History: October 4, 2018


German Chancellor Max von Baden sends a telegram to President Wilson requesting an armistice to end hostilities in World War I.

Wilson responded by refusing to negotiating with a military dictatorship, even though von Baden and the Kaiser had made such a promise. Diplomatic finagling continued throughout the month as Germany’s military position deteriorated.

German General Paul von Hindenburg reignited armistice negotiations in early November; major hostilities would end November 11.


Soviet scientists successfully launch Sputnik I, scaring Americans into accelerating their space program. Most importantly, putting the first probe into space gave the USSR an edge in the mounting arms race.

Almost 4 months later the US responded in kind, launching the Explorer I probe, and kicking off the space race


Pope Paul VI visits the United States. He’s the first reigning pope to make it across the pond to America.

He only spent one day stateside, confined exclusively to New York City, where he visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral and met with President Johnson at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

His Holiness also addressed the General Assembly at the UN, said Mass at Yankee Stadium, and visited the Vatican Exhibit at the World’s Fair.

All in less than 14 hours. An estimated 1 million spectators turned up to see the Pope in person; another 100 million watched on TV.


Rocker Janis Joplin overdoses on heroin in an L.A. hotel room and dies. Joplin was working on her album Pearl, which would be the best seller of her career.