Episodes

25th October 1415: The Battle of Agincourt is fought  

On the 25th October 1415, the English king Henry V celebrated a major victory in the Hundred Years War when he defeated the numerically superior French army at the Battle of Agincourt. Famous for its...

24th October 1929: Wall Street Crash begins on Black Thursday  

Thursday the 24th October 1929, known as Black Thursday, is generally accepted as the first day of the Wall Street Crash. The day saw panic selling of shares on the New York Stock Exchange on...

23rd October 1739: The War of Jenkins’ Ear begins  

On the 23rd October 1739 England declared war on Spain in what became known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear. The writer Thomas Carlyle is credited with giving the conflict its name in his 1858...

22nd October 1895: Train crashes through a wall in Paris  

On the 22nd October 1895, the Granville–Paris Express train ran across the station platform, crashed through a 60cm wall, and fell 10 metres to the street below after it overran the buffer stop at the...

21st October 1966: 144 people killed in the Aberfan disaster  

At 9.15am on the 21st October 1966, 116 children and 28 adults were killed when a colliery spoil tip above the Welsh village of Aberfan collapsed. Approximately 150,000 cubic meters of mining debris from waste...

20th October 1935: Mao’s Red Army finishes the Long March  

On the 20th October 1935, the 6,000 mile Long March by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China ended when the columns of troops led by Mao Zedong arrived in Shaanxi. Although the...

19th October 1935: League of Nations imposes sanctions on Italy  

On the 19th October 1935, the League of Nations voted to impose sanctions on Italy after it invaded Abyssinia. The sanctions were limited, however, and failed to restrict oil sales to Italy or access to...

18th October 1922: British Broadcasting Company established  

On the 18th October 1922, the British Broadcasting Company was established. Originally established as a private consortium of radio manufacturers to secure the first broadcasting license in the UK, the company later became the British...

17th October 1814: The London Beer Flood kills 8 people  

On the 17th October 1814 eight people were killed when nearly one and a half million litres of beer swept out of London’s Horse Shoe Brewery and formed an alcoholic tidal wave that swept down...

16th October 1793: The Execution of Marie Antoinette  

At 12.15pm on the afternoon of the 16th October 1793, Marie Antoinette was executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution in Paris. Found guilty of treason earlier that morning, she was transported to...

15th October 1923: Rentenmark introduced in Weimar Germany  

On the 15th October 1923, the Rentenmark was introduced in Weimar Germany in an attempt to stop the hyperinflation crisis that had crippled the economy. Gustav Stresemann’s finance minister, Hans Luther, introduced the new currency...

14th October 1066: Battle of Hastings fought on Senlac Hill  

On the 14th October 1066, the Battle of Hastings was fought between Duke William II of Normandy and the Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. Harold’s defeat triggered the Norman conquest of England and the beginning of...

13th October 1792: Cornerstone laid for the White House  

On the 13th October 1792 the cornerstone of the White House, which at the time was to be known as the United States Executive Mansion, was laid. Construction took 8 years, with John Adams being...

12th October 1810: First Oktoberfest held in Munich  

On the 12th October 1810, the first Oktoberfest took place in Munich. First established to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, the most important part of the festivities was...

11th October 1521: Henry VIII becomes ‘Defender of the Faith’  

On the 11th October 1521, Pope Leo X granted the title “Defender of the Faith” to King Henry VIII of England. To be accurate he actually granted the Latin title ‘Fidei defensor’ but the message...

10th October 1903: Foundation of Women’s Social & Political Union  

On the 10th October 1903 the Women’s Social and Political Union, whose members came to be known as suffragettes, was founded at the Manchester home of Sylvia and Emmeline Pankhurst. Frustrated by the lack of...

9th October 1967: Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara executed in Bolivia  

On the 9th October 1967 the Marxist revolutionary icon, Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed in Bolivia after being caught by CIA-assisted forces during his attempt to provoke a revolution. He had been involved in a...

8th October 1829: Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials  

On the 8th October 1829, Robert Stephenson’s steam locomotive The Rocket won the Rainhill Trials and secured a prize of £500 and the contract for Robert Stephenson and Company to produce locomotives for the new...

7th October 1949: East Germany founded in the Soviet zone  

On the 7th October 1949 the German Democratic Republic, otherwise known as East Germany, was founded in the Soviet occupied zone of Germany. The constitution that was adopted bore striking similarities to the Weimar Constitution...

6th October 1981: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat assassinated  

On the 6th October 1981 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group that was enraged by the peace treaty he had negotiated with Israel. His assassins...

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