Today in History: October 1 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 1

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

October 1

331BC   Alexander the Great decisively shatters King Darius III’s Persian army at Gaugamela (Arbela), in a tactical masterstroke that leaves him master of the Persian Empire.
1273   Rudolf of Hapsburg is elected emperor in Germany.
1588   The feeble Sultan Mohammed Shah of Persia, hands over power to his 17-year old son Abbas.
1791   In Paris, the National Legislative Assembly holds its first meeting.
1839   The British government decides to send a punitive naval expedition to China.
1847   Maria Mitchell, American astronomer, discovers a comet and is elected the same day to the American Academy of Arts—the first woman to be so honored. The King of Denmark awarded her a gold medal for her discovery.
1856   The first installment of Gustav Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary appears in the Revue de Paris after the publisher refuses to print a passage in which the character Emma has a tryst in the back seat of a carriage.
1864   The Condor, a British blockade-runner, is grounded near Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
1878   General Lew Wallace is sworn in as governor of New Mexico Territory. He went on to deal with the Lincoln County War, Billy the Kid and write Ben-Hur. His Civil War heroics earned him the moniker Savior of Cincinnati.
1890   Yosemite National Park is dedicated in California.
1908   The Ford Model T, the first car for millions of Americans, hits the market. Over 15 million Model Ts are eventually sold, all of them black.
1942   The German Army grinds to a complete halt within the city of Stalingrad.
1943   British troops in Italy enter Naples and occupy Foggia airfield.
1944   The U.S. First Army begins the siege Aachen, Germany.
1946   Eleven Nazi war criminals are sentenced to be hanged at Nuremberg trials—Hermann Goring, Alfred Jodl, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachin von Ribbentrop, Fritz Saukel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Julius Streicher, and Alfred Rosenberg.
1947   First flight of F-86 Sabre jet fighter, which would win fame in the Korean War.
1949   Mao Zedong establishes the People’s Republic of China.
1957   "In God We Trust" appears on US paper currency as an act to distinguish the US from the officially atheist USSR; the motto had appeared on coins at various times since 1864.
1958   The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) replaces the 43-year-old National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in the US.
1960   Nigeria becomes independent from the UK.
1961   The Federal Republic of Cameroon is formed by the merger of East and West Cameroon.
1962   The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson debuts; Carson will remain The Tonight Show host until 1992.
1964   The first Free Speech Movement protest erupts spontaneously on the University of California, Berkeley campus; students demanded an end to the ban of on-campus political activities.
1964   Japanese "bullet trains" (Shinkansen) begin high-speed rail transit between Tokyo and Osaka.
1971   Walt Disney World opens near Orlando, Florida, the second of Disney’s "Magic Kingdoms."
1971   First CT or CAT brain scan performed, at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London.
1974   Five Nixon aides–Kenneth Parkinson, Robert Mardian, Nixon’s Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell–go on trial for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation.
1975   Legendary boxing match: Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila."
1979   US returns sovereignty of the Panama Canal to Panama.
1982   First compact disc player, released by Sony.
1989   Denmark introduces the world’s first "civil union" law granting same-sex couples certain legal rights and responsibilities but stopping short of recognizing same-sex marriages.
1991   Siege of Dubrovnik begins in the Croatian War of Independence.
2009   The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom takes over judicial functions of the House of Lords.

Born on October 1

1837   Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment during America’s Civil War.
1904   Vladimir Horowitz, Russian-born American virtuoso pianist.
1924   Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the U.S. (1977-1981)
1932   Albert Collins, guitarist.
1935   Julie Andrews (Julia Elizabeth Wells), actress and singer whose films include Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.
1946   Tim O’Brien, novelist (The Things They Carried, In the Lake of the Woods).
1947   Dave Arneson, game designer; co-created Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game with Gary Gygax, establishing the roleplaying game genre.
1950   Randy Quaid, actor (The Last Detail; won Golden Globe for his portrayal of Pres. Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years).
1955   Jeff Reardon, pro baseball pitcher known as "The Terminator" for his intimidating pitching mound presence and 98 mph fastball.
1963   Mark McGwire, "Big Mac," pro baseball player who broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record; admitted in 2010 to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
1964   Max Matsuura (Masato Matsuura), record producer, president of Avex Group, one of Japan’s largest music labels.