18 October 1914

The Schoenstatt Movement is founded in Germany.

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The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is a Roman Catholic Marian Movement founded in Germany in 1914 by Father Joseph Kentenich. Fr. Kentenich saw the movement as being a means of spiritual renewal in the Catholic Church. The movement is named Schoenstatt (which means “beautiful place”), after a small village close to the town of Vallendar near Koblenz in Germany.

The group focuses on education and spiritual formation. According to their website, “We seek to grow as free, dedicated, and active witnesses of Christ in modern life by uniting our faith with our everyday lives. We look to Mary to educate us in this task and to guide us in becoming better followers of Christ.”

The Schoenstatt Movement was founded at Schoenstatt, a minor seminary conducted by the Pallottines for those intending to work as missionaries in Africa. It grew out of a Marian sodality established there in April 1914. The superior offered the sodality use of St. Michael’s Chapel, near the school. Father Kentenich, the seminary’s spiritual director, inspired in part by the success of Bartolo Longo in establishing the Marian shrine to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei, felt called to establish a new shrine at Schoenstatt.

Kentenich’s guidance of the religious brotherhood was influenced by the works of St. Louis Grignion de Montfort.
Schoenstatt officially became a movement with its own structure in 1919. On July 18, 1919 the Pallottines assigned Fr. Kentenich to work full-time with the new movement. The first formal gathering was in Hoerde, August 20, 1920, where the first organizational principles were laid. On December 8, 1920, the first women were accepted into the women’s branch of the “Apostolic Federation of Schoenstatt” including Gertraud von Bullion.

Father Kentenich was arrested and sent to the Dachau Concentration Camp in 1941, where he began to spread the message of the Schoenstatt Movement to fellow prisoners.

17 October 1814

Eight people die in the London Beer Flood.

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Late on the Monday afternoon of October 17, 1814, distraught Anne Saville mourned over the body of her 2-year-old son, John, who had died the previous day. In her cellar apartment in London’s St. Giles neighborhood, fellow Irishwomen offered comfort as they waked the small boy and awaited the arrival of their husbands and sons who toiled in grueling manual labor jobs around the city. Upstairs on the first floor of the cramped New Street tenement, Mary Banfield sat down for tea with her 4-year-old daughter, Hannah. Behind the Tavistock Arms public house on nearby Great Russell Street, 14-year-old servant Eleanor Cooper scoured pots at the outdoor water pump in the shadow of a 25-foot-high brick wall.

On the other side of the soaring barrier stood the extensive Bainbridge Street brewery of Messrs. Henry Meux and Co., which dominated the Irish enclave. Founded early in the reign of King George III and famous for its porter, the brewery produced more than 100,000 barrels of the dark-colored nectar each year.

Only two days after the catastrophe, a jury convened to investigate the accident. After visiting the site of the tragedy, viewing the bodies of the victims and hearing testimony from Crick and others, the jury rendered its verdict that the incident had been an “Act of God” and that the victims had met their deaths “casually, accidentally and by misfortune.” Not only did the brewery escape paying damages to the destitute victims, it received a waiver from the British Parliament for excise taxes it had already paid on the thousands of barrels of beer it lost.

16 October 1984

Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The Norwegian Nobel Committee has chosen to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1984 to Bishop Desmond Tutu, General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

The Committee has attached importance to Desmond Tutu’s role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa. The means by which this campaign is conducted is of vital importance for the whole of the continent of Africa and for the cause of peace in the world. Through the award of this year’s Peace Prize, the Committee wishes to direct attention to the non-violent struggle for liberation to which Desmond Tutu belongs, a struggle in which black and white South Africans unite to bring their country out of conflict and crisis.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a South African once before, in 1960 when it was awarded to the former president of the African National Congress, Albert Lutuli. This year’s award should be seen as a renewed recognition of the courage and heroism shown by black South Africans in their use of peaceful methods in the struggle against apartheid. This recognition is also directed to all who, throughout the world, use such methods to stand in the vanguard of the campaign for racial equality as a human right.

It is the Committee’s wish that the Peace Prize now awarded to Desmond Tutu should be regarded not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he is leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world.

15 October 1956

The first modern computer language, Fortran, is first shared with the coding community.

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Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time. Three years in the making, it would be refined in work that continues to this day.

While this ground-breaking “high level” language has been long eclipsed, it defined an approach to programming that still informs the art of computer science.

