On this day: Mount Rushmore was completed

On the 31st of October, 1941, Mount Rushmore, an American sculpture of the faces of four US Presidents, was completed.

Six_GrandfathersAn image of Mount Rushmore — before construction began on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. 1905.

Before construction began: 1905

The sculpture, in South Dakota, depicts George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The reason for the creation of the monument was to promote tourism in the area.

451px-Mount_Rushmore2Construction at Mount Rushmore of George Washington's likeness. circa 1932

George Washington under construction circa 1932. X

The monument took fourteen years to construct.

On this day: the founding of Helena, Montana.

On the 30th of October 1864, Helena, later Montana, USA’s capital, was officially founded.

Panorama of Helena, Montana, in 1870 (or possibly 1872, per other source).

Helena in either 1870 or 1872

The city was founded after the discovery of gold in the area in July the same year. A small group of men met and selected the name on the day of the official founding. By that time the town had grown to a population of more than two-hundred.

As it was the day before Halloween, other names that were suggested included Pumpkinville and Squashtown.

On this day: the premiere of Don Giovanni

On the 29th of October, 1787, Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni premiered at the Estates Theatre in Prague.

Stavovské_divadloEstates Theatre in 1797

The theatre in 1797

The opera was commissioned after Mozart made a successful trip to Prague earlier the same year.

Originally intended for a October 14 debut, it was not ready in time, and so the schedule was reorganised.

The opera was an immediate success, as Mozart was highly popular in Prague.

(A side note: I have seen this opera performed at the original theatre. 🙂 )

On this day: the dedication of the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty unveiled by Edward Moran

Edward Moran’s Statue of Liberty Unveiled

In the afternoon of the 28th of October, 1886, US President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York. Cleveland was New York governor before becoming President.

Only dignitaries were allowed at the actual dedication ceremony.

circa 1897-1924

An early image of the statue, thought to be from the first decade of the 20th century.

Earlier on the day of the dedication a parade was held in New York City, and the spontaneous throwing of ticker tape from windows became the world’s first ticker-tape parade.

On this day: New York’s first subway line opened

On the 27th of October, 1904, New York’s first subway line opened. It came three and a half decades after the city’s first elevated train was run. The first day of the subway line saw more than 150 000 passengers pay $0.05 for a journey on the train.

City Hall subway station.

On the 27th of October, 1904, New York’s first subway line opened. It came three and a half decades after the city’s first elevated train was run.751px-City_Hall_Subway_station

On this day: the first National Women’s Rights Convention

A scan of a framed photographic portrait of Lucy Stone, between 1840 and 1860.

Lucy Stone, one of the organisers.

On the 23rd of October, 1850, America’s first National Women’s Rights Convention began in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis

Another of the organisers, Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis.

Some 900 people turned up for the first session, and thousands turned up from all over the country – including California – for other events over the two days the convention ran for.

Many more were turned away as the event was a great success.

Amongst the requests the delegates made were for voting rights, the right to education and employment opportunities, and more extensive rights with regards to property ownership. It was also requested that the word “male” was struck from state constitutions. Rights were also requested for women in slavery.

The convention inspired women in other countries to take action.

Well, it’s 4:29 here!

Well, it’s 4.29 here!

As you’ve probably seen all over the news and the internet, today is the day Back to the Future officially becomes something set entirely in the past. The iconic 1980s film franchise got the year 2015 a little wrong…

Marty McFly arrives in the year 2015 at 4:29pm on the 21st of October. Which would be right now.

Of course, as he’s over on the west coast of the United States, there’s still a whole day to go before the official time, but I don’t care – I’m going by the time it is here, on Australia’s east coast!

On this day: the collapse of the Republic of Formosa

Flag of Formosa 1895Seal of the Republic of Formosa (1895)

Flag and seal of the Republic (1895)

On the 21st of October, 1895, the Republic of Formosa (on the island of Taiwan) collapsed when Japanese forces invaded.

Taiwan formosa vintage history other places bridges

Old Formosa

Formosa had only been proclaimed a republic on the 23rd of May the same year.

Japanese_Soldier_Entering_Taipei(1895)Drawing about the Moment Japanese Soldiers Entering Taipei City in 1895 after the Treaty of Shimonoseki between Qing and Japan

Japanese illustration of the occupation of the capital city.

The Japanese landed nearby on the 29th of May, waging a five-month campaign before occupying the capital, Tainan, in October.

On this day: the Battle of Leipzig

The Battle of Leipzig, one of Napoleon’s worst defeats, concluded in Saxony on the 19th of October, 1813, after beginning on the 16th.

Involving nearly 600 000 troops, this was the biggest battle in Europe before World War One.

45 000 of Napoleon’s troops were killed or wounded, and 36 000 were captured.

The Sixth Coalition suffered 54 000 dead, wounded or missing.

The battle, painted in 1844.

Battle_of_Leipzig_11Battle of Leipzig 1813 painted in 1844