19: Germanicus, the best loved of Roman princes, dies of poisoning. On his deathbed he accuses Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.
732: At Tours, France, Charles Martel kills Abd el-Rahman and halts the Muslim invasion of Europe.
1733: France declares war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1789: In Versailles, France, Joseph Guillotin says the most humane way of carrying out a death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1794: Russian Gen. Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov crushes the rebel Polish army at Maciejowice, Poland.
1845: The U.S. Naval Academy is founded at Annapolis, Maryland.
1863: The first telegraph line to Denver is completed.
1877: Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is buried at West Point in New York.
1911: Revolution in China begins with a bomb explosion and the discovery of revolutionary headquarters in Hankow. The revolutionary movement spread rapidly through west and southern China, forcing the abdication of the last Ch’ing emperor, 6-year-old Henry Pu-Yi. By Oct. 26, the Chinese Republic will be proclaimed, and on Dec. 4, Premier Yuan Shih-K’ai will sign a truce with rebel general Li Yuan-hung.
1911: The Panama Canal opens.
1933: At Rio de Janeiro, nations of the Western Hemisphere sign a nonaggression and conciliation treaty. President Franklin Roosevelt adopts a “good neighbor” policy toward Latin America and announces a policy of nonintervention in Latin American affairs at the Dec. 7 International American Conference at Montevideo, Uruguay.
1941: Soviet troops halt the German advance on Moscow.
1953: The Mutual Defense Treaty between the U.S. and South Korea is signed.
1966: U.S. forces launch Operation Robin in Hoa Province south of Saigon in South Vietnam to provide road security between villages.
1970: The Quebec provincial minister of labour, Pierre Laporte, is kidnapped by terrorists.
1971: The London Bridge, built in 1831 and dismantled in 1967, reopens in Lake Havusu City, Arizona, after being sold to Robert P. McCulloch and moved to the United States.
1973: Spiro Agnew resigns the vice presidency amid accusations of income tax evasion. President Richard Nixon names Gerald Ford as the new vice president. Agnew is later convicted and sentenced to three years probation and fined $10,000.
1985: An Egyptian plane carrying hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship is intercepted by U.S. Navy F-14s and forced to land at a NATO base in Sicily.
2008: Members of the Taliban drive an explosive-laden truck into a meeting of 600 people discussing ways to rid their area of the Taliban in Orakzai, Afghanistan; the bomb kills 110.
Born on October 10
1731: Henry Cavendish, English physicist who measured the density and mass of the Earth.
1813: Giuseppe Verdi, composer (“Rigoletto,” “Aida”).
1900: Helen Hayes, American actress.
1901: Alberto Giacometti, sculptor and painter.
1920: Thelonius Monk, jazz pianist and composer.
1924: James Clavell, novelist (“Shogun,” “Noble House”).
1930: Harold Pinter, British playwright (“The Homecoming,” “Betrayal”).
1940: Winston Spencer-Churchill, British politician; grandson of famed Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
1946: John Prine, singer, songwriter; influential for his poem-like lyrics (“The Great Compromise,” “Blue Umbrella”).
1946: Ben Vereen, actor (“Roots” miniseries).
1949: Wang Wanxing, Chinese rights advocate; prisoner for 13 years in detention centers and psychiatric institutions (Ankang), he is the only person thus far to be released from these institutions and allowed to live in a Western country.
1954: David Lee Roth, singer, songwriter, actor, author; lead vocalist for hard rock band Van Halen; member of Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame (2007).
1958: Tanya Tucker, singer whose first hit, “Delta Dawn,” came when she was just 13.
1963: Daniel Pearl, journalist; captured and beheaded by Al Queda in Pakistan; Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote tolerance and understanding internationally founded in his memory.
1969: Brett Favre, pro football player; only pro quarterback to throw for over 70,000 yards, completing 6,000 passes, including over 500 for touchdowns.
1974: Dale Earnhardt Jr., stock car racing driver and team owner; won Most Popular Driver Award in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 10 times (2003–2012).