Today's History Trivia for October 19
1860 Abraham Lincoln Grows a Beard The future U.S. President responds to an 11-year-old girl's letter suggesting he should grow a beard. He stated it would be silly to start growing one; but he did so anyway.
End of the World
German Monk Michael Stifel, using clues from the Bible, predicted Judgment Day and end of the world would occur on October 19, 1533 at 8 am. Many of the townsfolk, believing his prediction, did not plant crops or store foods and burned their homes and possessions when the day came. Afterwards, Stifel had to be taken into protective custody with the villagers chanting death threats outside his cell.
1993 The Program After several teenagers are injured and one killed while imitating a scene from the movie The Program showing kids lying in the middle of a road as cars pass by, Disney announces it will cut the scene from the film.
1987 U.S. Attacks Iran Four U.S. destroyers attack two Iranian oil rigs in retaliation for attacks on shipping vessels in the Persian Gulf.
1987 Subway Vigilante Bernhard Goetz is fined $5,000 and sentenced to six months in jail for carrying an unlicensed concealed weapon. He had been acquitted of the shooting of four black youths in a New York Subway (1984).
1987 Largest one-day stock market crash in history After a drop of 508 points, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announces "There is nothing wrong with the economy!"
1983 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day The first federal annual holiday honoring a Black American is created when the U.S. Senate votes to set aside the third Monday in January to honor the birth (January 15, 1929) of the civil-rights leader.
1982 John DeLorean The auto manufacturer is arrested for possession of 59 pounds of cocaine with intent to distribute. He plead not guilty and was later acquitted.
1976 New U.S. Copyright law Pres. Ford signs into law the first major revision since 1909. It extended the copyright to 50 years after the author's death and made provisions for photocopying and television broadcasting.
1971 Indira Gandhi The prime minister of India states at a New Delhi press conference, "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
1952 Atlantic Crossing Frenchman, Alain Bombard, begins his solo voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in a 15-foot long boat with almost no provisions. He survived by eating raw fish and plankton, although he still lost 55 pounds. He completed his journey on December 23. He just wanted to prove that it could be done.
1936 First around-the-world airplane passenger race Herbert Roslyn Ekins - after using only commercial flying routes - returns to Lakehurst, New Jersey. He and two other reporters had begun the race on September 30th.
1919 First Distinguished Service Medal Awarded to a Woman Salvation Army commander Evangeline Booth is awarded the honor.
1911 First Airplane Flight Across the U.S. from West to East Robert Grant Fowler departs Los Angeles, arriving in Jacksonville, Florida in February of the following year.
1904 New York City mounted police The famous horse patrol begins service.
1790 First battle fought by U.S. troops 400 troops from the newly formed Union attack 150 Indians northwest of Ohio, and are forced into retreat.
1781 American Revolution Cornwallis surrenders to Gen. Washington at Yorktown, ending the last major battle of the War.
1752 Ben Franklin Flies a Kite Franklin describes his famous experiment, proving that lighting and electricity are related, in Pennsylvania Gazette.
Today's Birthdays for October 19
1967 Amy Carter American student activist, ex-President Jimmy Carter's daughter.
1945 John Lithgow American actor. Film: The World According to Garp (1982, played the transsexual football player), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Harry and the Hendersons (1987).
1945 Divine d. 1988 (Harris Glenn Milstead), American transvestite actor. Film: Pink Flamingos and Polyester.
1944 Peter Tosh d. 1987 (Winston Hubert McIntosh), Jamaican reggae musician, with Bob Marley's Wailers (1963-74). Music: Don't Look Back.
1944 Candy Man d. 1984 (Ronald Clark O'Bryan), American murderer. He was convicted and executed for the 1974 Halloween killing of his 8-year-old son by feeding him poisoned candy. This is often referred to as "The Death of Halloween."
1934 Dave Guard d. 1991 American folk singer, one of the founding members of the Kingston Trio (1957). Music: Tom Dooley and Five Hundred Miles.
1932 Robert Reed d. 1992 (John Robert Rietz), American actor. TV: The Brady Bunch (father Mike Brady). He died of AIDS.
1931 John Le Carré (David John Moore Cornwell), British spy novelist. Writings: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), and Drummer Girl (1983).
1922 Jack Anderson d. 2005 American Pulitzer-winning columnist. Writings: Washington Merry-Go-Round (Pulitzer, 1972). He was credited for breaking the Iran-Contra affair and a CIA-Mafia plot to kill Fidel Castro.
1920 LaWanda Page d. 2002 (Alberta Peal), American actress, known for her portrayal of Bible-thumping Aunt Esther in Sanford and Son. She used the stage name "The Brown Goddess of Fire" while working as a stripper in St. Louis, Missouri. Film Shakes the Clown (1991, foul-mouthed clown).
1911 John Mills, Jr d. 1936 American ukulele/guitarist, with the Mills Brothers, the most popular vocal group of all time.
1899 Consuelo Northrop Bailey d. 1976 American lawyer, politician, first woman to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court (1931) and first woman lieutenant governor (1954, Vermont).
1883 William Donahey d. 1970 American cartoonist. Creator of The Teenie Weenies (1914), which ran in the Chicago Tribune for over 50 years.
1876 Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown d. 1948 American baseball Hall of Famer. He had the use of only three fingers on his pitching hand, giving him a natural knuckle ball.
1862 Auguste Lumière d. 1954 French motion picture pioneer. He and his brother Louis developed the Cinématographe motion picture camera and projector.
1861 William John Burns d. 1932 American detective. He preceded Hoover as head of the FBI (1921-24).
1856 Jonah LeRoy "Doane" Robinson d. 1946 American historian, South Dakota's state historian. He conceived the idea for Mount Rushmore in order to attract tourism to South Dakota (1923). He also helped design South Dakota's state flag.
1833 Adam Lindsay Gordon d. 1870 Australian horsebreaker, steeplechase rider, poet. He is the only Australian poet whose bust is in Westminster Abbey.
1817 Tom Taylor d. 1880 English playwright. Writings: Our American Cousin (1858) which was being presented at Ford's Theater during Lincoln's assassination.
1810 Cassius Marcellus Clay d. 1903 American politician, anti-slavery advocate. Known as "The Lion of White Hall." He published the abolitionist weekly The True American (1845) and served as U.S. minister to Russia (1861-69) where he helped with the U.S. purchase of Alaska.
Deaths for October 19
2010 Tom Bosley b. 1927 American Tony-winning actor. TV: Happy Days (Mr. C.) and The Father Dowling Mysteries (Father Dowling).
2006 Phyllis Kirk b. 1927 (Phyllis Kirkegaard), American actress. TV: The Thin Man (1957-59, Nora Charles). Film: House of Wax (1953, intended victim of the mad wax sculptor).
1994 Martha Raye b. 1916 (Margaret Reed), American actress, denture wearer. Film: Monsieur Verdoux (1947).
1983 Maurice Bishop b. 1944 prime minister of Grenada (1979-83). He was killed by the forces of his Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard - A hard-line Marxist.
1937 Ernest Rutherford b. 1871 British Nobel-winning physicist. He was the first to split the atom (1919). He also discovered the alpha particle (1904) and the proton (1920).
1911 Eugene Ely b. 1886 American aviator. He was the first person to fly a plane from the deck of a ship (1910) and the first to land a plane on a ship (1911).
1897 George Mortimer Pullman b. 1831 American inventor. He invented the railroad sleeping car (1864) with its folding upper bed.
1790 Lyman Hall b. 1724 American settler, Revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, governor of Georgia (1783).