(Copyright 2004, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.  DO NOT REPRODUCE or distribute without permission.) 

For a more comprehensive list, including a Year by Year timeline, see our Research Guide.

Oct 1st. . .

1207--Henry III, King of England, born at Winchester.

1644--Alessandro Stradella, Italian singer and composer, born.

1684--Pierre Corneille, French playwright of El Cid, died.

1781--Sir Robert Smirke, English architect who built the British Museum, born.

1792--Money orders were first issued in Britain.

1843--The News of the World, Britain's biggest circulation Sunday newspaper, began publication.

1847--Annie Bessant, English social reformer, born.

1868--St. Pancras railway station in London was formally opened as a terminus of the Midland Railway.

1873--Sir Edwin Landseer, English painter, died.

1880--The Edison Lamp Works began operations in New Jersey to manufacture the first electric light bulbs.


Oct 2nd. . .

322BC--Aristotle, Greek philosopher, died of a stomach illness.

1187--Saladin, Muslim sultan, captured Jerusalem after an 88-yr. Occupation by the Franks.

1452--Richard III, King of England, born.

1608--Dutch lens maker Hans Lippershey demonstrated the first telescope.

1803--Samuel Adams, U.S. statesman, born.

1832--Sir Edward Burnette Tylor, English anthropologist, born.

1847--Paul Hindenburg, German field marshal and president of the Republic, born.

1852--Sir William Ramsay, Scottish chemist, born.

1869--Mohandas Gandhi, Indian leader who campaigned for independence, born.

1870--Rome was declared the capital of Italy.

1871--Brigham Young, Mormon leader, was arrested for bigamy.


Oct 3rd. . .

1226--St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, died.

1637--Ben Jonson, English poet, died.

1656--Myles Standish, one of the Pilgrim fathers who sailed in the Mayflower, died.

1811--The first women's county cricket match between Hampshire and Surrey began.

1859--Eleanora Duse, Italian actress born while her parents were on tour in Lombardy.

1867--Elias Howe, U.S. inventor of the sewing machine, died.

1867--Pierre Bonnard, French painter, born.

1888--The first performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeoman of the Guard took place at the Savoy Theatre, London.

1896--William Morris, English craftsman, poet and painter, died.


Oct 4th. . .

1535--Miles Coverdale's English translation of the Bible was published on or about this day.

1582--St. Teresa of Avila, Spanish nun canonized in 1622, died.

1669--Rembrandt, Dutch painter, died.

1720--Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Italian architect and engraver, born.

1814--Damon Runyon, U.S. author, born.

1814--Jean-Francois Millet, French painter of romanticized scenes, born.

1821--John Rennie, Scottish civil engineer and bridge designer, died.

1822--Rutherford B. Hayes, 18th U.S. president, born.

1878--The first Chinese Embassy was opened in Washington.

1883--The Boys' Brigade was founded in Glasgow by Sir William Alexander Smith.

1887--The first European edition of the New York Herald was published in Paris.


Oct 5th. . .

1658--Mary of Modena, second wife of James, Duke of York, (later James II), born.

1703--Jonathan Edwards, American divine and metaphysician, born.

1713--Denis Diderot, French man of letters and encyclopedist, born.

1728--Charles Genevieve de Beaumont, who disguised himself as a woman to conduct spying missions for France, born.

1830--Chester Alan Arthur, 21st president of the U.S., born.

1848--Edward Livingston Trudeau, American physician and pioneer in the fight against tuberculosis, born.

1880--Jacques Offenbach, German-born French composer, died.

1880--Alonzo T. Cross patented his new stylographic pen, the earliest 'ball pen' which carried its own ink supply and had a retractable tip.


Oct 6th. . .

1536--William Tyndale, English reformer and Bible translator, strangled and burned at the stake on the orders of Henry VIII.

1552--Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit missionary, born.

1732--Nevil Maskelyne, British Astronomer-Royal, born.

1773--Louis Philippe, the 'Citizen King' of France, born.

1820--Jenny Lind, the 'Swedish Nightingale', operatic soprano, born.

1829--Locomotive trials began at Rainhill near Liverpool.

1846--George Westinghouse, U.S. engineer, born.

1890--The Mormons in Utah renounced bigamy.

1891--Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish politician, died.

1891--W.H. Smith, English newsagent and bookseller, died.

1892--Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English Poet Laureate, died.

1896--George du Maurier, English author of Trilby, died.


Oct 7th. . .

1543--Hans Holbein, German painter, engraver and designer, died.

