Today in History
97 To placate the Praetorians of Germany, Nerva of Rome adopts Trajan, the Spanish-born governor of lower Germany.
1553 Michael Servetus, who discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood, is burned for heresy in Switzerland.
1612 A Polish army that invaded Russia capitulates to Prince Dimitri Pojarski and his Cossacks.
1806 Emperor Napoleon enters Berlin.
1809 President James Madison orders the annexation of the western part of West Florida. Settlers there had rebelled against Spanish authority.
1862 A Confederate force is routed at the Battle of Georgia Landing, near Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana.
1870 The French fortress of Metz surrenders to the Prussian Army.
1873 Farmer Joseph F. Glidden applies for a patent on barbed wire. Glidden eventually received five patents and is generally considered the inventor of barbed wire.
1891 D. B. Downing, inventor, is awarded a patent for the street letter (mail) box.
1904 The New York subway officially opens running from the Brooklyn Bridge uptown to Broadway at 145th Street.
1907 The first trial in the Eulenberg Affair ends in Germany.
1917 20,000 women march in a suffrage parade in New York. As the largest state and the first on the East Coast to do so, New York has an important effect on the movement to grant all women the vote in all elections.
1922 In Italy, liberal Luigi Facta's cabinet resigns after threats from Mussolini that "either the government will be given to us or we will seize it by marching on Rome." Mussolini calls for a general mobilization of all Fascists.
1927 Fox Movie-tone news, the first sound news film, is released.
1941 In a broadcast to the nation on Navy Day, President Franklin Roosevelt declares: "America has been attacked, the shooting has started." He does not ask for full-scale war yet, realizing that many Americans are not yet ready for such a step.
1962 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev offers to remove Soviet missile bases in Cuba if the U.S. removes its missile bases in Turkey.
Born on October 27
1728 Captain James Cook, British explorer.
1811 Isaac Singer, inventor of the sewing machine.
1858 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1901-1909).
1914 Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet.
1923 Roy Lichtenstein, 'pop art' painter.
1927 Ruby Dee, actress and civil rights activist.
1932 Sylvia Plath, poet and novelist.
1939 John Cleese, actor-writer best known for comedy productions (Monty Python, Fawlty Towers).
1940 Maxine Hong Kingston, writer (The Woman Warrior, China Men).
1946 Peter Martins, Danish dancer and choreographer.
1950 Fran Leibowitz, writer (Metropolitan Life, Social Studies).