1635 – Founder of Rhode Island Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a religious dissident after he speaks out against punishments for religious offenses and giving away Native American land.
1767 – Surveying for the Mason–Dixon line separating Maryland from Pennsylvania is completed.
1781 – The bombardment of the British forces at Yorktown begins. Among the American guns there were three twenty-four pounders, three eighteen pounders, two eight-inch (203 mm) howitzers and six mortars. At 3:00 pm, the French guns opened the barrage and drove the British frigate, HMS Guadeloupe across the York River, where she was scuttled to prevent capture. At 5:00 pm the Americans opened fire. George Washington fired the first gun; legend has it that it smashed into a table where British officers were eating. The Franco-American guns began to tear apart the British defenses. Washington ordered that the guns fire all night so that the British could not make repairs. All of the British guns on the left were soon silenced. The British soldiers began to pitch their tents in their trenches and soldiers began to desert in large numbers. Some British ships were also damaged by cannonballs that flew across the town into the harbor.[
1812 – American Lieutenant Jesse Duncan Elliot captured two British brigs, the Detroit and Caledonia on Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Elliot set the brig Detroit ablaze the next day in retaliation for the British capture seven weeks earlier of the city of Detroit.
1814 – USS Wasp vanished at sea. On this date, she informed the Swedish brig Adonis that she was “standing for the Spanish Main.” She was never seen again, and all hands were lost.”
1822 – George Sykes (d.1880), Major General (Union volunteers), was born.
1852 – The Lighthouse Board, which administered the lighthouse system until 1 July 1910, was organized. “This Board was composed of two officers of the Navy, two officers of the Engineer Corps, and two civilians of high scientific attainments whose services were at the disposal of the President, and an officer of the Navy and of the, Engineers as secretaries. It was empowered under the Secretary of the Treasury to “discharge all the administrative duties” relative to lighthouses and other aids to navigation. The Secretary of the Treasury was president of the Board, and it was authorized to elect a chairman and to divide the coast of the United States into twelve lighthouse districts, to each of which the President was to assign an army or navy officer as lighthouse inspector.”
1858 – The Secretary of the Treasury appointed a 3 man Board of U.S. Revenue Marine officers to consider a lifeboat design best adapted for life -saving work.
1861 – Battle of Santa Rosa Island, Union troops repel a Confederate attempt to capture Fort Pickens, FL.
1863 – Confederate cavalry raiders returned to Chattanooga having attacked Union General William Rosecrans’ supply and communication lines all around east Tennessee.
1864 – At the Battle of Tom’s Brook the Confederate cavalry that harassed Sheridan’s campaign was wiped by Custer and Merrit’s cavalry divisions. After his victory at Fisher’s Hill, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan pursued Early’s army up the Shenandoah Valley to near Staunton. On October 6, Sheridan began withdrawing, as his cavalry burned everything that could be deemed of military significance, including barns and mills. Reinforced by Kershaw’s division, Early followed. Maj. Gen. Thomas Rosser arrived from Petersburg to take command of Fitz Lee’s cavalry division and harassed the retreating Federals. On October 9, Torbert’s troopers turned on their pursuers, routing the divisions of Rosser and Lomax at Tom’s Brook. With this victory, the Union cavalry attained overwhelming superiority in the Valley.
1867 – The Russians formally transferred Alaska to the US. The U.S. had bought Alaska for $7.2 million in gold.
1873 – LT Charles Belknap calls a meeting at the Naval Academy to establish the U.S. Naval Institute for the purpose of disseminating scientific and professional knowledge throughout the Navy.
1888 – The Washington Monument officially opens to the general public.
1906 – Joseph F. Glidden, inventor (barbed wire), died.
1907 – Las Cruces, New Mexico is incorporated. Las Cruces, also known as “The City of the Crosses”, is the county seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico. Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the fertile Mesilla Valley, which is the agricultural region on the flood plain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch, New Mexico to the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is also the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico’s only land grant university. The city’s major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range.
1917 – The 8th Marines was activated at Quantico, Virginia. Although the regiment would not see combat in Europe during World War I, the officers and enlisted men of the 8th Marines participated in operations against dissidents in Haiti for over five years during the 1920s. During World War II, the regiment was assigned to the 2d Marine Division and participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa, and earned three Presidential Unit Citations.
1936 – Generators at Boulder Dam (later renamed to Hoover Dam) begin to generate electricity from the Colorado River and transmit it 266 miles to Los Angeles.
1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested congressional approval for arming U.S. merchant ships.
1942 – First three schools for enlisted WAVES open at Stillwater, OK (Yeoman), Bloomington, IN (Storekeepers), and Madison, WI (Radiomen).
WAVES recruiting activities. Ensign May Herrmann talks to two young women concerning enlistment in the Navy Women’s Reserve, at the Officer Procurement office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 30 October 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-40624.
1945 – Anti -submarine Patrol Craft USS PC -590 (Coast Guard -manned) grounded and sank in typhoon off Okinawa.
1945 – Parade in New York City honors FADM Chester W. Nimitz and 13 other Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor winners.
1950 – Major Eighth Army units assembled along the 38th parallel. Tenth Corps’ 1st Marine Division began embarkation at Inchon for sea movement to Wonsan on the East Coast. The 1st Cavalry Division crossed the 38th parallel north of Kaesong and attacked northward toward Pyongyang.
1952 – Vice Admiral Joseph J. “Jocko” Clark, the last commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet during the Korean War and a Cherokee descendent, became famous for his self -proclaimed “Cherokee Strikes.”
1969 – In Chicago, the United States National Guard is called in for crowd control as demonstrations continue in connection with the trial of the “Chicago Eight” that began on September 24.
1985 – The hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise liner surrendered after the ship arrived in Port Said, Egypt.
1990 – Saddam Hussein of Iraq threatened to hit Israel with a new missile.
1992 – To protect the US food airlift, the first American forces arrived in Somalia.
1992 – The U.N. Security Council voted to ban all military flights over Bosnia -Herzegovina.
1993 – Cease -Fire. Aidid unilaterally declares a “total cease fire.” Clinton bars retaliation against Aidid.
1994 – The United States sent troops and warships to the Persian Gulf after Saddam Hussein sent tens of thousands of elite troops and hundreds of tanks toward the Kuwaiti border.
1995 – Saboteurs pulled 29 spikes from a stretch of railroad track, causing an Amtrak train to derail in Arizona; one person was killed and about 100 were injured.
1998 – US diplomats met twice with Yugoslav Pres. Milosevic to resolve the crises in Kosovo and avert a NATO attack.
1999 – The last flight of the SR-71. The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. During reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile. The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents, but none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12. All Blackbirds have been moved to museums except for the two SR-71s and a few D-21 drones retained by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
2000 – In Chechnya 3 Russian soldiers were shot to death in Urus -Martan.
2001 – The US declared air supremacy over Afghanistan. In the first daylight raids since the start of U.S. -led attacks on Afghanistan, jets bombed the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.
2001 – The 2 anthrax cases in Florida were reported to probably have been caused by an intentional release of the deadly bacteria.
2001 – Qatar’s Al -Jazeera broadcast a taped video of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an al Qaeda spokesman, who called on Muslims to attack US interests worldwide.
2002 – The space shuttle “Atlantis” arrived at the international space station, bringing with it a 14 -ton girder.
2002 – Newly -declassified Pentagon reports acknowledge that the United States used deadly chemical and biological warfare agents during Cold War military tests on American soil and in Britain and Canada from 1962 -1971.
2002 – Dean Meyers (53) was shot to death in Manassas, Va., in a shooting that appeared to be linked to 6 previous sniper attacks in the area.
2003 – Scientists in Nature reported that certain types of Navy sonar use was responsible for whale deaths due to beaching.
2003 – Rival warlords in northern Afghanistan said that they had reached a truce after fighting killed dozens of people.
2003 – A suicide car bomber crashed a white Oldsmobile into a police station in Sadr City, Iraq’s largest Shiite Muslim enclave, killing himself, 9 others and wounding as many as 45.
2003 – In Iraq Kirk von Ackerman (37), US army contractor, disappeared between Tikrit and Kirkuk.
2003 – Russia’s defense minister assured NATO that Moscow is not adopting a more aggressive nuclear stance and remains committed to cooperation with the Western alliance.
2004 – Afghanistan’s first direct presidential election was thrust into turmoil hours after it started when all 15 candidates challenging interim leader Hamid Karzai alleged fraud over the ink meant to ensure people voted only once and vowed to boycott the results.
2004 – An exit poll conducted by an American non-profit group found that interim Afghan president Hamid Karzai won the first-ever presidential election with the outright majority needed to avoid a second round.
2004 – US forces in Afghanistan fought militants on the ground and aircraft bombed them in a clash that left 25 rebels dead before the nation’s landmark elections.
2004 – Followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said they will begin handing weapons over to Iraqi police next week.
2006 – North Korea allegedly tests its first nuclear device.
2007 – The United States Supreme Court dismisses the case of the German citizen Khalid El-Masri who accuses the CIA of abducting him to a secret prison in Afghanistan where he claims he was tortured. The US government had argued that a public trial would reveal state secrets.
2009 – First lunar impact of the Centaur and LCROSS spacecrafts as part of NASA’s Lunar Precursor Robotic Program. An unmanned Atlas V rocket launched the two space probes towards the Moon, where they provided a 3-D map and searched for water in conjunction with the Hubble Space Telescope.
2010 – Linda Norgrove, a Scottish aid worker who, with three Afghan colleagues had been kidnapped by the Taliban, is killed accidentally during a failed rescue attempt by the United States in Afghanistan.
2013 – The United States government suspends military and cash aid to Egypt worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
2013 – Juno flies by Earth on its way to orbit Jupiter, but suffers a glitch during the fly-by that puts it in safe mode. Juno is a NASA New Frontiers mission to the planet Jupiter. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 and will arrive in July 2016. The spacecraft is to be placed in a polar orbit to study Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. Juno will also search for clues about how the planet formed, including whether it has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, how its mass is distributed, and its deep winds, which can reach speeds of 618 kilometers per hour (384 mph).