Today in History
19 Germanicus, the best loved of Roman princes, dies of poisoning. On his deathbed he accuses Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.
732 At Tours, France, Charles Martel kills Abd el-Rahman and halts the Muslim invasion of Europe.
1733 France declares war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1789 In Versailles France, Joseph Guillotin says the most humane way of carrying out a death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1794 Russian General Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov crushes the rebel Polish army at Maciejowice, Poland.
1845 The U.S. Naval Academy is founded at Annapolis, Md.
1863 The first telegraph line to Denver is completed.
1877 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is buried at West Point in New York.
1911 Revolution in China begins with a bomb explosion and the discovery of revolutionary headquarters in Hankow. The revolutionary movement spread rapidly through west and southern China, forcing the abdication of the last Ch'ing emperor, six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi. By October 26, the Chinese Republic will be proclaimed, and on December 4, Premier Yuan Shih-K'ai will sign a truce with rebel general Li Yuan-hung.
1911 The Panama Canal opens.
1933 At Rio de Janeiro, nations of the Western Hemisphere sign a non-aggression and conciliation treaty. President Roosevelt adopts a "good neighbor" policy toward Latin America and announces a policy of nonintervention in Latin American affairs at the December 7th International American Conference at Montevideo, Uruguay.
1941 Soviet troops halt the German advance on Moscow.
1966 U.S. Forces launch Operation Robin, in Hoa Province south of Saigon in South Vietnam, to provide road security between villages.
1970 The Quebec Provincial Minister of Labour, Pierre Laporte, is kidnapped by terrorists.
1973 Spiro Agnew resigns the vice presidency amid accusations of income tax evasion. President Richard Nixon names Gerald Ford as the new vice president. Agnew is later convicted and sentenced to three years probation and fined $10,000.
Born on October 10
1731 Henry Cavendish, English physicist who measured the density and mass of the Earth.
1813 Giuseppe Verdi, composer (Rigoletto, Aida).
1900 Helen Hayes, American actress.
1901 Alberto Giacometti, sculptor and painter.
1920 Thelonius Monk, jazz pianist and composer.
1924 James Clavell, novelist (Shogun, Noble House).
1930 Harold Pinter, British playwright (The Homecoming, Betrayal).