1244: The Sixth Crusade ends when an Egyptian-Khwarismian force almost annihilates the Frankish army at Gaza.
1346: English forces defeat the Scots under David II during the Battle of Neville’s Cross, Scotland.
1529: Henry VIII of England strips Thomas Wolsey of his office for failing to secure an annulment of his marriage.
1691: Maine and Plymouth are incorporated in Massachusetts.
1777: British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne surrenders 5,000 men at Saratoga, New York.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte arrives at the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he has been banished by the Allies.
1849: Composer and pianist Frederic Chopin dies in Paris of tuberculosis at the age of 39.
1863: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant is named overall Union commander of the West.
1877: Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry meets with Sitting Bull in Canada to discuss the Indians’ return to the United States.
1913: Zeppelin LII explodes over London, killing 28.
1933: Due to rising anti-Semitism and anti-intellectualism in Adolph Hitler’s Germany, Albert Einstein immigrates to the United States. He makes his new home in Princeton, New Jersey.
1941: The U.S. destroyer Kearney is damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans are killed.
1956: The nuclear power station Calder Hall is opened in Britain. Calder Hall is the first nuclear station to feed an appreciable amount of power into a civilian network.
1972: Peace talks between the Pathet Lao and Royal Lao government begin in Vietnam.
1989: The worst earthquake in 82 years strikes San Francisco bay area minutes before the start of a World Series game there. The earthquake registers 6.9 on the Richter scale; 67 are killed and damage is estimated at $10 billion.
1994: Dmitry Kholodov, a Russian journalist, assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces; his murder began a series of killings of journalists in Russia.
2001: Rehavam Ze’evi, Israeli tourism minister and founder of the right-wing Moledet party, is assassinated by a member of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); he was the first Israeli minister ever assassinated.
2003: Taipei 101 is completed in Taipei, becoming the world’s tallest high-rise.
Born on October 17
1821: Alexander Gardner, American photographer who documented the Civil War and the West.
1859: Childe Hassam, American impressionist painter and illustrator.
1895: Doris Humphrey, modern dance choreographer.
1903: Nathaneal West, novelist and screenwriter (“Miss Lonely Hearts,” “The Day of the Locust”).
1915: Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (“Death of a Salesman,” “A View from the Bridge”).
1918: Rita Hayworth, film actress.
1930: Jimmy Breslin, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author and columnist.
1938: Evel Knievel, U.S. daredevil motorcycle stunt man.
1942: Gary Puckett, singer, songwriter; lead singer of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (“Woman, Woman”; “Young Girl”).
1946: Adam Michnik, Polish historian and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wybocza, Poland’s largest newspaper; named Europe’s Man of the Year by La Vie magazine (1989).
1946: Michael Hossack, drummer for The Doobie Brothers band
1948: Margo Kidder, actress; best known for playing Lois Lane in four “Superman” movies between 1978 and 1987.
1958: Alan Jackson, country singer with over 60 million records sold worldwide; his many awards include two Grammys and 16 Country Music Association awards; “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning”; “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.”
1960: Rob Marshall, theater and film director, choreographer; awards include four Emmys and an Academy Award for Best Picture (“Chicago,” 2002).
1968: Ziggy Marley, Jamaican musician, leader of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers; oldest son of reggae great Bob Marley.