History: October 10, 2018

732

Frankish leader Charles Martel stops an invasion of Moors into Europe. The decisive battle ended years of invasions from Islamic powers in the Iberian Peninsula.

Martel’s victory continued his family’s line, the Carolingians. The most famous of the royal line was Charlemagne, who vastly expanded Frankish influence across present-day Europe.

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1780

A hurricane in the West Indies kills more than 20,000 people, making it the deadliest hurricane ever recorded.

Obviously it hit before our modern naming system was implemented, so it’s just known as the Great Hurricane of 1780.

French and British navies protecting assets in the region were decimated as well.

The next deadliest storm recorded was Hurricane Mitch, in 1998, which killed an estimated 18,000.

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1845

The US Naval Academy begins its first session.

The institution, in Annapolis, Maryland, started with 50 midshipment and 7 instructors. For the next five years, it was known simply as the Naval School, and taught navigation, chemistry, English, and French, among other topics.

When it became the official US Naval Academy in 1950, a four-year curriculum was instituted. During summers, students would train on real vessels. That system is still in use today.

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1877

George Armstrong Custer’s funeral is held at West Point.

He was killed in battle a year earlier in the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Custer had graduated from the military academy in 1861, ranking last in his class.

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1957

The Milwaukee Braves win their first World Series in 43 years – their last win was as the Boston Braves.

Against historic manager Casey Stengel and power-hitters Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle, the Braves took all 7 games to win, ultimately shutting out the Yankees 5-0 in New York.

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1973

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns on the same day he pleads no contest to a charge of federal income tax evasion.

His plea was part of a deal that dropped political corruption charges.

President Nixon resigned less than a year later, on August 9th, 1974.

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2001

Construction on the longest cable-stayed bride in the world begins.

It would eventually span across the River Tarn in France. The tallest support beam on the bridge is higher than the Eiffel Tower.

The bridge spans 1.5 miles. It replaced a long, winding 62 mile route that took more than 4 hours to drive across.