What Happened on October 8?

  • US President Nixon's peace proposal was rejected by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong negotiators. (1970) President Richard M. Nixon had outlined a five-point peace proposal to bring an end to the Vietnam War that included a cease-fire and eventual US military withdrawal. The proposal was rejected outright because the Communist leaders wanted a total and immediate withdrawal of US troops. The war continued for five more years.

  • US President George W. Bush announced plans for a new Office of Homeland Security (OHS). (2001) The office was established in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent rise in terrorist threats. The OHS director was instated on this day, and the department officially began operations on November 25, 2002.

  • Germany Nazi forces successfully annexed Poland. (1939) The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, in the military action that started World War II.

  • The US House of Representatives began an inquiry into the impeachment of US President Bill Clinton. (1998) President Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998 on charges related to perjury and the obstruction of justice related to the Monica Lewinsky affair. The Senate acquitted him, however, on February 12, 1999.

  • The Polish Parliament passed a law banning the Solidarity labor union. (1982) The government imposed martial law to terminate the activities of all labor union's in the country as government feared labor strikes. The Solidarity union, the first non-communist labor union in the Eastern Europe communist states, angered the Eastern Bloc countries. Ultimately, the Polish government was not successful and negotiated with the unions.

  • Fires broke out across the US Midwest, including the deadliest fire in US history. (1871) The "Peshtigo Fire" in Wisconsin burned 1,875 square miles (about 4,850 square kilometers) of land and caused more than 1,000 deaths — more than any other fire in US history. The "Great Chicago Fire" also broke out on this day and is much more well-known. More than 200 people were killed in that two-day fire, which may have been started by a cow kicking over a lantern. Fires also broke out along Lake Michigan on the Chicago side; in Howell, Michigan; and in Manistee, Michigan.

  • Fraudulent leadership and mismanagement resulted in the collapse of the Franklin National Bank in the US. (1974) The circumstances around the collapse were suspicious and involved a well-known Italian mafia banker, Michele Sindona, also known as The Shark. At the time, it was the worst bank failure in US history.

  • A new world record for water speed was set. (1978) Ken Warby of Australia set the record speed of about 317 miles per hour (511 kilometers per hour) in his speed boat, Spirit of Australia. That record has held for over 30 years.

  • The very first airplane race across the US took place. (1919) Sixty-three airplanes competed in a 5,400-mile (about 8,690-kilometer) round-trip race between the East and West coasts. Lieutenant Belvin Maynard won, finishing the race in just under nine days, including stopovers and plane servicing.

  • The only perfect game in Major League Baseball World Series history was pitched. (1956) Don Larsen, pitching for the New York Yankees, led the team to its 2 to 0 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in game 5 of the series.

Discussion Comments


In Nixon's peace proposal for Vietnam, how long would it have taken for US troops to leave? Would it have taken less than five years or more?

I think it would have been better for everyone if the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong had accepted the proposal.


@ddjohn-- The Federal Reserve Bank gave billions of dollars in credit to the Franklin National Bank to keep it afloat. This went on for several years and then finally the bank collapsed. So it definitely had a negative impact on the US economy.

I also feel bad for the founder of the bank-- Arthur Roth. He was basically pushed out of the Board of Members and the new leadership ruined everything. All of Roth's hard work went to waste.


How did the collapse of the Franklin National Bank affect the American economy at the time? Considering that it was one of the major banks, it must have caused damage to the economy.

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