1571--The Battle of Lepanto between Christian allied naval forces and the Ottoman Turks ended with the Turks losing 117 galleys and thousands of men.

1573--William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury who was executed for treason, born.

1799--The bell was salvaged from the Lutine, which sank off the coast of Holland.  Now with Lloyds of London, it is rung this day ever since to mark the marine disaster.

1806--Carbon paper was patented by Ralph Wedgwood of London.

1849--Edgar Allen Poe, U.S. writer, poet and author of short stories, died.

1849--James Whitcombe Riley, American writer known as the 'Hoosier' poet and creator of 'Little Orfant Annie', born in Indiana.

1856--John White Alexander, American figure and portrait painter, born.


Oct 8th. . .

1085--St. Mark's Cathedral was consecrated in Venice.

1469--Fra Filippo Lippi, Florentine painter and teacher of Botticelli, died.

1754--Henry Fielding, English author of Tom Jones, died.

1806--The British used a form of rocket-propelled missiles for the first time in an attack on Boulogne.

1838--Montagu Lowry-Corry, first Baron Rowton, English politician and philanthropist who founded the low-cost Rowton houses for working men, born.

1838--John Hay, American statesman, diplomat and politician, born.

1869--Franklin Pierce, 14th U.S. president, died.

1871--The Great Fire of Chicago started, according to legend, in Mrs. O'Leary's barn on DeKoven Street when a cow kicked over a lantern.

1878--Sir Alfred Munnings, English artist who specialized in horses, born.

1895--Juan Peron, Argentine general and president, born.


Oct 9th. . .

28BC--The temple of Apollo on the Palantine Hill, Rome, was dedicated.

1470--Henry VI was restored to the English throne after being deposed in 1461.

1562--Gabriel Fallopius, Italian anatomist who researched the reproductive organs, died.

1701--Yale College received its charter.

1835--Camille Saint-Saens, French composer and pianist, born.

1859--Alfred Dreyfus, French artillery officer falsely accused of revealing military secrets to a foreign power, born.

1863--Edward William Bok, American editor, writer and philanthropist, born.

1890--Aimee Semple McPherson, U.S. evangelist, born.

1891--Otto Schnering, candy bar mogul who founded the Curtiss Candy Co., born.


Oct 10th. . .

1684--Antoine Watteau, French rococo painter, born.

1731--Henry Cavendish, English scientist and chemist who discovered hydrogen, born.

1738--Benjamin West, painter and president of the Royal Academy, born in America.

1813--Giuseppe Verdi, Italian opera composer of Rigoletto and Aida, born.

1825--Paul Kruger, South African statesman and Boer leader, born.

1845--The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis opened.

1877--William Richard Morris, first Viscount Nuffield, English car manufacturer, born.


Oct 11th. . .

1521--Pope Leo X conferred the title of 'Defender of the Faith' on Henry VIII for his book supporting Catholic principles.

1689--Peter the Great became Tsar of Russia.

1727--The coronation of George II took place in London.

1738--Arthur Phillip, English admiral and first governor of New South Wales who founded the first penal colony in Sydney, born.

1809--Meriwether Lewis, U.S. explorer who with William Clark found the overland route to the Pacific, died.

1821--Sir George Williams, English social reformer and founder of the YMCA, born. 

1844--H. J. Heinz, U.S. food manufacturer, born.

1871--The Great Fire of Chicago was finally extinguished.  It had begun on October 8, 1871.

1884--Eleanor Roosevelt, wife and cousin of the 32nd president of the U.S., born.


Oct 12th. . .

1492--Christopher Columbus is believed to have discovered America on this day.

1537--Edward VI, King of England, born.

1609--Three Blind Mice was published in London, believed to be the earliest printed secular song.

1654--A great explosion in Delft killed many people, including the Dutch painter Carel Fabritius, a teacher of Vermeer.

1822--Pedro the Great was proclaimed Emperor of Brazil.

1845--Elizabeth Fry, English social and prison reformer, died.

1849--British inventor Charles Rowley patented the safety pin, unaware of an earlier U.S. patent.

1859--Robert Stephenson, English rail and civil engineer, died. 

1860--Elmer Ambrose Sperry, U.S. inventor of the gyroscopic compass, born.

1866--James Ramsay MacDonald, Scottish statesman and first Labour British Prime Minister, born.


Oct 13th. . .

54AD--Claudius I, Roman emperor, died after eating a poisoned mushroom as a result of a plot inspired by his wife.

