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October 24

1944 At the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War 2, American forces sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku and the battleship Musashi

1861 The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed. It was operated by the Western Union Company.

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s oldest football club still playing, was founded in Sheffield, England.

1851 English astronomer William Lassell discovered Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of the planet Uranus.

1804 German physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber was born in Wittenberg. He invented the first electromagnetic telegraph in 1833.

1632 Dutch tradesman and scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft. He is commonly known as “the Father of Microbiology”, and is considered to be the first microbiologist. He is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology as a science.

1260 The Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres) in Chartres, France, was officially dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX.

1147 During the Second Crusade, Christian knights, led by Afonso I of Portugal, liberated Lisbon from the invading Moors.

October 23

1970 Croatian-American race car driver Gary Gabelich set the world land speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. He was driving a rocket-powered car called The Blue Flame. His speed record of 1014.513 km/h (630.388 mph) lasted until 1997.

1873 American physicist William D. Coolidge was born in Hudson, Massachusetts. He made major contributions to the development of X-ray machines and invented “ductile tungsten”, which is important for the incandescent light bulb.

Pictured on the far left:

October 22

1975 The Russian unmanned spacecraft Venera 9 made a successful landing on the surface of Venus. Its orbiter was the first spacecraft to orbit Venus, while the lander was the first to return images from the surface of another planet.

1881 American physicist Clinton Davisson was born in Bloomington, Illinois. He won the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of electron diffraction, a technique used to study matter by firing electrons at a sample and observing the resulting interference pattern.

1879 Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tested the first practical electric incandescent light bulb. It lasted 13½ hours before burning out.

1883 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opened with a performance of Gounod’s Faust.

1797 French inventor André-Jacques Garnerin carried out the first parachute jump at Parc Monceau, Paris. A ballon attached to his parachute and basket pulled him up to 3,000 feet at which point he cut a rope attached to the balloon and safely parachuted to the ground.

October 21

1877 Physician and medical researcher Oswald Avery was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His research on pneumococcus bacteria laid the groundwork for modern genetics and molecular biology, and he is considered one of the founders of immunochemistry.

1852 A Royal Letters Patent (No.480) was given to English agricultural engineer John Fowler for “Improvements in Machinery for Draining Land.” This is believed to be the first patent for steam cultivation of land.

1833 Swedish chemist, engineer, and innovator Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the inventor of dynamite and before his death he used his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes.

1824 English bricklayer and cement manufacturer Joseph Aspdin patented Portland cement. It is now the most common type of cement in general use around the world.

October 20

1973 The Sydney Opera House was formally opened by Elizabeth II.

1891 English physicist James Chadwick was born in Cambridge. He was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society in 1932 and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1935 for his discovery of the neutron.

1880 The Alte Oper (Old Opera), a major concert hall and former opera house in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, was inaugurated. It was designed by the Berlin architect Richard Lucae and financed by the citizens of Frankfurt. Among the invited guests at the inauguration was Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany.

1827 Battle of Navarino: a combined British, French and Russian naval force destroyed a combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada, during the Greek War of Independence. It is notable for being the last major naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships.

1616 Danish physician, mathematician, and theologian Thomas Bartholin was born. He is best known for his work in the discovery of the lymphatic system in humans and for his advancements of the theory of refrigeration anesthesia, being the first to describe it scientifically.

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