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 Habsburg 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, an 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 will award her a gold medal for her discovery.
1856 The first installment of Gustave 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 goes 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 of Aachen, Germany.
1946 Eleven Nazi war criminals are sentenced to be hanged at Nuremberg trialsHermann Goring, Alfred Jodl, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Julius Streicher, and Alfred Rosenberg.
1947 The first flight of an F-86 Sabre jet fighter, which would win fame in the Korean War takes place.
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 The first CT or CAT brain scan is 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 A legendary boxing match takes place where Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manila.”
1979 The US returns sovereignty of the Panama Canal to Panama.
1982 The first compact disc player is 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 The 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 a 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.