Today in 1793,Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France,had her head chopped off. The woman who was credited with coining thephrase, "let them eat cake," but didn’t may have accepted her fate, but she also wasn’t about to go quietly. As legend has it, when she stepped across the guillotine platform, she made sure to step on the executioner’s foot! (I wonder –did they eat cake afterwards?)
Today in 1829,the Tremont Hotel opened in Boston. It was the first bona fide first-class hotel in America and the first hotel to have indoor plumbing. For $2 a night the patrons received four meals, a private key, a washbowl, and access to bathrooms in the basement.
Today in 1846,the painkiller ether was used for the first time at Boston’s General Hospital. William Horton of Charleston, Massachusetts had invented the drug, which changed anesthesia forever. Prior to 1846 alcohol, opium, and other substances were used but they didn't work in every case and were not nearly as effective.
Today in 1901,Booker T. Washington and his family dined at the White House with Teddy and Edith Roosevelt, prompting condemnation from the South. Noting the reaction is important – as no other African American was invited to dinner at the White House for almost thirty years. It’s also worth pointing out that Roosevelt had already made common practice of treating Black Americans equitably – as when he was the governor of New York, he ad frequently had Black guests over for dinner and sometimes invited them to sleep over in the Governor’s mansion. Still, Roosevelt wasn’t “the first.” That honor goes to John Adams, who in 1798, had dined in the President's House in Philadelphia with Joseph Bunel, a white representative of the Haitian government, and his free-black Creole wife, Marie Fanchette Estève.
Today in 1908, the world's first international beauty contest was held at the Pier Hippodrome at Folkestone, England.
Today in 1916,the first “birth control” clinic was opened by Margaret Sanger in New York City.An avowed eugenicist, her writings and speeches showed that her inspiration for birth control and abortionwas to minimize the non-white population in America. The clinic was closed by police 10 days later…reopened and closed for good on November 16th.
Today in 1923,Walter E. Disney and Roy O. Disney founded the Disney Brothers Studio.
Today in 1946,10 of the 12 World War II Nazi war criminals convicted at the Nuremberg and Berlin trialswere executed by hanging at the Nuremberg prison. Of the two remaining, Hermann Goering committed suicide by poison the day before. As for Martin Bormann, he was tried in absentia, convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Bormann had committed actually suicide on a bridge near Lehrter station much earlier. The body was buried nearby on May 8th1945, but was not found and confirmed as genuine until 1972.
Today in 1955,Ann Landers debuted with her first advice column. It ran for 56 years until her death.
Today in1968,two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos,were suspended by the U.S. Olympic Committee forgiving a "black power" salute during a ceremony in Mexico City.
Today in 1973,the film, "The Paper Chase," starring Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner and John Houseman,opened in theaters nationwide.
Today in 1978,Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla [[woe-TEE-yah]]was elected“Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.” As Pope, he took the name “John Paul the Second.”
Today in 1987,a 58-and-a-half-hour drama in Midland, Texas ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl who had been trapped in abandoned well fornearly three days.
Today in 1989,"The Kids In The Hall"series debuted on HBO.
Today in 1995,nearly 1-million black men gathered in Washington DC for the "Million Man March" led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Today in 1997,legendary author James Michener died in Austin, Texas, at the age of 90.
Today in 1998,the horror movie, "Bride of Chucky,"opened in theaters nationwide.
Today in 1998,the movie, "Practical Magic," starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman,opened in theaters nationwide.
Today in 1999,Irish tenor Josef Locke, whose life inspired the 1992 film, "Hear My Song,"died in County Kildare, Ireland, at age 82.
Today in 1999,a New York Air National Guard plane rescued Dr. Jerri Nielsen from a South Pole research center after she'd spent five months isolated by the Antarctic winter, which forced her to treat herself for a breast lump.
Today in 2002,the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (in the Egyptian city of Alexandria)was officially inaugurated. Considered both a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, and an attempt to rekindle something of the brilliance that this earlier center of study and erudition represented.
Today in 2012,Hilary Mantel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for her novel “Bring Up the Bodies.”
Today in 2013,the United States ended its 16-day government shut down and avoided default through a bipartisan deal in the Senate. Late in the evening of October 16th, 2013, Congress passed theContinuing Appropriations Act, 2014, and the President signed it shortly after midnight on October 17th, ending the government shutdown and suspending the debt limit until February 7th, 2014.
Today in 2014,New Zealand, Malaysia, Angola, Spain and Venezuela were elected to the United Nations Security Council.
Today in 2014,San Francisco Giants beat St. Louis Cardinals, 4 games to 1in the MLB National League Championship.
Today in 2016,Ed Whitlock – at 85 years of age –became the oldest person to complete a marathon under 4 hours, at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. His finish? Three-hours, 56 minutes, 33-seconds.
Today in 2018,Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex began their first royal tour visiting Australia and New Zealand...the day after announcing they were expecting their first child together.
Today in 2018,Chairman of China's Xinjiang’s government defended its detention camps for Uighur Muslims saying they provided “vocational education and training.”
Today in 2018,President Trump said that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied knowledge of the death of “Washington Post” journalist Jamal Khashoggi...and that he believed him.