1399--The first King of England of the House of Lancaster, Henry IV, was crowned.

1792--The foundation stone of the White House was laid by President George Washington.

1812--General Sir Isaac Brock, British soldier and 'hero of Upper Canada' was killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights.

1815--Joachim Murat, King of Two Sicilies, was executed after attempting to repossess Naples.

1821--Rudolf Virchow, German scientist and politician, known as the 'founder of modern pathology', born. 

1853--Lillie Langtry, daughter of the Dean of Jersey, and actress, born.

1857--Prioress became the first U.S. horse to win a major British race when it ran at Newmarket.

1884--Greenwich was adopted as the universal meridian.


Oct 14th. . .

1066--The Battle of Hastings was fought on Senlac Hill, where King Harold was slain and William the Conqueror's troops routed the English army.

1633--James II, King of Great Britain and Ireland, second son of Charles I, born.

1644--William Penn, English Quaker leader and founder of a Quaker colony in the U.S. named Pennsylvania in his honor, born.

1830--Belgium was proclaimed an independent kingdom.

1878--The first football match played under floodlights took place at Bramhall Lane, Sheffield.

1882--Eamon de Valera, Irish Prime Minister and President, born in New York City. 

1884--George Eastman patented photographic film.

1888--Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. military commander and 34th U.S. President, born.

1894--e e cummings, U.S. poet and painter, born.


Oct 15th. . .

70BC--Virgil, Roman poet of the epic Aeneid, born.

1581--The first major ballet, a five-hour performance choreographed by Balthazar de Beaujoyeulx, was staged at the palace in Paris at the request of Catherine de' Medici.

1608--Evangelista Torricelli, Italian mathematician who devised the barometer, born.

1666--The first waistcoat was worn by King Charles II.

1730--Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, French soldier and founder of Detroit, died.

1815--Napoleon arrived in St. Helena for his exile. 

1836--Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzche, German philosopher, born.

1851--The Great Exhibition closed at Hyde Park.

1864--The Church Times published 'Onward Christian Soldiers' for the first time.

1881--P.G. Wodehouse, English novelist, born.


Oct 16th. . .

1555--High Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, English Protestant reformers, found guilty of heresy and burned at the stake.

1758--Noah Webster, U.S. lexicographer who originated the first U.S. dictionary, born.

1793--Marie Antoinette was guillotined.

1822--The new Drury Lane Theatre was opened.

1834--Fire caused extensive damage to the Palace of Westminster.

1846--An anaesthetic was successfully used for the first time at Massachusetts General Hospital where dentist William Morton used diethyl ether prior to removing a tumor from a man's jaw. 

1847--Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was published under the pseudonym Currer Bell.

1854--Oscar Wilde, playwright and novelist, born in Ireland.

1859--John Brown, U.S. abolitionist led an attack on Harper's Ferry to seize armaments.  He was later captured and hanged.

1888--Eugene O'Neill, U.S. playwright and winner of the Nobel Literature prize, born.


Oct 17th. . .

1655--Charles II, defeated by Cromwell at Worcester, fled to France, destitute and friendless.

1727--John Wilkes, English political agitator and advocate of press freedom, born.

1777--British commander General Burgoyne surrendered to General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, a victory for the American colonists.

1849--Frederic Chopin, Polish pianist and composer, died from tuberculosis.

1855--A steel-making process was patented by Sir Harry Bessemer.

1860--The first professional golf championship was held at Prestwick, Scotland, won by Willie Park. 

1864--Elinor Glyn, British novelist, born.

1885--Baroness Karen Blixen, Danish author of Out of Africa, born.


Oct 18th. . .

1674--Richard 'Beau' Nash, English gambler who made Bath a city of fashion, born.

1697--Canaletto, Italian painter of Venetian scenes, born.

1741--Pierre de Laclos, French author of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, born.

1785--Thomas Love Peacock, English poet and novelist, born.

1865--Lord Palmerston, twice British Prime Minister, died.

1871--Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor of the calculating machine, died.

1873--The rules of American football were formulated at a meeting in New York by delegates from several universities. 

1887--Russia transferred Alaska to the U.S. for $7,200,000, called 'Seward's Folly' by its critics.

1898--The U.S. took possession of Puerto Rico from Spain. 


Oct 19th. . .

1216--King John of England, died during a Civil War which was the result of his repudiating the Magna Carta signed the previous year.

1741--David Garrick made his debut at Goodman's Fields Theatre in London's East End playing Richard III.

