What Happened on October 19?

  • The Dow Jones experienced its second-largest percentage drop in history. (1987) Called Black Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 22.61 percent, or 508 points. The crash was part of a domino effect of world-wide market crashes, all starting with the collapse of markets in Hong Kong. The largest percentage drop of the Dow Jones occurred on December 12, 1914, when it dropped 24.39 percent.

  • Saddam Hussein's trial began. (2005) Hussein was tried by the Iraqi Special Tribunal along with seven others for crimes committed against humanity, including genocide. He was later sentenced to die by hanging and was executed on December 30, 2006.

  • US President Dwight D. Eisenhower placed an embargo on all exports to Cuba. (1960) The embargo was imposed because Cuba took over US property and businesses in Cuba and was becoming increasingly cooperative with the Soviet Union. The embargo lasted in some variation for several years.

  • British Army Commander, Lord Cornwallis, officially surrendered to American forces, effectively ending American Revolutionary War fighting. (1781) Charles O'Hara, a general serving under Lord Cornwallis, handed over the commander's sword in a symbol of surrender. Negotiations for peace began shortly thereafter in 1782.

  • The first Blockbuster video rental store opened in the US. (1985) The first store opened in Dallas, Texas, with an inventory of 8,000 VHS movie tapes available for rent.

  • After 15 years in prison, the "Guildford Four" were found innocent and released from prison. (1989) The Court of Appeal in England overturned the convictions of Patrick Armstrong, Gerard Conlon, Carole Richardson and Paul Hill for pub bombings in Guildford, England. The wrongful convictions are considered one of the worst miscarriages of justice in England's history.

  • The first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court was sworn into office. (1789) John Jay, the first US Chief Justice, was nominated by US President George Washington.

  • The first code of rules for American football were drafted. (1873) The rules were not drafted by an official sports organization, but by four universities — Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Yale.

  • The first antibiotic to fight the tuberculosis bacteria was discovered. (1943) The drug, streptomycin, was discovered by Albert Schatz, a graduate research student at Rutgers University.

  • The first legal discotheque in the world opened its doors. (1959) Discotheques had popped up in the underground entertainment worlds in France during the 1940s after the Nazis banned American music and dancing, but the first to open legally occurred when a band didn't show up for its gig. To keep the Scotch-Club open in Aachen, Germany, club owner Klaus Quirini grabbed a record player and started spinning tunes, effectively becoming the first official discotheque DJ as well. The format was popular and quickly spread to other venues.

Discussion Comments


Even though I don't live in England, the sixth bullet point is a good example of how justice systems around the world are all different. Sometimes, it's for the better, other times, it's for the worse, as we can see here. If the "Guildford Four" had lived in the United States and not England, I wonder if they would have been tried the same way, and what kind of sentence they would have received, innocent or not.

While it's unfair that they had fifteen years of their life taken away, in a way, they're the perfect example of how corrupt a judicial system can be under certain circumstances. Not to mention that it's all dependent on what kind of judge one has. While some can be more compassionate and understanding, others might be a bit impatient, and may not want to hear your complete side of the story.


In relation to the second to last bullet point, while it's clear that they found a vaccine for tuberculosis, I wonder how long it had been around for before the antibiotic was discovered. For all that we know, it could have been around for centuries before any action was taken. However, if tuberculosis had first appeared in this day and age, that certainly wouldn't have been the case.

After all, not only is our technology more advanced than it ever has been, but doctors are always coming up with new ways to cure diseases and fight off infections. Using one example, the disease known as Chicken Pox was something that was incurable many years ago. However, now you can simply get a vaccination for it. Most kids probably do, so it's not something they have to worry about.


Does anyone else remember when Blockbuster used to be very popular? While I didn't visit there that often, I heard that it closed down due to poor sales, among other things as well. However, even though all of this is just speculation, perhaps another reason why Blockbuster went out of business is because in this day and age, there's really no need to go to the video store and buy videos anymore.

After all, not only can you bootleg videos on DVD, but even more so, one can also watch movies online basically anytime that they want to. Based on all of this, it's not hard to see why the video store went out of business. Perhaps this will become even more of a recent trend in the future. However, there might be some different reasons for this as well. Could someone possibly fill me in?

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