This Week in History

HISTORY, 16 Oct 2023

Satoshi Ashikaga – TRANSCEND Media Service

16-22 October 2023


16 October

1793  French Revolution: Queen Marie Antoinette is executed.

1793  War of the First Coalition: French victory at the Battle of Wattignies forces Austria to raise the siege of Maubeuge.

1805  War of the Third Coalition: Napoleon surrounds the Austrian army at Ulm.

1813  The Sixth Coalition attacks Napoleon in the three-day Battle of Leipzig.

1905  The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.

1919  Adolf Hitler delivers his first public address at a meeting of the German Workers’ Party.

1940  Holocaust in Poland: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.

1943  Holocaust in ItalyRaid of the Ghetto of Rome.

[1]      Holocaust in Italy:

[2]      Holocaust and Pope Pius XII:

[3]      Vatican, Nazi and the Nuremberg Trials:

[4]      Catholic Church’s Rescue of Jews and Resistance to Nazi:

1946  Nuremberg trials: Ten defendants found guilty by the International Military Tribunal are executed by hanging.

[1]      Nuremberg Trials:

[2]     Nuremberg Charter and Its Influence on International Criminal Law:

[3]      From the Nuremberg Tribunal to the International Criminal Court:

[4]      International Criminal Law:

1949  The Greek Communist Party announces a “temporary cease-fire”, thus ending the Greek Civil War.

1953  Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro delivers his “History Will Absolve Me” speech, and is sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by the Fulgencio Batista government for leading an attack on the Moncada Barracks.

1962  Cuban Missile Crisis begins: U.S. President John F. Kennedy is informed of photos taken on October 14 by a U-2 showing nuclear missiles (the crisis will last for 13 days starting from this point).

[1]      Timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

[2]      Behind the Cuban Missile Crisis:

1964  China detonates its first nuclear weapon.

1964  Leonid Brezhnev becomes leader of the Soviet Communist Party, while Alexei Kosygin becomes the head of government.

1998  Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a murder extradition warrant.

2002  The Bibliotheca Alexandrina opens in Egypt, commemorating the ancient library of Alexandria.


17 October

1448  An Ottoman army defeats a Hungarian army at the Second Battle of Kosovo.

1604  Kepler’s Supernova is observed in the constellation of Ophiuchus.

1713  Great Northern WarRussia defeated Sweden in the Battle of Kostianvirta in Pälkäne.

1800  War of the Second Coalition: Britain takes control of the Dutch colony of Curaçao.

1933  Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.

1943  The Burma Railway (Burma–Thailand Railway) is completed.

[1]      Burma Railway Construction During WWII:

[2]      Japanese Army’s Brutal Treatment of Workers (Allied POWs):

[3]      Japan’s World War II POW Policy:

1943  Nazi Holocaust in Poland: Sobibór extermination camp is closed.

1956  The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield, England.

1961  Directed by their chief Maurice Papon, Paris police massacre scores of Algerian protesters.

1961  The first attempt of the apartheid analogy by Ahmad Shukeiri.

1989  The East German Politburo votes to remove Erich Honecker from his role as General Secretary.

2017  Syrian civil war: The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture the last foothold of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Raqqa, marking the end of the Battle of Raqqa.

[1]      Timeline of the Syrian Civil War

[2]      ISIS/ISIL:

[3]      Foreign Intervention in the Syrian Civil War:

2019  Drug dealers in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico force the government to back down on an arrest.

2019  The 17 October Revolution starts in Lebanon.


18 October

1599  Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeats the Army of Andrew Báthory in the Battle of Șelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanian people.

1748  Signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession.

1775  African-American poet Phillis Wheatley is freed from slavery.

1797  Treaty of Campo Formio is signed between France and Austria

1860  The Second Opium War finally ends at the Convention of Peking with the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin, an unequal treaty.

1867  United States takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.

1898  The United States takes possession of Puerto Rico from Spain.

1912  First Balkan War: King Peter I of Serbia issues a declaration “To the Serbian People”, as his country joins the war.

1921  The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is formed as part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

1944  World War IISoviet Union begins the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany.

1945  The USSR‘s nuclear program receives plans for the United States plutonium bomb from Klaus Fuchs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1967  The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.


19 October

1453  Hundred Years’ War: Three months after the Battle of Castillon, England loses its last possessions in southern France.

1466  The Thirteen Years’ War between Poland and the Teutonic Order ends with the Second Treaty of Thorn.

1805  War of the Third Coalition: Austrian General Mack surrenders his army to Napoleon at the Battle of Ulm.

1812  The French invasion of Russia fails when Napoleon begins his retreat from Moscow.

1813  War of the Sixth Coalition: Napoleon is forced to retreat from Germany after the Battle of Leipzig.

1866  In accordance with the Treaty of Vienna, Austria cedes Veneto and Mantua to France, which immediately awards them to Italy in exchange for the earlier Italian acquiescence to the French annexation of Savoy and Nice.

1900  Max Planck discovers Planck’s law of black-body radiation.

1912  Italo-Turkish War: Italy takes possession of what is now Libya from the Ottoman Empire.

1914  World War I: The First Battle of Ypres begins.

1935  The League of Nations places economic sanctions on Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia.

1944  United States forces land in the Philippines.

1944  A coup is launched against Juan Federico Ponce Vaides, beginning the ten-year Guatemalan Revolution.

1950  China defeats the Tibetan Army at Chambo.

1950  Korean War: The Battle of Pyongyang ends in a United Nations victory. Hours later, the Chinese Army begins crossing the border into Korea.

