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This Day in History: October 1

Updated on October 1, 2009

1890: Yosemite National Park Established

Yosemite National Park became a National Park on October 1, 1890 when President Benjamin Harrison signed the law establishing the park.  The movement for the area to become a National Park was led by John Muir after he noticed the land was being damaged by sheep overgrazing.  Main features of the park include Yosemite Falls, sequoia trees, Half Dome, and El Capitan.

1908: Model T Goes on Sale

The Model T car first went on sale to the public on October 1, 1908.  The car was the 20th design in Ford's attempt to make an inexpensive car for the mass market, hence it being named after the 20th letter in the alphabet.  The car was nicknamed the Tin Lizzie.  When introduced the car only cost $850 and had seats for two people.  Over 15 million Model T cars were sold before it was discontinued in 1927.

1918: Lawrence of Arabia Captures Damascus

On October 1, 1918 Lawrence of Arabia captured Damascus liberating Arabia from Turk control.  Lawrence of Arabia was led combined British and Arab forces to capture Damascus.  Lawrence of Arabia was the nickname for T.E. Lawrence, who was of Arab descent, but grew up in Wales.  He hoped that the capture of Damascus would lead to a united Arab, but when that did not happen he left and returned to England.  He wrote a book about the war called The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

1940: America's First Superhighway Opens

The first toll road superhighway in the United States was the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which officially opened to traffic on October 1, 1940.  The high cost of the convenient superhighway was later offset from the toll revenue gained by charging vehicles to use the Turnpike.

1946: Nazi War Criminals Sentenced at Nuremburg

On October 1, 1946 after 10 months of trial 12 Nazi war criminals were sentenced to death and 7 were sentenced to time in prison at Nuremburg by the International War Crimes Tribunal.  Those sentenced to death included Joachim von Ribbentrop (Nazi minister of foreign affairs), Hermann Goering (Gestapo founder), Wilhelm Frick (minister of interior), and Martin Bormann (sentenced in absentia).

1949: Republic of China Proclaimed

On October 1, 1949 the Republic of China was officially founded by a proclamation by Mao Zedong.  The proclamation was the climax of years of fighting between Mao's communist forces and Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist forces.

1956: First Installment of Madame Bovary Published

Madame Bovary was published in installments in the Revue de Paris.  The first installment was published on October 1, 1956. Installments ran until the story was completed on December 15, 1856.

1961: Roger Maris Breaks Home Run Record

On October 1, 1961, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's 1927 single season home run record of 60 home runs by hitting his 61st home run of the season.  The single RBI home run was the only run scored in the game allowing the Yankees to beat the Red Sox 1 to 0 in the final game of the 1961 regular season.  The record was not officially recognized as broken until 1991 because it took 162 games to break it compared to Babe Ruth's record only taking 154 games due to the shorter season back in 1927.  Maris's record stood until it was broken in 1998.

1971: Walt Disney World Opens and 1982: EPCOT Opens

Walt Disney World opened to the public on October 1, 1971.  When the park first opened the only theme park that was part of Disney World was the Magic Kingdom.  The second theme park was not added until 1982.  The second park was EPCOT and it also opened on October 1.

1987: Whittier Earthquake

The Whittier Earthquake was the largest earthquake in Southern California since 1971, although the Northridge seven years later in 1994 was bigger.  Over $100 million of damage was caused by the 6.1 magnitude quake.  The quake killed 6 and injured over 100 people.

1988: Gorbachev Becomes Head of Supreme Soviet

On October 1, 1988 Mikhail Gorbachev appoints himself as the head of the Supreme Soviet after forcing Andrei Gromyko to resign.  He later was named the Man of the Decade for the 1980s by Time Magazine.

2005: Terrorist Attacks in Bali

On October 1, 2009 several terrorist attacks occur on the island of Bali including suicide bombings at three restaurants and two tourist attractions.  Over 50 were injured and 22 people were killed in the bombings.  The bombings were believed to be carried out by Jemaah Islamiah.

Famous People Born on October 1

  • William Boeing - 1881
  • Bonnie Parker - 1911
  • Jimmy Carter - 1924
  • William Rehnquist - 1924
  • Julie Andrews - 1935
  • Mark McGwire - 1963


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