1936)
The Boulder Dam (now the Hoover Dam) went fully online and began generating electricity

75 years ago (19 Oct 1936)
Death of Lu Xun, Chinese writer, poet and critic, considered the greatest 20th century Chinese writer and the founder of modern Chinese literature

75 years ago (20 Oct 1936)
Death of Anne Sullivan Macy, widely acclaimed American teacher of Helen Keller, who had no sight, hearing or speech

75 years ago (25 Oct 1936)
World War II: Germany and Italy signed a friendship treaty that would later become the Rome-Berlin Axis

75 years ago (31 Oct 1936)
Birth of Michael Landon, American television actor, director and producer (‘Bonanza’, ‘Little House on the Prairie’, ‘Highway to Heaven)

65 years ago (1 Oct 1946)
World War II: International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. 12 Nazi leaders were sentenced to death. 10 of them were hanged on 16th October

65 years ago (13 Oct 1946)
France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic

60 years ago (6 Oct 1951)
Death of W. K. Kellogg, American breakfast cereal manufacturer

60 years ago (15 Oct 1951)
Mexican chemistry student Luis Miramontes synthesised the first oral contraceptive at the Syntex pharmaceutical company, Mexico City

60 years ago (19 Oct 1951)
World War II: U.S. President Harry S. Truman officially terminated the state of war with Germany

50 years ago (1 Oct 1961)
The Federal Republic of Cameroon was founded when the southern part of British Cameroons merged with French Cameroun

50 years ago (6 Oct 1961)
Cold War: U.S. President John F. Kennedy advised Americans to build bomb shelters to protect themselves from nuclear fallout in the event of an attack by the Soviet Union

50 years ago (10 Oct 1961)
The entire population of Tristan da Cunha was evacuated to Britain following a volcanic eruption. (Most of them returned home 2 years later)

50 years ago (11 Oct 1961)
Death of Chico Marx, American comedian, member of the Marx Brothers

50 years ago (16 Oct 1961)
Cork International Airport in Ireland was officially opened

50 years ago (17 Oct 1961)
Algerian War – Paris massacre: French police attacked Algerian protesters who were staging a peaceful demonstration in Paris. (The exact number of Algerians killed is unknown – at least 40, but possibly more than 200)

50 years ago (25 Oct 1961)
The British satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’ was first published

50 years ago (30 Oct 1961)
The Soviet Union exploded the ‘Tsar Bomba’, a 57-megaton hydrogen bomb, in a test at Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean. It is currently the largest nuclear weapon ever built

50 years ago (31 Oct 1961)
De-Stalinisation: former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s body was removed from Lenin’s mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow and reburied within the Kremlin walls, out of public view

40 years ago (1 Oct 1971)
Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Florida, USA

40 years ago (10 Oct 1971)
London Bridge was officially opened in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA. It had been purchased from the UK by Robert P. McCulloch in 1968, then dismantled, shipped to the USA, and rebuilt as a tourist attraction

40 years ago (31 Oct 1971)
An IRA bomb exploded near the top of the Post Office Tower (now the BT Tower) in London, UK, causing extensive damage

30 years ago (3 Oct 1981)
The hunger strike by IRA members at the Maze prison, Northern Ireland, ended after 7 months. 10 prisoners died during the strike

25 years ago (5 Oct 1986)
Death of Hal B. Wallis, American film producer (‘The Maltese Falcon’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Gunfight at the O.K. Corral’, ‘Rooster Cogburn’ and more)

25 years ago (9 Oct 1986)
Fox Broadcasting Company launched in the USA

25 years ago (19 Oct 1986)
Death of Samora Machel, President of Mozambique (1975-86). (Plane crash)

25 years ago (21 Oct 1986)
American writer Edward Tracy was kidnapped by terrorists in Beirut, Lebanon. (Released August 1991)

25 years ago (27 Oct 1986)
Big Bang Day – the British financial market was deregulated and the London Stock Exchange switched to a computerised trading system

25 years ago (28 Oct 1986)
British serial killer Jeremy Bamber was jailed for life for killing five members of his family

25 years ago (28 Oct 1986 or 1987?)
Death of John Braine, British novelist, best known for his novel ‘Room at the Top’

25 years ago (29 Oct 1986)
The M25 orbital motorway around Greater London, UK was officially opened by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

20 years ago (27 Oct 1991)
Turkmenistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union

20 years ago (29 Oct 1991)
The American space probe Galileo became the first spacecraft to visit an asteroid (Gaspra)

10 years ago (1 Oct 2001)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was suspended from practising law for five years by the Supreme Court. (He resigned from the Supreme Court in November)

10 years ago (7 Oct 2001)
The USA launched its military offensive in Afghanistan following the September 11th terrorist attack

10 years ago (7 Oct 2001)
Death of Herbert Block, ‘Herblock’, American newspaper cartoonist

10 years ago (8 Oct 2001)
The Office of Homeland Security (now the Department of Homeland Security) was established in the USA

10 years ago (9 Oct 2001)
Death of Dagmar, American comic actress, model and TV personality

10 years ago (16 Oct 2001)
NASA’s Galileo spacecraft flew within 112 miles (181 km) of Jupiter’s moon Io, sending back images and data

10 years ago (23 Oct 2001)
The IRA announced that they had begun decommissioning weapons

10 years ago (23 Oct 2001)
Apple Computer released the first iPod digital music player

10 years ago (23 Oct 2001)
Death of Josh Kirby, British artist who painted film posters, and magazine and book covers, particularly science fiction, best remembered for the covers of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ novels

10 years ago (25 Oct 2001)
Microsoft launched Windows XP


The Date-A-Base Book 2011

You’ll find lots more anniversaries in The Date-A-Base Book 2011, which covers the whole of 2011 and lists over 1,900 forthcoming newsworthy and notable anniversaries – more than twice as many entries per month than our standard list above. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of anniversaries that other writers won’t know about, giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2011 is a terrific source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners.
Click here for more details and the complete listing for January 2011

The Date-A-Base Book 2012 is also available and features more than 2,250 newsworthy and notable anniversaries which will occur during 2012.


Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £49.95 and you’ll get The Date-A-Base Books for 2011 & 2012 (plus all future editions) as well as The Fastest Way to Write Your BookThe Fastest Way to Get Ideas, our complete 5,000+ writing ideas collection, unlimited use of our forums and writing engines, and much more (total value more than £157)


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2 thoughts on “Historic anniversaries in October 2011

  1. Somewhat belatedly, I am a little surprised – though appreciating you haven’t room for everything – that the October anniversary list does not include the fact that 200 years ago; on 30th October 1811, Jane Austen’s classic, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ was published anonymously.

    Best wishes, David

  2. None of the 6 sources we used mentioned it, so we didn’t pick it up. For the 2013 edition (and later ones) we’ll be taking dates from 18 different sources, so we should pick up a lot more.

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