Today in History – October 22

1707 – Four British naval vessels ran aground on the Isles of Scilly because of faulty navigation. In response, the first Longitude Act was enacted in 1714.  It established the Board of Longitude and offered monetary rewards for anyone who could find a simple and practical method for the precise determination of a ship’s longitude. 

1746 – The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) received its charter.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: American defenders of Fort Mercer on the Delaware River repulsed repeated Hessian attacks in the Battle of Red Bank.

1784 – Russia founded a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

1790 – Northwest Indian War: Native American forces defeated the United States, which ended the Harmar Campaign.

1797 – André-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump, from 3,200 feet above Paris.

1836 – Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.

1844 – Millerites, followers of Baptist preacher William Miller, anticipated the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ. The following day became known as the Great Disappointment.

1875 – Sons of American Revolution organized.

1879 – Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tested the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13 1/2 hours before burning out).

1884 – The International Meridian Conference designated the Royal Observatory, Greenwich as the world’s prime meridian.

1895 – In Paris an express train derailed after overrunning the buffer stop.  The train crossed almost 100 feet of concourse before crashed through a wall and fell 33 feet to the road below.

1897 – The world’s first car dealer opened in London.

1906 – Henry Ford became President of Ford Motor Company.

1907 – A run on the stock of the Knickerbocker Trust Company set events in motion that sparked the Panic of 1907.

1907 – Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth bought Barnum & Bailey circus.

1910 – Hawley Harvey Crippen (the first felon to be arrested with the help of radio) was convicted of poisoning his wife.

1916 – US suffragette Inez Milholland collapsed during a speech in Los Angeles (she died weeks later). Her last word’s were to President Woodrow Wilson “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?”

1932 – Film “Red Dust” directed by Victor Fleming, starring Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Mary Astor premiered.

1934 – In East Liverpool, Ohio, FBI agents shot and killed notorious bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.

1938 – Chester Carlson demonstrated the first Xerox copying machine.

1939 – NBC became the first network to televise a pro football game; Brooklyn Dodgers beat Philadelphia Eagles, 23-14 at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.

1941 – World War II: French resistance member Guy Môquet and 29 other hostages were executed by the Germans in retaliation for the death of a German officer.

1942 – “Now, Voyager” film directed by Irving Rapper starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid and Claude Rain premiered in New York.

1943 – World War II: In the second firestorm raid on Germany, the RAF conducted an air raid on the town of Kassel which killed 10,000 and rendered 150,000 homeless.

1946 – Over twenty-two hundred engineers and technicians from eastern Germany were forced to relocate to the Soviet Union, along with their families and equipment.

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced that American reconnaissance planes had discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he had ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation.

1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but turned down the honor.

1968 – Apollo 7 returned to Earth.

1969 – Paul McCartney denied rumors of his death.

1975 – Soviet spacecraft Venera 9 soft-landed on Venus and become the first lander to return images from the surface of another planet.

1976 – Red Dye No. 4 was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it was discovered that it caused tumors in the bladders of dogs.

1979 – Walt Disney World welcomed its 100-millionth guest.

1981 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved aspartame artificial sweetener for tabletop use following years of scrutiny.

1983 – Two correctional officers were killed by inmates at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. The incident inspired the Supermax model of prisons.

1984 – Paul McCartney released “Give My Regards to Broad Street” soundtrack.

1988 – Elton John sold out Madison Square Garden for a record 26th time.

1991 – General Motors announced a 9 month loss of S2.2 billion.

1994 – A statue of Sam Houston was unveiled in Texas.

1997 – Coldest World Series game: Marlins vs Cleveland (38°F).

1997 – NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky’s wife Janet was knocked unconscious and got 2 stitches after plexiglass fell on her while she was watching a game.

2008 – India launched its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1.

2012 – Six Italian scientists were convicted of manslaughter for their failure to predict the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.

2018 – Actress Selma Blair revealed that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

2018 – A pipe bomb was sent to George Soros’ New York home address.  He was the first Democrat to receive a series of pipe bombs.

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