439: Carthage, the leading Roman city in North Africa, falls to Genseric and the Vandals.
1531: Bavaria, despite being a Catholic region, joins the League of Schmalkalden, a Protestant group which opposes Charles V.
1648: The signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ends the German Thirty Years’ War.
1755: A British expedition against the French-held Fort Niagara in Canada ends in failure.
1836: The match is patented.
1861: Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line, putting the Pony Express out of business.
1863: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant arrives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to find the Union Army there starving.
1897: The first comic strip, called the “Yellow Kid,” appears in the Sunday color supplement of the New York Journal.
1901: Anna Edson Taylor, 43, is the first woman to go safely over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She made the attempt for the cash award offered, which she put toward the loan on her Texas ranch.
1916: Henry Ford awards equal pay to women.
1917: The Austro-German army routs the Italian army at Caporetto, Italy.
1929: Black Thursday--the first day of the stock market crash that began the Great Depression.
1930: John Wayne debuts in his first starring role in “The Big Trail.”
1931: Al (Alphonse) Capone, the prohibition-era Chicago gangster, is sent to prison for tax evasion.
1934: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, called Mahatma or “Great Soul,” resigns from Congress in India.
1938: The Fair Labor Standards Act becomes law, establishing the 40-hour work week.
1944: The aircraft carrier USS Princeton is sunk by a single Japanese plane during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
1945: Vidkun Quisling, Norway’s wartime minister president, is executed by firing squad for collaboration with the Nazis.
1945: The United Nations comes into existence with the ratification of its charter by the first 29 nations.
1952: Presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower announces that if elected, he will go to Korea.
1970: Leftist Salvador Allende is elected president of Chile.
1973: The Yom Kippur War ends.
1980: Poland’s government legalizes the Solidarity trade union.
1992: The Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves in the 11th inning of the sixth game, to become the first Major League Baseball team from outside the U.S. to win the series.
2003: The supersonic Concorde jet makes its last commercial passenger flight from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport, traveling at twice the speed of sound.
2008: Many stock exchanges worldwide suffer the steepest declines in their histories; the day becomes known as “Bloody Friday.”
Born on October 24
1632: Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch naturalist.
1788: Sarah Josepha Hale, magazine editor and poet whose book “Poems for Our Children” included “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (the first words to be recorded in sound).
1904: Moss Hart, American playwright who, with George S. Kaufman, wrote plays such as “You Can’t Take it with You” and “The Man who came to Dinner.”
1911: Sonny Terry, blues performer.
1923: Denise Levertov, English poet.
1929: George Henry Crumb, American composer.
1930: The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.), singer, songwriter, musician; an early star of rock ’n’ roll (“Chantilly Lace”); he died in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the pilot, Roger Peterson.
1933: Ronald and Reginald Kray, gangsters whose gang, The Firm, was the most infamous organized crime group in London’s East End in the 1950s and ’60s.
1941: Dr. William H. Dobelle, biomedical researcher who developed technology that restored limited sight to blind patients.
1942: Frank Delany, Irish author, journalist, broadcaster; best known for his novel “Ireland” and nonfiction book “Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea.”
1958: Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the U.S. Army’s deputy director of operations during the Iraq War that deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.