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October 1st - History On The Way To Today at

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On The Way To Today...   October 1st

1795 - Belgium became part of the French Republic

1800 - The territory of Louisiana, encompassing the entire region of the Mississippi-Missouri river valleys, was ceded by Spain to France in the secret treaty of San Ildefonso. France envisioned a great French empire in the New World, and it hoped to use the Mississippi Valley as a major food and trade center. In 1803, economic and political problems forced France to sell the territory to the United States.

1869 - The World's first official prepaid postcards were issued by the Austrian Post Office.

1880 - The United States Marine Corps Band named a new director. It was fitting that John Philip Sousa have that position. He composed the Marine Corps hymn, "Semper Fidelis".

1885 - Special delivery mail service began in the United States.

1887 - Baluchistan was declared to be British territory and was merged with India.

1896 - The Post Office established Rural Free Delivery, with the first routes in West Virginia.

1903 - Baseball's first annual World Series began on this date. Boston of the American League defeated Pittsburgh of the National League five games to three to become the world champions. Jimmy Sebring, a Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder, hit the very first home run in a World Series game. He hit the run off pitcher Cy Young.

1905 - The Julliard School of Music was founded in New York City.

1908 - The Model T automobile was introduced by Henry Ford - it sold for $825.

1914 - Turkey closed the Dardenelles to the allies in World War I.

1918 - A combined Arab and British force captured Damascus (capital of today's Syria) from the Turks during World War I. In command of the British forces was T. E. Lawrence, a legendary British soldier known as Lawrence of Arabia. The charismatic leader helped to create an alliance of several Arabic groups that was instrumental in Turkey's defeat. After the war, Lawrence promoted in vain the independence of Arab countries.

1923 - Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing colony within the British Commonwealth.

1928 - On the Okeh lable, Duke Ellington recorded "The Mooche".

1928 - Stalin's first Five-Year Plan which set targets for every industry, factory and workshop went into operation in the Soviet Union.

1928 - "Ben Pollack and his band recorded "Forever" on Victor Records. Pollack’s band had two talented young musicians: Benny Goodman and Jack Teagarden.

1936 - General Francisco Franco was named head of the Nationalist government in Spain.

1938 - German troops crossed into the Sudetenland following an agreement between Britain, France, Germany and Italy to avoid war over Czechoslovakia.

1943 - After a month-long battle, allied soldiers captured Naples in Italy.

1943 - The International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremburg sentenced 12 Nazi leaders to death.

1946 - The first play-off game baseball had for a league championship was played. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-2.

1949 - The People's Republic of China was formed with Mao Zedong as its head.

1952 - This is Your Life, the testimonial show with host Ralph Edwards, debuted on this date on NBC and aired for nine seasons.

1955 - The half-hour sitcom The Honeymooners debuted on CBS, starring Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph. While the show ran for only 39 weeks (Gleason pulled it off after the first season), it is considered one of the best comedies in television history, and one of the more successful ones in syndication. The episode that aired on this date was titled TV or Not TV. Oddly enough, Audrey Meadows was the only member of the cast who received, thanks to her contract, residuals from reruns.

1957 - The first meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency began in Vienna, with W. Sterling Cole as Director-General.

1958 - The novel, The Ugly American, by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick, was published on this date in New York. The novel was later made into a movie, which starred Marlon Brando.

1960 - The Federation of Nigeria achieved independence within the Commonwealth. On this day in 1963 it became a federal republic.

1961 - Roger Maris hit his record 61st home run of the season. The 27-year-old Maris smashed Babe Ruth's long-standing record on the final day of the American League season. The momentous homerun No. 61 was struck by Maris off Tracy Stallard, rookie right hander of the Boston Red Sox. It was in the fourth inning and Maris was batting for the second time. Maris, who had vowed earlier he would come out of the dugout swinging, whaled into the next pitch, a fast ball a little high and over the plate. He drove the ball into the lower right field stands, some 15 rows deep and about 360 feet away, to give the Yankees a 1-0 win.

1962 - The United Nations took control of West New Guinea (now Irian Jaya) from the Netherlands.

1962 - Groucho Marx introduced Johnny Carson on Carson's first night as host of The Tonight Show. Carson replaced Perry Como as the late-night host.

1962 - Brian Epstein signed the Beatles to a five-year management contract.

1964 - Japan's "bullet train" from Tokyo to Osaka made its first journey.

1964 - The Free Speech Movement was launched at the University of California at Berkeley.

1965 - A coup against Indonesian President Sukarno was crushed by General Suharto, the Indonesian army leader. Suharto and his officers sought out Communist suspects across the country after the coup, killing more than one million people--one of the worst massacres in the 20th century. Suharto used his brutal methods to take over the country's reigns and was elected president in 1968.

1966 - The little ditty, "I Love My Dog" was released by 19-year old Cat Stevens. Five years later, he recorded the hits "Wild World", "Morning Has Broken", "Peace Train" and "Oh Very Young". By 1979, Cat Stevens born Steven Demitri Georgiou, disgusted by the music business, joined the Islamic religion and changed his name to Yusef Islam.

1968 - The cult horror movie "Night of the Living Dead" had its world premiere in Pittsburgh.

1969 - The Anglo-French Concorde aircraft broke the sound barrier for the first time in a test flight over France.

1971 - In Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World opened. Eventually it would become the largest, man-made, tourist attraction in the world.

1974 - The Watergate cover-up trial opened in Washington.

1979 - The Panama Canal Zone was formally handed over to Panama after 70 years of U.S. control.

1980 - "Ladies’ Home Journal" surprised readers when actor Robert Redford became the first male to appear on the cover by himself. It took the magazine only 97 years to change its no-men-on-the-cover policy.

1982 - Helmut Kohl was sworn in as West Germany's sixth Chancellor, succeeding Helmut Schmidt.

1985 - E. B. White, essayist and writer of children's books, including the classic Charlotte's Web, died at age 86.

1985 - The Palestine Liberation Organization's headquarters in Tunisia was raided by Israeli jet fighters.

1987 - Fiji coup leader Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka formally revoked his country's constitution, saying he had replaced Queen Elizabeth as head of state with power to rule by decree.

1987 - Eight people were killed in Los Angeles when an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 hit the area. An aftershock measured 5.3.

1989 - Pakistan rejoined the Commonwealth after a 17-year absence.

1991 - President Aristide of Haiti flew into exile in Venezuela after a coup by a three-man military junta led by General Raul Cedras.

1992 - The USS Saratoga accidentally fired missiles at a Turkish destroyer in the Aegean Sea. Five people were killed in the incident.

1995 - A United States federal jury found Egyptian cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine others guilty of plotting to blow up the World Trade Center, bomb the United Nations, kill Egypt's president and destroy vital highway tunnels in New York.

1996 - The United Nations Security Council formally ended trade sanctions against the Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro imposed in 1992 for their role in fomenting the war in Bosnia.

1997 - National television ratings system begins in the United States

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