History: October 12


Christopher Columbus arrives in the New World.

He believed he had reached the shores of East Asia, when in reality he was on a Bahamian island. Columbus claimed the land for Ferdinand and Isabella, the monarchs of Spain. He was eager to discover and collect the gold and spice that the Far East promise – obviously to no avail.

Ultimately Columbus would lead 4 trips to the Americas, and charting the Gulf of Mexico, South and Central America, and many Caribbean islands – but without ever stepping foot in the United States.


The Crown Prince of Bavaria marries Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, and locals celebrated the union with drinking and horse races.

The spectacle turned into an annual gala – we know it now as Oktoberfest. With time, it turned into a days-long event, beginning in late September nad ending the first Sunday in October.

Over 1 million gallons of beer are drank every year at the fest.


The Philadelphia Athletics pound 10 runs in the 8th inning of game 4 of the World Series against the Cubs.

They had been trailing 0-2 until then. In a “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment, 10,000 copies of the Springfield Daily News had already been printed deploring the A’s terrible gameplay before the 7th inning had even ended.

The A’s would eventually win the series in game 5 – their first in 16 years.


Ticked off at the Philippine delegation to the United Nations, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev bangs his shoe against a table in a meting of the countries.

The Philippines accused the Soviet Union of hypocrisy for decrying colonialism in southeast Asia while occupying East Berlin.

Khrushchev grew furious, and in a fit of rage pulled off his sneaker and did the deed.

It took quite some work to restore order: the General Assembly President pounded his gavel so forcefully that it broke.


USSR spaceship Voskhod 1 blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The mission would mark a two feats for manned space travel:

-FIRST with a crew of more than 1 person – in fact there were 3.

-FIRST to not have the crew wear spacesuits

The mission ended 2 days later. It was another blow to the dawdling American space program, a dynamic that would not shift until the US landed on the moon just before the end of the decade.


Terrorists attack the USS Cole while refueling in Yemen.

A rubber dinghy filled with explosives charged the ship, blowing a gaping hole in the hull and killing 17 sailors. 38 more were wounded.

It was assumed to be the handiwork of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

An investigation ensued – but there was no clear connection to the terrorist kingpin.


The UN grants Internet Inventor Al Gore with the Nobel Peace Prize for … making a movie about global warming.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change credited the flick with kickstarting the global “green” movement.

Al also won an Oscar for Best Documentary.