Back at the dawn of the computer age thinking machines were oversized, petulant infants that understood only their own, private, nearly incomprehensible languages. There really wasn’t a pressing need to have languages that worked on every possible machine, there not being too many kinds yet. So programs written using “assembly” or “low level” languages were good enough — even though they were difficult to learn, took lots of time to write and compile, and had no lasting value.

Unlike the software and web apps of today, which can run on different operating systems and platforms with, at worst, slight modifications, early languages ran only on the same series of computer. A program written for a WingBat Series 51 couldn’t operate on a BatWing Series 15, because it issued instructions based the unique architecture of the box on which and for which it was written. Trying to port it would be like giving driving directions meant for a driver in Paris to someone walking around in Nairobi.

Enter John W. Backus, whose permanent place in computing history began on a stroll in midtown Manhattan in 1950. The 25-year-old grad student, intrigued by a room-sized computer on display on the ground floor of IBM’s New York City offices, wandered inside to get a closer look.

A tour guide learned he was studying math at Columbia University uptown and sent him upstairs for what would be a brief oral exam of “brain teasers.” Backus was immediately hired — as a programmer. “That was the way it was done in those days,” he would later tell The New York Times with a shrug.

14 October 1982

USA President Ronald Reagan announces a War on Drugs.

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On this day in 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared illicit drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security.

Richard M. Nixon, the president who popularized the term “war on drugs,” first used the words in 1971. However, the policies that his administration implemented as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 dated to Woodrow Wilson’s presidency and the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914. This was followed by the creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930.

Speaking at the Justice Department, Reagan likened his administration’s determination to discourage the flow and use of banned substances to the obstinacy of the French army at the Battle of Verdun in World War I — with a literal spin on the “war on drugs.” The president quoted a French soldier who said, “There are no impossible situations. There are only people who think they’re impossible.”

Spreading the anti-drug message, first lady Nancy Reagan toured elementary schools, warning students about the danger of illicit drugs. When a fourth grader at Longfellow Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., asked her what to do if approached by someone offering drugs, the first lady responded: “Just say no.”

In 1988, Reagan created the Office of National Drug Control Policy to coordinate drug-related legislative, security, diplomatic, research and health policy throughout the government. Successive agency directors were dubbed “drug czars” by the media. In 1993, President Bill Clinton raised the post to Cabinet-level status.

On May 13, 2009, R. Gil Kerlikowske, the current director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, signaled that though the Obama administration did not plan to significantly alter drug enforcement policies, it would not use the term “war on drugs,” saying it was “counterproductive.”

13 October 1972

174 people are killed when an Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62 crashes just outside Moscow.

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Aeroflot Flight 217 was a non-scheduled international passenger flight from Orly Airport in Paris to Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, with a stopover at Shosseynaya Airport in Leningrad. On 13 October 1972, the Ilyushin Il-62 airliner operating the flight crashed on approach to Sheremetyevo, with the loss of all 164 passengers and crew of 10. At the time, it was the world’s worst aviation disaster As of 2016, the accident remains the second-deadliest one involving an Il-62, after LOT Flight 5055, and the second-deadliest on Russian soil, after Aeroflot Flight 3352.

Shortly before the expected landing, the plane was flying at the altitude of 1200 m and received the ATC instructions to descend to 400 m. The crew confirmed and started to descend, but later there was no action to return to the horizontal flight. The plane passed the 400 m mark with 20 m/s vertical velocity, no expected report to ATC and engines still running at low thrust. It crashed shortly afterwards, with landing gear up, spoilers retracted and horizontal speed about 620 km/h.

The cause of the crash could not be determined. Investigators did believe the most probable cause was the ‘psycho-physiological incapacitation of the crew for reasons unknown. Somewhere at the 500 – 600 m. elevation, 30 – 25 seconds before impact, the pilots either have been incapacitated or lost control of the plane.

12 October 1979

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is published.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction “trilogy” by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams’ radio series of the same name. The novel was first published in London on 12 October 1979. It sold 250,000 copies in the first three months.

The namesake of the novel is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a fictional guide book for hitchhikers written in the form of an encyclopedia.The book begins with council workmen arriving at Arthur Dent’s house. They wish to demolish his house in order to build a bypass.

Arthur’s best friend, Ford Prefect, arrives, warning him of the end of the world. Ford is revealed to be an alien who had come to Earth to research it for the titular Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an enormous work providing information about every planet and place in the universe. The two head to a pub, where the locals question Ford’s knowledge of the Apocalypse.