1950  Iran becomes the first country to accept technical assistance from the United States under the Point Four Program.

1956  The Soviet Union and Japan sign a Joint Declaration, officially ending the state of war between the two countries that had existed since August 1945.

1960  The United States imposes a near-total trade embargo against Cuba.

1987  The United States Navy conducts Operation Nimble Archer, an attack on two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf.

1987  Black Monday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls by 22%, 508 points.

[1]      The 1987 Black Monday:

[2]      The 1987 Black Monday and Other Financial Crashes:

1988  The British government imposes a broadcasting ban on television and radio interviews with members of Sinn Féin and eleven Irish republican and Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups

2005  Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

[1]      Saddam Hussein’s Trial:

[2]      The Victor’s “Justice”:


20 October

1572   Eighty Years’ War: Three thousand Spanish soldiers wade through fifteen miles of water in one night to effect the relief of Goes.

1818  The Convention of 1818 is signed between the United States and the United Kingdom, which settles the Canada–United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.

1827  Greek War of Independence: In the Battle of Navarino, a combined Turkish and Egyptian fleet is defeated by British, French and Russian naval forces in the last significant battle fought with wooden sailing ships.

1883  Peru and Chile sign the Treaty of Ancón, by which the Tarapacá province is ceded to the latter, bringing an end to Peru’s involvement in the War of the Pacific.

1904  Chile and Bolivia sign the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, delimiting the border between the two countries.

1935  The Long March, a mammoth retreat undertaken by the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party a year prior, ends.

1941  World War II: Thousands of civilians in German-occupied Serbia are murdered in the Kragujevac massacre.

1944  World War II: The Soviet Red Army and Yugoslav Partisans liberate Belgrade.

1944  American general Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he comes ashore during the Battle of Leyte.

1947  Cold War: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of the Hollywood film industry, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years.

1952  The Governor of Kenya Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency and begins arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising.

1961  The Soviet Navy performs the first armed test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, launching an R-13 from a Golf-class submarine.

2003   The Sloan Great Wall, once the largest cosmic structure known to humanity, is discovered by students at Princeton University.

2005  The general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passes the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

2011  Libyan Crisis: Rebel forces capture Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and his son Mutassim in his hometown of Sirte and kill him shortly thereafter, ending the first Libyan civil war.

[1]      Libyan Civil War and U.S./NATO Intervention:

[2]      Libya, Oil, and the U.S.:

[3]      Removal of Gaddafi:

2017  Syrian civil war: The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declare victory in the Raqqa campaign.


21 October

1097  First Crusade: Crusaders led by Godfrey of BouillonBohemund of Taranto, and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, begin the Siege of Antioch.

1854  Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses are sent to the Crimean War.

1867  The Medicine Lodge Treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate to a reservation in the western Indian Territory.

1879  Thomas Edison applies for a patent for his design for an incandescent light bulb.

1912   First Balkan War: The Greek navy completes the capture of the island of Lemnos for use as a forward base against the Dardanelles.

1944  World War II: The first kamikaze attack damages HMAS Australia as the Battle of Leyte Gulf begins.

1944  World War II: The Nemmersdorf massacre against German civilians takes place.

1944  World War II: The city of Aachen falls to American forces after three weeks of fighting, the first German city to fall to the Allies.

1945  In the 1945 French legislative election French women vote for the first time.

1950  Korean War: Heavy fighting begins between British and Australian forces and North Koreans during the Battle of Yongju.

1956  The Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya is defeated.

1967  The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam organizes a march of fifty thousand people from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon.

1969  The 1969 Somali coup d’état establishes a Marxist–Leninist administration.

1979  Moshe Dayan resigns from the Israeli government because of strong disagreements with Prime Minister Menachem Begin over policy towards the Arabs.

1994  North Korea and the United States sign an Agreed Framework that requires North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and agree to inspections.

2011  Iraq War: President Barack Obama announces that the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq will be complete by the end of the year.


22 October

451    The Chalcedonian Creed, regarding the divine and human nature of Jesus, is adopted by the Council of Chalcedon, an ecumenical council.

1721  The Russian Empire is proclaimed by Tsar Peter I after the Swedish defeat in the Great Northern War.

1739  The War of Jenkins’ Ear begins with the first attack on La Guaira.

1784  Russia founds a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

1790   Northwest Indian War: Native American forces defeat the United States, ending the Harmar Campaign.

1859  Spain declares war on Morocco.

1884  The International Meridian Conference designates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich as the world’s prime meridian.

1946  Over twenty-two hundred engineers and technicians from eastern Germany are forced to relocate to the Soviet Union, along with their families and equipment.

1947  The Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan begins, having started just after the partition of India.

[1]      Timeline of the Kashmir Conflict:

[2]      Jammu Kashmir War:

1962  Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announces that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation.

[1]      Timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

[2]      Behind the Cuban Missile Crisis:

1975  The Soviet uncrewed space mission Venera 9 lands on Venus.

1999  Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity.

[1]      Vichy Government (a.k.a. Vichy France) and Holocaust:

[2]      Influence of the Vichy Government Today:

2008  India launches its first uncrewed lunar mission Chandrayaan-1

2013  The Australian Capital Territory becomes the first Australian jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage with the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013.

2019  Same-sex marriage is legalized, and abortion is decriminalized in Northern Ireland as a result of the Northern Ireland Assembly not being restored.


Satoshi Ashikaga is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. Having worked as researcher, development program/project officer, legal protection/humanitarian assistance officer, human rights monitor-negotiator, managing-editor, and more, he prefers a peaceful and prudent life.  His previous work experiences, including those in war zones and war-torn zones, constantly remind him of the invaluableness of peace.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Oct 2023.

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