Arms control peace talks stalled between the US and Soviet superpowers. (1986) Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan couldn't come to an agreement, as Gorbachev insisted on limiting the US Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a pet project of President Reagan's. Talks didn't resume until more than a year later when Gorbachev ceded the point.
The sixth billionth person in the world was born. (1999) Though there is some disagreement as to the exact date, the United Nations Population Fund established this day as "The Day of Six Billion."
The Soviet Union pulled ahead in the "space race," launching a spacecraft into orbit with a multi-person crew. (1964)Voskhod 1 launched with astronauts Boris Yegorov, Konstantin Feoktistov and Vladamir Komarov on board. This was also the first mission flown without space suits.
Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, threw a fit at a U.N. General Assembly session. (1960)Khrushchev protested a speech that criticized Soviet policy by angrily pounding his shoe on the meeting table. Frederick Boland, the General Assembly President, was only able to regain control over the meeting by breaking his gavel on the table.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped assassination. (1984) Terrorists from the Irish Republican Army bombed the Grand Hotel where Prime Minister Thatcher was staying. Five people were killed and 31 were wounded in the blast, but the Prime Minister was able to escape unharmed.
US Vice President Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (2007) Vice President Gore won the award together with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the United Nations for increasing awareness of global warming.
The world's first raincoat was sold. (1823) Scottish inventor Charles Macintosh, who invented waterproof fabric, sold the first raincoat.
The first Oktoberfest occurred. (1810) The Oktoberfest tradition actually began as a festival celebrating the marriage of Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and Prince Louis of Bavaria in Munich, Germany. The festival was such a success, the locals decided to hold it annually.
The first insane asylum in the US opened. (1773) The Eastern State Hospital asylum opened in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Columbus Day was first celebrated in the US. (1792) This first celebration occurred on the 300th anniversary of Columbus' arrival. The day didn't become a federal holiday until 1934.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited in US schools for the first time. (1892) The pledge was recited to honor the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World.