An alien race, known as Vogons, show up to demolish Earth in order to build a bypass for an intergalactic highway. Arthur and Ford manage to get onto the Vogon ship just before Earth is demolished, where they are forced to listen to horrible Vogon poetry as a form of torture. Arthur and Ford are ordered to say how much they like the poetry in order to avoid being thrown out of the airlock, and while Ford finds listening to be painful, Arthur believes it to be genuinely good, since human poetry is apparently even worse.

11 October 2001

The Polaroid Corporation asks for federal bankruptcy protection.

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Polaroid Corp. filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware Friday, capping three days of speculation in which the instant photography company’s stock had not traded.

The company, which has been struggling with more than $900 million in debt, said it still is considering an outright sale of all or part of the company and that it plans to cut further staff, close facilities and sell non-core assets to reduce costs.

Filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protects a company from creditors and keeps it operational until a restructuring plan can be formed to either lift it out of debt, sell, or liquidate assets.

The intent had been to pursue an out-of-court , pre-negotiated bankruptcy filing, but ultimately the company’s liquidity was just too tight and it just couldn’t hold out long enough to get a deal done,” said Brad Geer of Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin, the financial firm advising Polaroid’s bondholders.

Polaroid said it has obtained a commitment for $50 million in debtor-in-possession financing from a bank group led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Upon court approval, which is expected shortly, $40 million will be available immediately on an interim basis to pay suppliers and help keep the company operational. The full $50 million commitment is subject to final court approval and other conditions.

Polaroid said it will continue to manufacture, market and distribute its core instant imaging products and to provide customer service and support. Employees will continue to be paid with full benefits.

10 October 2010

The Netherlands Antilles gets dissolved as a country.

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The Netherlands Antilles was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was dissolved on 10 October 2010.

After dissolution, the “BES islands” of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba became special municipalities of the Netherlands proper, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along the lines of Aruba, which separated from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986.

he idea of the Netherlands Antilles as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands never enjoyed the full support of all islands, and political relations between islands were often strained. Geographically, the Leeward Antilles islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, and the Leeward Islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten lie almost 1,000 kilometres apart. Culturally, the Leeward Antilles have deep connections with the South American mainland, especially Venezuela, and its population speaks a Portuguese-Dutch creole language called Papiamento; the other three islands are part of the English-speaking Caribbean.

When the new constitutional relationship between the Netherlands and its former West Indian colonies was enshrined in the Kingdom Charter of 1954, the colonial administrative division of the Netherlands Antilles, which was derived from the colony of Curaçao and Dependencies and grouped all six Caribbean islands together under one administration, was taken for granted. Despite the fact that Aruban calls for secession from the Netherlands Antilles originated in the 1930s, the governments of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles did everything in their power to keep the six islands together. The Netherlands did this so as to make sure that the Netherlands Antilles could become independent as soon as possible, a call that became increasingly louder in the Netherlands after the Willemstad riots of 1969 in Curaçao. The government of the Netherlands Antilles feared that the whole Netherlands Antilles would disintegrate if one of the islands seceded; Antillean Prime Minister Juancho Evertsz once famously remarked that “six minus one equals zero”.

9 October 1804

Hobart, capital of Tasmania, is founded.

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Hobart is the capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. With a population of approximately 225,000, it is the second least populated Australian capital city. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. The modern history of Hobart dates to its foundation as a British colony in 1804. Prior to British settlement, the area had been occupied for possibly as long as 35,000 years, by the semi-nomadic Mouheneener tribe, a sub-group of the Nuennone, or South-East tribe.The descendants of the indigenous Tasmanians now refer to themselves as ‘Palawa’.

Since its foundation as a colonial outpost, the city has grown from the mouth of Sullivans Cove to stretch in a generally north-south direction along both banks of the Derwent River, from 22 km inland from the estuary at Storm Bay to the point where the river reverts to fresh water at Bridgewater.

Hobart has experienced both booms and busts over its history. The early 20th century saw a period of growth on the back of mining, agriculture and other primary industries, and the loss of men who served in world wars was counteracted by an influx of immigration after World War II.In the later years of the 20th century, migrants increasingly arrived to settle in Hobart from Asia. Despite the rise in migration from parts of the world other than the United Kingdom and Ireland, the population of Hobart remains predominantly ethnically Anglo-Celtic and has the highest percentage per capita of Australian-born residents among the Australian capital cities.