What Happened on October 1?

  • Yosemite National Park was established. (1890) The national park, located in California spans 761,268 acres (about 3,080 square kilometers). Today, more than three million people visit the park each year.

  • Sentences were handed down in the Nuremberg Trials. (1946) The "Trial of the Major War Criminals" sentenced 24 of the worst criminal offenders for acts committed during World War II. 12 defendants were sentenced to death, three were acquitted and the remainder were sentenced to various periods in prison.

  • Students at the University of California began the "Free Speech Movement" protest. (1964) The protest was an unprecedented uprising of students. They argued that Berkeley should allow political activity on campus and that not allowing it violated their free speech rights. The university eventually gave in — by January, policies were put in place allowing students to engage in political activities on campus.

  • Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. (1988) Gorbachev forced out the previous leader, Andrei Gromyko, and declared himself in charge. This event was a major precursor to ending the "Cold War."

  • The world's first compact disc player went on sale. (1982) Initially, Sony launched the large, table-top player only in Japan; the system became available worldwide the following March.

  • NASA began operations. (1958) The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established to replace the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which had been established in 1915.

  • Mensa International was founded. (1946) Founded in the United Kingdom, Mensa is a non-profit organization for the world's highest IQ testers.

  • The abduction that inspired the California "Three Strikes" law occurred. (1993) Polly Klass was abducted and later murdered by Richard Allen Davis, who was a habitual offender and had already been sentenced to 16 years in prison, but was released on early parole. His subsequent murder conviction and lobbying by Polly's father resulted in the "Three Strikes" rule, which included an automatic life sentence to three-time felony offenders.

  • The first factory to build electric lamps opened. (1880) Thomas Edison opened Edison Lamp Works with his assistant William J. Hammer. In its first year, the factory produced 50,000 lamps.

  • The News of the World printed its first edition. (1843) The London newspaper was one of the first published for London's literate working commuters, featuring sensational, shocking news and coverage of criminal activities. Today, it is one of the world's oldest newspapers and the second highest-selling newspaper in the UK.

  • In a secret treaty, Spain gave Louisiana to France. (1800) The "The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso" was negotiated and signed under a veil of secrecy by Napoleon's Chief of Staff, Louis Alexandre Berthier, and Don Mariano Luis de Urquijo, Spain's Secretary of State. Louisiana was given to the US in March, 1804.

  • The first Model-T automobiles went on sale. (1908) The Ford Motor Company sold what is considered America's first affordable car for $825 US Dollars (USD) — about $18,000 USD in 2010.

  • The first Major League Baseball World Series began. (1903) In the first series, the Boston American League defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a best-of-nine series. The game now is played in a best-of-seven series.

  • Babe Ruth's Major League Baseball home run record of 34 years was broken. (1961) Roger Maris broke the record playing for the New York Yankees when he hit home run number 61.

  • Stanford University in California began its first semester. (1891) Stanford was founded by a railroad tycoon named Leland Stanford to honor his son. The first class began with 15 teachers and 559 students. Today, more than 19,000 students study under about 2,000 teachers at the university each year.

Discussion Comments


Yosemite is such a gorgeous park. I really want to go back and spend some time there in different seasons. I only managed to spend a couple of days there the last time I was in California.

One of my friends lives nearby and he sends me gorgeous pictures of the place covered in snow during the winter.

I'm really glad that people a hundred years ago were smart enough to realize what a treasure a place like that could be if it was preserved. If they hadn't done that Yosemite might have been lost like so many other beautiful wild places in the world.


@Ana1234 - I can see your point, but at the same time, I understand why people might want to join Mensa. We don't really exalt intelligence as a society and it can be lonely to be the only one who understands a particular joke or kind of philosophy or whatever.

Having a way to make a group exclusive is always going to end up excluding people who want to be in the group. But you've got to pick and choose somehow. And as long as you aren't giving those people privileges, I don't see the problem.

I really don't like the idea of Mensa. It just seems really elitist and kind of unfortunate to base a group around people who can take a particular kind of test.

This is especially true since IQ tests are culturally biased, which means that Mensa is less likely to admit people from certain countries or backgrounds.

Honestly, it doesn't really surprise me that it started up in the 40s. It seems like the kind of group to thrive in that sort of environment.

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