Here’s What Happened On This Day in History: October 10

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ON THIS DAY


1845: Birth of the U.S. Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy opens in Annapolis, Maryland, with 50 midshipmen students and seven professors. Known as the Naval School until 1850, the curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French.

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General View of the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland





1877: Custer’s funeral is held at West Point
On this day in 1877, the U.S. Army holds a West Point funeral with full military honors for Lieutenant-Colonel George Armstrong Custer. George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars who was killed the previous year in Montana by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

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The original Custer Monument at West Point before the statue of Custer was removed after objection from Custer’s widow


1913: Panama Canal Construction Ends
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson triggers the explosion of the Gamboa Dike, ending construction on the Panama Canal.

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Dike at Gamboa which kept the water of the Chagres River out of Culebra Cut during the construction period.





1935: Porgy and Bess premieres on Broadway
On October 10, 1935, George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess premieres on Broadway. Porgy and Bess is an English-language opera by the American composer George Gershwin, with a libretto written by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin.

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Porgy and Bess by the New York Harlem Theatre in March 2009.


1951: Truman signs Mutual Security Act
On this day in 1951, President Harry S. Truman signs the Mutual Security Act. The Mutual Security Act of 1951 launched a major American foreign aid program, 1951–61, of grants to numerous countries. It largely replaced the Marshall Plan. The main goal was to help poor countries develop and to contain the spread of communism.

Photograph of President Truman in the Oval Office shaking hands with W. Averell Harriman, the new Director of the Mutual Security Agency, as Chief Justice Fred Vinson looks on.


1957: Braves beat the Yanks to win World Series
On October 10, 1957, the Milwaukee Braves defeat the New York Yankees to win their first World Series since 1914. (They played in Boston then; the team moved to Wisconsin in 1953.)

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1948 Boston Braves postcard before moving to Milwaukee and ultimately winning the World Series on this day in 1957.





1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologizes to African diplomat
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologizes to the finance minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, after he is refused service in a Dover, Delaware restaurant.

Photograph of General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Photograph of General Dwight D. Eisenhower


1965: 1st Cavalry Division commences operations
In the first major operation since arriving the previous month, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) joins with South Vietnamese Marines to strike at 2,000 North Vietnamese troops 25 miles from An Khe in the Central Highlands.

Troops of the 1st. Cavalry Division during an operation near the Ashau Valley

Troops of the 1st. Cavalry Division during an operation near the Ashau Valley


1967: The Outer Space Treaty Signed
The Outer Space Treaty, signed on January 27 by more than sixty nations, comes into force. The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law.

Signing of Treaty on Outer Space (Source: UN Photo)

Signing of Treaty on Outer Space (Source: UN Photo)





1969: U.S. Navy transfers vessels to South Vietnamese
The U.S. Navy transfers 80 river-patrol boats to the South Vietnamese Navy in the largest single transfer of naval equipment since the war began. This was part of the ongoing Vietnamization program, which had been announced by President Richard Nixon at Midway in June.

Vietnam War 1965 - Ready For Air Strike, USN A-1 Skyraider Aircraft USS Midway

Vietnam War 1965 – Ready For Air Strike, USN A-1 Skyraider Aircraft USS Midway


1971: London Bridge Sold to U.S.
London Bridge is a bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It was built in the 1830s and formerly spanned the River Thames in London, England. It was dismantled in 1967 and relocated to Arizona. The bridge was completed in 1971 (along with a canal), and links an island in the Colorado River with the main part of Lake Havasu City.

London Bridge in Lake Havasu City

London Bridge in Lake Havasu City





1973: Vice President Agnew resigns
Less than a year before Richard M. Nixon’s resignation as president of the United States, U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns after being charged with evasion of federal income tax.

Vice President Spiro T. Agnew congratulates launch team personnel, in firing room #1 of launch control minutes after the successful launch of Apollo 17

Vice President Spiro T. Agnew congratulates launch team personnel, in firing room #1 of launch control minutes after the successful launch of Apollo 17


1985: Achille Lauro hijacking ends
United States Navy F-14 fighter jets intercept an Egyptian plane carrying the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, and force it to land at a NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily where they are arrested.

The Achille Lauro at the Cantieri Navali Riuniti of Palermo in 1965.

The Achille Lauro at the Cantieri Navali Riuniti of Palermo in 1965.


1991: A former postal worker commits mass murder
Former U.S. postal worker Joseph Harris shoots two former co-workers to death at the post office in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The night before, Harris had killed his former supervisor, Carol Ott, with a three-foot samurai sword, and shot her fiance, Cornelius Kasten, in their home.

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New Jersey Post Office





2004: Superman Christopher Reeve dies at age 52
On this day in 2004, the actor Christopher Reeve dies from heart failure at the age of 52 at a hospital near his home in Westchester County, New York. Christopher D’Olier Reeve was an American actor best known for his motion picture portrayal of the classic DC comic book superhero Superman, beginning with the acclaimed Superman, for which he won a BAFTA Award.

Christopher Reeve

President Reagan talking with Christopher Reeve and Frank Gifford during a reception and picnic in honor of the 15th Anniversary of the Special Olympics program in the Diplomatic Reception room.