This Week in History, Oct 16 - Oct 22
Oct 16, 1934
The Long March by the embattled Chinese Communists break through Nationalist enemy lines and begin an epic flight from their encircled headquarters in southwest China. Known as Ch'ang Cheng—the "Long March"—the retreat lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance from NY, NY to SF, CA.
Oct 17, 1931
Capone goes to prison, the gangster known as Big Al is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.
Oct 18, 1867
U.S. takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles, about twice the size of Texas, and was championed by William Henry Seward, the expansionist secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson.
Oct 19, 1781
Victory at Yorktown...Hopelessly trapped in Virginia, British General Lord Cornwallis surrenders 8,000 British military to a larger Franco-American force, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.
Oct 20, 1947
Congress investigates Reds in Hollywood. That notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world's richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood.
Oct 21, 1959
Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City on Fifth Avenue, as thousands of people line up outside a bizarrely shaped white concrete building that resembled a giant upside-down cupcake. It was opening day at the new Guggenheim Museum, home to one of the world's top collections of contemporary art.
Oct 22, 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis develops during a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President John F. Kennedy announces that U.S. spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. These missile sites—under construction but nearing completion—housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the United States, including Washington, D.C. Kennedy announced that he was ordering a naval "quarantine" of Cuba to prevent Soviet ships from transporting any more offensive weapons to the island and explained that the United States would not tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place. The president made it clear that America would not stop short of military action to end what he called a "clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace."