This Day in History – October 19


Today is the 292nd day of 2023. There are 73 days left in the year.

2019: Chilean President Sebastián Piñera declares a 15-day state of emergency after widespread and violent protests over rise in public transport costs.


1216: King John of England dies at Newark-on-Trent and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry III.

1330: English King Edward III, at 17, captures his mother’s lover and the country’s de facto ruler, Roger Mortimer, at Nottingham Castle and later has him hanged.

1722: French C Hopffer patents the automatic fire extinguisher in England.

1919: The first US Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to a living female recipient, Anna Howard Shaw.

1925: The Italian army takes Somalia.

1926: John C Garand patents the semi-automatic rifle.

1944: The US Navy announces black women will be allowed into the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES).

1960: The US imposes an embargo on exports to Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.

1973: Tropical Storm Gilda begins three days of heavy rainfall in Jamaica, with the highest amount measured in a 24-hour period being 16.2 inches, which triggered many landslides across eastern sections of the island.

1984: Mike McCallum becomes the first Jamaican to win a world boxing title (at Madison Square Garden, New York). A young, Polish, pro-Solidarity priest, the Reverend Jerzy Popieluszko, is abducted and murdered by communist secret police.

1987: The stock market crashes as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges 22.6 per cent in value — its biggest-ever percentage drop in decades.

1992: African National Congress (ANC) President Nelson Mandela acknowledges prisoners in ANC military camps, located in other African countries, had been tortured during the 1980s and early 1990s; the camps had been training sites during the ANC’s guerrilla war against the South African Government.

2000: A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blows himself up in Colombo, Sri Lanka, minutes before President Chandrika Kumaratunga swears in a new Cabinet to cement her shaky coalition and end a week-long political crisis.

2001: US special forces begin operations on the ground in Afghanistan, a significant new phase of the assault against the Taliban and terrorists.

2004: Myanmar’s secretive military regime forces the long-powerful Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt out and places him under house arrest on corruption charges.

2005: Five major American publishing companies file suit against Google, contending that the company”s plan to make searchable digitised versions of library holdings violates publishing copyrights; Google says that it plans to make only small parts of copyrighted text available online.

2006: Suicide bombings in the south and east of Afghanistan kill a British soldier, two children and a policeman, as President Hamid Karzai calls on NATO forces to use caution during military operations a day after 20 civilians are killed.

2007: A global manhunt that began three years before, when police found hundreds of photos on the Internet of a man having sex with a dozen young Asian boys, ends with the arrest in Thailand of Canadian schoolteacher Christopher Paul Neil.

2012: A car bomb rips through Beirut, killing a top security official and seven others, shearing balconies off apartment buildings, and sending bloodied residents into the streets during the most serious blast in the Lebanese capital in four years.

2015: US scientists from the University of California find evidence life on earth may have begun 4.1 billion years before, 300 million earlier than previously thought.

2016: During the third US presidential debate Donald Trump notably refuses to say if he will accept the election result, during a debate with Hillary Clinton at Nevada University, Las Vegas.

2017: At 37 Jacinda Ardern becomes the yongest New Zealand leader in 161 years when she leads a coalition government formed by the New Zealand Labour Party.

2020: USA charges six Russian military officers with a massive cyberattack meant to disrupt the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2017 French Presidential Election, and Ukraine’s power grid.


Auguste Lumiere, Frenchman credited with making the first movie (1862-1948); John Le Carre, British writer (1931-2020); Peter Tosh (Winston Hubert McIntosh), Jamaican singer-songwriter and founding member of the Wailers (1944-1987); Evander Holyfield, US heavyweight boxing champion (1962- )

— AP/ Jamaica Observer