1745--Jonathan Swift, Irish cleric, satirist and author of Gulliver's Travels, died.

1781--The American War of Independence ended when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.

1833--Adam Lindsay Gordon, Australian horsebreaker and first Australian poet to write in idiom, born.

1859--Alfred Dreyfus, French army officer falsely accused of treason, born.

1862--Auguste Lumiere, French photographic pioneer, born. 

1864--The Battle of Cedar Creek in the American Civil War ended with a victory to General Sheridan over the Confederates.

1897--George Pullman, U.S. designer and manufacturer of Pullman railway coaches, died. 


Oct 20th. . .

1524--Thomas Linacre, English physician to Henry VII and Henry VIII and founder of the Royal College of Physicians, died.

1632--Sir Christopher Wren, English architect of St. Paul's Cathedral, born.

1714--George I was crowned.

1784--Lord Palmerston, English statesman and twice Prime Minister, born.

1792--Colin Campbell, Baron Clyde, British commander-in-chief during the Indian Mutiny, born.

1818--The 49th Parallel was established by the U.S. and Britain as the boundary between Canada and the U.S..

1822--The first edition of the Sunday Times was published in Britain. 

1822--Thomas Hughes, English author of Tom Brown's Schooldays, born. 

1827--The combined forces of Britain, France and Russia defeated the Turks and Egyptians in The Battle of Navarino.

1854--Arthur Rimbaud, French poet, born.


Oct 21st. . .

1760--Katsushka Hokusai, Japanese painter and wood engraver, born.

1772--Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet and author of 'The Ancient Mariner', born.

1797--The Constitution, a forty-four-gun U.S. Navy frigate built to fight Barbary pirates, was launched in Boston Harbor.

1805--Lord Nelson was mortally wounded in the Battle of Trafalgar against the French fleet.

1824--Portland Cement was patented by Joseph Aspdin of Wakefield, Yorkshire.

1858--The first performance of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld took place in Paris.

1833--Alfred Nobel, Swedish industrialist, chemist, inventor of dynamite, and founder of the Nobel prize, born.

1868--Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton, English tank inventor, born. 

1879--Thomas Alva Edison successfully tested the first electric incandescent lamp in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.


Oct 22nd. . .

1797--The first parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin from a balloon 6,000 feet above Paris.

1806--Thomas Sheraton, English furniture designer and maker, died.

1811--Franz Liszt, composer and piano virtuoso, born in Hungary.

1844--Sarah Bernhardt, French actress known as 'The Divine Sarah', born.

1870--Lord Alfred Douglas, English poet, born.

1878--The first floodlit rugby match took place at Broughton, Lancashire.

1881--The first edition of the British magazine Tit Bits was published.

1883--The Metropolitan Opera House in New York opened. 

1883--The New York Horse Show, the first national horse show, opened at Gilmore's Garden in New York City.


Oct 23rd. . .

42BC--Marcus Junius Brutus committed suicide when his army was crushed by Anthony and Octavian.

1642--The Cavaliers of Charles I clashed with Cromwell's Parliamentary Roundheads at the Battle of Edgehill.  .

1817--Pierre Larousse, French lexicographer and encyclopedist, born.

1835--Adlai Ewing Stevenson,  23rd  Vice President of the U.S., born.

1844--Louis Reil, rebel leader of the Metis in Canada, born.

1844--Robert Bridges, English poet and Poet Laureate, born.


Oct 24th. . .

1537--Lady Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, died.

1601--Tycho Brahe, Danish royal astronomer, died.

1632--Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch microscopist, born.

1769--Jacques Laffitte, French banker who made a vast fortune and became Governor of the Bank of France, born.

1788--Sarah Josepha Hale, pioneer American woman journalist and editor of Godey's Lady's Book, born.

1808--John Sartain, American engraver and editor, born in England.

1857--The first football club was formed by a group of Cambridge University Old Boys meting in Sheffield.

1861--The U.S. transcontinental telegraph line was completed, and the Pony Express Mail Service stopped running after only 18 months.

1882--Dame Sybil Thorndike, English actress, born.


Oct 25th. . .

1400--Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet and author of The Canterbury Tales, died.

1415--Henry V's longbowmen routed the French knights in the Battle of Agincourt of the Hundred Years War.

1647--Evangelista Torricelli, Italian mathematician and physicist, died.

1760--George II, King of England, died.

1800--Lord Macaulay, historian, essayist, poet and politician, born.

1825--Johann Strauss the Younger, Austrian composer known as the 'Waltz King,' born.

