876: Charles the Bald is defeated at the Battle of Andernach.
1690: Belgrade is retaken by the Turks.
1840: King William I of Holland abdicates.
1855: Arrow, a ship flying the British flag, is boarded by Chinese who arrest the crew, thus beginning the Second Chinese War.
1862: The Union is victorious at the Battle of Perryville, the largest Civil War combat to take place in Kentucky.
1871: The Great Chicago Fire begins in southwest Chicago, possibly in a barn owned by Patrick and Katherine O’Leary. Fanned by strong southwesterly winds, the flames raged for more than 24 hours, eventually leveling three and a half square miles and wiping out one-third of the city. Approximately 250 people were killed in the fire; 98,500 people were left homeless; 17,450 buildings were destroyed.
1897: Journalist Charles Henry Dow, founder of the Wall Street Journal, begins charting trends of stocks and bonds.
1900: Maximilian Harden is sentenced to six months in prison for publishing an article critical of the German kaiser.
1906: Karl Ludwig Nessler first demonstrates a machine in London that puts permanent waves in hair. The client wears a dozen brass curlers, each wearing two pounds, for the six-hour process.
1912: The First Balkan War begins as Montenegro declares war against the Ottoman Empire.
1918: U.S. Army Cpl. Alvin C. York kills 28 German soldiers and captures 132 in the Argonne Forest; he is promoted to sergeant and awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor and French Croix de Guerre.
1919: The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives pass the Volstead Prohibition Enforcement Bill.
1921: The first live radio broadcast of a football game takes place; Harold W. Arlin was the announcer when KDKA of Pittsburgh broadcast live from Forbes Field as the University of Pittsburgh beat West Virginia University 21–13.
1922: Lilian Gatlin becomes the first woman pilot to fly across the United States.
1932: The Indian Air Force is established.
1939: Nazi Germany annexes Western Poland.
1956: Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitches the first perfect game in World Series history against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1967: Guerrilla Che Guevara is captured in Bolivia.
1968: U.S. forces in Vietnam launch Operation SEALORDS (South East Asia Lake, Ocean, River and Delta Strategy), an attack on communist supply lines and base areas in and around the Mekong Delta.
1969: The “Days of Rage” begin in Chicago; the Weathermen faction of the Students for a Democratic Society initiate three days of violent antiwar protests.
1973: In the Yom Kippur War, an Israeli armored brigade makes an unsuccessful attack on Egyptian positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal.
1978: Ken Warby of Australia sets the world water speed record, 317.60 mph, at Blowering Dam in Australia; no other human has yet exceeded 300 mph on water and survived.
1982: The musical “Cats” begins a run of nearly 18 years on Broadway.
1991: Croatia votes to sever its ties with Yugoslavia.
2001: U.S. President George W. Bush establishes the Office of Homeland Security.
Born on October 8
1810: James Wilson Marshall, discoverer of gold in California.
1890: Eddie Rickenbacker, U.S. fighter pilot in World War I, aviation pioneer.
1895: Juan Peron, Argentinean dictator.
1917: Rodney Porter, British biochemist and Nobel Prize winner.
1926: Cesar Milstein, molecular biologist.
1936: Rona Barrett, gossip columnist; co-host of NBC’s “Tomorrow” program (1980-81).
1939: Lynne Stewart, U.S. attorney convicted of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists (2005) and perjury (2010).
1939: Paul Hogan, comedian, actor; won Golden Globe for his role as “Crocodile” Dundee (1986).
1941: Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader.
1943: Chevy Chase, actor, comedian, known for his roles on “Saturday Night Live” TV series and comedic movies (“National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation,” “Caddyshack”).
1943: R. L. Stine, author, screenwriter, producer; known as the “Stephen King of children’s literature” for his hundreds of horror novels written for younger readers.
1948: Johnny Ramone, musician, songwriter, founding member of The Ramones band.
1949: Sigourney Weaver, actress; (“Aliens” film series, “Gorillas in the Mist”).
1952: Edward Zwick, director, producer whose films often are based on historic events (“Glory,” “The Last Samurai”).
1959: Erik Gundersen, motorcycle speedway rider; won three Speedway World Championships, two Long Track World Championships, and seven World Team Cup awards (riding for Denmark in the latter).
1965: C. J. Ramone, musician, sometimes vocalist of The Ramones.
1970: Matt Damon, actor, screenwriter, producer, philanthropist; shared Academy Award and Golden Globe for screenplay “Good Will Hunting”; appeared in “Saving Private Ryan,” “Invictus.”