October 20th

Helloooooo History People!

For all you newbies out there, one of the main goals in my writing about Tony Awards musical hamilton tonys tony awards 2016history and focusing on particular events that happened each day is to help people become more informed about actual events that occurred over the course of our nation’s history. In our society, too often we are faced with instances in which people simply do not know – or even care – that monumental events occurred and a seemingly average day in contemporary time is actually a significantly important day in the eyes of history.

If you join us right now, together we can turn the tide…

October 16th:

1859: John Brown Raids Harper’s Ferry

John Brown tried to incite a slave revolt at a local armory and failed due to lack of participation on his side and an overwhelming opposition that ultimately destroyed his small group of abolitionists. Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart were among those who ended Brown’s raid. Brown was captured, though most of his men were killed, and the judicial system found him guilty of treason and murder, sentencing him to death. In the eyes of abolitionists, Brown became a martyr figure, and songs were even written to commemorate his death. This raid, although seeming at the time to be a failure, actually became yet another divide between the North and South, pushing the imminent war against slavery closer to its gruesome beginning.

October 17th:

1931: Al Capone Recives 11 Year Prison Sentence

A brutal and sly mastermind, Alphonse Gabriel Capone was one of the most successful, notorious gangsters in America in the 1920s and 1930s. His exploitation of alcohol distribution and prostitution during the prohibition financially benefitted him and his organization greatly, while the violent tactics he preferred to use against his competitors contributed to his fame. However, law enforcement was never able to find any evidence of his dirty dealings because of Capone’s influence and bribery. The one thing that provided a solid source of evidence to Capone’s guilt was his tax evasion. Capone orchestrated hundreds of illegal events, particularly murders, and yet the only reason the police were able to arrest him was because he didn’t pay his taxes. Capone received 11 years in prison, first at the U. S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, GA, and then was moved to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

October 18th:

1767: The Mason-Dixon Line is Drawn

Since their establishment, the British colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland both sported claims to the area of land between the 39th and 40th parallels, and colonists often disputed ownership of that land frequently and violently. Therefore, in 1760, the British government hired Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to survey the area and to determine a legitimate border between the two colonies. Finally, in 1767, the Mason-Dixon line was drawn at the northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes, signified by a physical border which, at the time, was a line of rocks.

October 19th:

1985: Blockbuster opens! vintage 1992 blockbuster

One of the most well-known and original sources of video and DVD movie rentals first opened on this day, created by a man named David Cook and located in Dallas, Texas. For a little over a quarter of a century, Blockbuster dominated the market of movie rentals, particularly because this was a generally new concept at the time of the business’ first conception. However, as changes took place in technology and accessibility, businesses like Netflix and other on-demand services have promoted a factor of convenience which attracts the public more than the traditional movie stores such as Blockbuster. On December 31, 2011, the Blockbuster franchises officially closed and the company went out of business.

Now I bet you’re wondering… What comes next? Soon you’ll see..


October 20th:

1803: Louisiana Purchase is Made Official

During Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign over France and the power he held in Europe at the time, the U.S. felt relatively threatened by the proximity of the large French-owned area of land known as Louisiana. President Thomas Jefferson appointed James Monroe to convince France to sell the land to the United States. Due to Napoleon’s recent entanglements with Great Britain and the possibility that G.B. could potentially overtake France’s hold on their New World land, Napoleon agreed to sell Louisiana to the United States for $15 million. Jefferson sent the treaty to the Senate for ratification on this day.

Quote of the Day:

“Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.”

-Tom Petty (Birthday: October 20, 1950)

One thought on “October 20th

  1. First off, I’d like to say your blog topic is amazing! I think it’s very interesting that, because of the generalization of the history classes we often have, the emphasis on dates is often lost. I had no idea that most of the events that happened this very week even happened in October. This week’s events had a very good variety of history… all of which are really interesting as well. Having been at Harper’s Ferry and taken tours, I relate to the John Brown raids on a whole other level. At the Harper’s Ferry historical site, it’s so easy to see the influence John Brown had on others during the Civil War, especially his fellow African Americans. This revolt inspired so many others, as rebellion typically has throughout history. That topic definitely goes along with the Mason-Dixon line as well. what’s really odd to think about is that Mason and Dixon had no idea that what they were doing would be so influential in the future and would play a major role in war. As for Al Capone, as a criminology major he is so interesting to me personally. Capone was such a classic “evil mastermind” type figure… that he was able to have such power and influence that he never got caught for his true crimes is mindblowing, and also scary. It’s funny that your post talks about Blockbuster, because that marks an idea of a paradigm shift, from movie stores and DVDs to electronic viewing and streaming. It’s so interesting (but also sad) to think that all of these events happened right around this time and we just unknowingly go about our business in the year 2016 without remembering them.

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