1838--Georges Bizet, French composer of the opera Carmen, born.

1839--Bradshaw's Railway Guide, the world's first railway timetable, was published in Manchester.

1854--Lord Cardigan led the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.

1881--The airbrush was patented by L.L. Curtis in the U.S.


Oct 26th. . .

1440--Gilles de Rais who fought beside Joan of Arc, was hanged after confessing to the murder of countless children.

1685--Giuseppe Scarlatti, composer and harpsichordist, born.

1759--Georges Jacques Danton, French Revolutionary leader, born.

1764--William Hogarth, English artist and engraver of Rake's Progress, died.

1803--Joseph Aloysius Hansom, English designer of the Hansom Cab, born.

1825--The Erie Canal was opened linking the Niagara River with the Hudson.

1860--Garibaldi proclaimed Victor Emmanuel King of Italy.

1860--The Physical Society, Frankfurt was given the first demonstration of a telephone.

1863--The English Football Association was formed in London.

1881--The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place outside Tombstone, Arizona Territory between the Ike Clanton gang and Town Marshal,  Virgil Earp.


Oct 27th. . .

1505--Ivan III, the first Tsar of Russia, died.

1553--Michael Servetus, Spanish theologian and physician, burned at the stake at Geneve by the order of John Calvin.

1662--Charles II sold Dunkirk to Louis XIV for 2,500,000 livres.

1728--Captain James Cook, English naval officer and explorer, born.

1782--Niccolo Paganini, virtuoso Italian violinist and composer, born.

1811--Isaac Merit Singer, U.S. inventor and manufacturer of sewing machines, born.

1854--Sir William Smith, founder of the Boys' Brigade movement in Glasgow, born.

1858--Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. president who won the Nobel Peace Prize, born.

1889--Enid Bagnold (Lady Jones), English novelist of National Velvet, born.


Oct 28th. . .

901AD--Alfred the Great, King of England, died.

1636--Harvard University was founded, the first in America.

1746--An earthquake demolished Lima and Callao in Peru.

1792--John Smeaton, English civil engineer who designed the Eddystone Lighthouse, died.

1794--Robert Liston, Scottish physician who carried out the first operation with the aid of an anaesthetic in Britain, born.

1831--Michael Faraday demonstrated the first dynamo.

1846--George-Auguste Escoffier, chef de cuisine of the Carlton and the Savoy in London, born.

1862--The Aereated Bread Company began in London.

1886--The Statue of Liberty was presented to the U.S. by France.


Oct 29th. . .

1507--The Duke of Alba, Spanish soldier and statesman, born.

1618--Sir Walter Raleigh, English seafarer and once a favorite of Elizabeth I, was beheaded after failing to find the legendary gold of El Dorado.

1656--Edmund Halley, British astronomer, born.

1740--James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer, born.

1787--The first performance of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni took place in Prague.

1828--Luke Hansard, English publisher and printer, died.

1863--The Red Cross was founded by Swiss philanthropist, Henri Dunant.

1882--Jean Giradoux, French author, diplomat and playwright, born.

1886--Fred Archer rode the last of his 2746 winners at Newmarket, retiring as a jockey after 16 years.


Oct 30th. . .

1485--Henry VII established the Yeoman of the Guard.

1735--John Adams, 2nd U.S. president, born.

1747--Admiral Edward Vernon, English naval commander, died.

1751--Richard Brinsley Sheridan, playwright and one-time owner of the Drury Lane Theatre, born in Ireland.

1823--Edmund Cartwright, English inventor of the power loom, died.

1825--Adelaide Anne Proctor, English poet of 'The Lost Chord', born.

1829--John Rogers, American sculptor of scenes from everyday life, born.

1840--Alfred Sisley, Impressionist painter, born in France to English parents.

1885--Ezra Pound, U.S. poet who lived mainly in Europe, born.

1894--The Time Card recorder was patented by D.M. Cooper of New York.


Oct 31st. . .

1517--The Reformation began when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses at Wittenberg.

1632--Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter, born.

1795--John Keats, English Romantic poet best known for his odes, born.

1802--Benoit Fourneyron, French inventor who developed the water turbine, born.

1828--Sir Joseph Swan, English chemist and inventor, born.

1828--A beggar woman named Docherty became the last of the body snatcher victims when William Hare strangled her.

1860--Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts in America, born.

1864--Nevada became the 36th state of the Union.

1887--Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese general and leader, born.

1888--Pneumatic bicycle tires were patented by Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop.