October 20: This Day in History

RimbaudOctober 20, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the 1952 arrest of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the death of socialist leader Eugene V. Debs, and the birth of poet Arthur Rimbaud.


Today is,

Revolution Day, Guatemala

Vietnamese Women’s Day

On this day,

1027 – First Crusaders arrive in Antioch

1611 – Henry Hudson’s mutineers on board the Discovery reach England in half-starved condition.  The leaders of the mutiny had all died by the time the ship reached Gravesend, England.  The remaining crew were arrested and held in custody under the charge of mutiny.  Faced with death by hanging the men had little choice but lie about the success of their voyage to the artic and told of their discovery of the Northwest passage.  Two of the crew were sent back to the Bay to verify the claim.  Hudson was never heard from again.

1720 – Caribbean pirate Calico Jack is captured by the Royal Navy, off of BryBay in Jamaica.  The Pirate and his crew were taken to Spanish Town Jamaica and were tried and convicted of Piracy.  The most famous members of Rackham’s crew were two women, Anne Bony and Mary Read.  The women had been found guilty of piracy as well but were spared the gallows after they both claimed to be pregnant.  Rackham was executed in Port Roya Jamaica on the 18th of November.  His body as gibbeted on display at the entrance of Port Royal, the cay is now known as Rackham’s Cay.

1781 – Patent of Toleration providing limited freedom of worship, is approvedby the  Habburg Monarchy in an attempt to peacefully quell  tensions and division in the territory stemming form the exclusion of non-Catholics from public life.

1803 – United States Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase.  The treaty wasratified by the US Senate by a vote of 24 to 7, finalizing the purchase of the western 1/2 of the Mississippi River Basin at approx. 4 cents an acre.

1818 – The Convention of 1818 is signed between the United States and the United Kingdom.  Convention resolved ongoing dispute between the United States and Great Britain in regards to the Canadian/US border.  The treaty also gave way to the joint occupation of Oregon territory west of the Rocky Mountains.

1820 – Cape of Good Hope Royal Observatory is Founded, and is South Africa’s first permanent modern observatory.

1822 – 1st  edition of the London Sunday Times published

1873 – P.T. Barnum Hippodrome featuring “Greatest Show on Earth” opens in New York City

1898 – North Carolina Mutual and Provident Insurance Company, the first African American owned insurance company, was founded in Durham, North Carolina.  The insurance company was started by 7 African American community leaders to help the black community access services and affordable Heath Insurance which was otherwise out of their reach.  The company also formulated the concept of the “Double Duty Dollar” which saw income from insurance sales funneled back into the community.  By the turn of the century the North Carolina Mutual and Provident Insurance Company was one of the largest African American owned business in the nation.

1935 – The Long March ends – The Chinese Red Army mobilized some 86,000 troops over an estimated 3,000-8,000 miles across China in retreat from Chiang-kai Shek and the armies of the Chinese National Party.

1944 – The Soviet Army and Yugoslav Partisans liberate Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia (today it is the capitol of Serbia).

1944 – Natural gas explosion and fire level 30 blocks and kill 130 people

1944 – General Douglas Macarthur returns to the Philippines and commands and Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.

1947 – HUAAC begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood resulting blacklist

1951 – Johnny Bright Incident, Stillwater Oklahoma. On this day in 1951, African American Drake University football player Johnny Bright was violently assaulted by Wilbanks Smith during a game between Drake University and Oklahoma State University. During his junior (1950) year at Drake Bright rushed for 1,232 yards and passed for 1,168 yards, setting an NCAA record for total offence.    In 1951, Bright had been named a First Team College Football All-American, was awarded the Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Sportsmanship and was a pre-season Heisman Trophy candidate.  The game in Stillwater Oklahoma was the first time that a black athlete with a national profile had played against Oklahoma State and there was a good deal of anit-Bright rhetoric published in local papers leading up to the game.  It was alsoreported that many Oklahoma A&M students openly stated that Bright “would not be around at the end of the game”, making no secret of the fact that Johnny Bright would be deliberately targeted.  Wilbanks Smith knocked Bright unconscious three times before delivering the final bow that broke the young quarterbacks jaw.  OK State nor the MVC took any disciplinary action against Smith, leading to Drakes withdrawal from the MVC (Missouri Valley Conference) in protest (Drake did not return to the MVC until 1971).  OSU  did not issue a formal apology to Bright until 2005, nearly 55 years after the incident.


1952 – Governor Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency in Kenya and arrests suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, Jomo Kenyatta is amongst those arrested http://www.kenyalogy.com/eng/info/histo13.html

1970 – Siad Barre declares Somalia a socialist state

1973 – The Sydney Opera House opens – Deigned by Danish architect JornOberg Utzon, who was granted the contract as winner of an international design competition. The project began in 1957 and the workers were treated to performances from artists from around the world while construction was underway; Paul Robeson being the first “lunchtime” performer.  The Opera house was opened by Queen Elizabeth; Beethoven’s 9th was the first performance.

1973 – The Dalai Lama makes first visit to the United Kingdom

1981 – Two police officers and armored car guard are killed during an armed robbery in Rockland County NY.

1982 – 66 football fans are crushed to death during a match between Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem.

1983 – The Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice Bishop assassinated. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/20/newsid_3720000/3720608.stm

1996 – The Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative Silver Dollar was authorized by Public Law 104-329 to honor the Black Revolutionary War patriots and the 275th anniversary of the birth of the first Black Revolutionary war patriot, Crispus Attucks.

2000 – Ali Mohamed, an Egyptian born U.S. citizen who’d served in the Army plead guilty to helping plan the U.S. embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-e-salaam that killed

2011 – Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte and kill him shortly thereafter.  people.


1632 – Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, physicist and astronomer was born on this day in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, England. Wren designed 54 churches including London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, and was charged with redesigning much of the city after the Great Fire of 1666.  The main building of the College of William and Mary is also attributed to Wren; and is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States.

1825 – Daniel Sickles, American politician, soldier, diplomat.  Sickles was no stranger to scandal; was acquitted of the murder of his wife’s lover Phillip Barton Key II, son of Francis Scott Key.  He was acquitted with the first use of temporary insanity as a legal defense in U.S. history.   Sickles became a General after the outbreak of the Civil War and  has become known to generations of Gettysburg enthusiasts as the “amateur” general who disobeyed General George Meade’s orders at Gettysburg and advanced to the Peach Orchard instead of occupying Little Round Top.

1849 – William Washington Browne, educator, minister, and businessman was born enslaved in Habersham County, Georgia.  Ran away and joined the Union Army at the age of 15.  He became a Methodist minister in 1876 and was founder of The Order of True Reformers, an organization of AA organized in the southern states after the Civil War.  The Order was formed to set up business and social avenues for African Americans to participate and benefit from.

1854 – Arthur Rimbaud, French poet

1871 – Paul Valery, born in France, philosopher, writer, poet, elected toAcademie francaise, 1925, founder, the College International de Cannes, 1931

1889 – Johann Gruber, Roman Catholic priest known as the “Saint of Gusen,” murdered at Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp (d.1944).  Gruber helped many others survive by raising funds from outside the camp and bribing the SS men and kapos in order to organize the delivery of food of starving inmates. He was tortured for 3 days by the commander of Gusen camp.http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/camps/gusen/pers/gruber1x.htm

1893 – Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of the Republic of Kneya was born in the village of Ngende, in British East Africa (now Kenya).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jomo_Kenyatta

1904 – Enolia Pettigen McMillan. the first female national president of the NAACP was born on this day in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.  Pettigen earned her BA in Art from Howard University ;and went on to teach in Maryland. She was president of the Maryland State Colored Teachers Association and is credited to bringing better books to black students and better wages for black teachers.  After teaching she served as president o the Baltimore NAACP and was elected President of the national organization where she served from 1984-1990.

1925 – Art Buchwald, born in New York City, wrote political satire and commentary, had column in The Washington Post

1931 – Mickey Mantel, American professional baseball player, born on this day in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. http://www.mickeymantle.com/bio.htm

1940 – American poet and critic

1946 – Lewis Grizzard, American columnist

1964 – Kamala Devi Harris, the first woman and the first African American Attorney General of California was born on this day in Oakland, CA.


1139 – Henry X, Duke of Bavaria,b.1108

1740 – Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor

1842 – Grace Darling, English heroine and daughter of a lighthouse.  Darling isfamous for participating in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked Forfarshire in 1838.

1926 – Eugene V. Debs, American union leader and politician, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World, and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.  http://debsfoundation.org/personalhistory.html

1935 – Arthur Henderson Scottish-English politician Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Nobel Prize laureate

1936 – Anne Sullivan, American educator

1950 – Henry L. Stimson, American Colonel, lawyer and politician, 46th United States Secretary of State