This week in history: Oct. 5-11

Caitlyn Dieckmann

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Oct. 5, 1962: The Beatles release their first single 

     “Love Me Do” was The Beatles’ first single ever released, written by both Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The song took inspiration from several places, most notably from novelist Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”  

     Fun fact: The date, 10/05/1582, does not exist in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain as the countries had switched to the Gregorian Calendar, abandoning the Julian Calendar, during this time. 

     Oct. 6, 1927: First “talkie” premieres in New York 

     “Talkie” was the term given to films with sound, as opposed to the original silent films. “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson, became the first full-length sound film, and musical no less, that utilized spoken dialogue and marked the end of the silent film era.  

     Oct. 7, 1984: NFL running back breaks career rushing record  

     Walter Payton of the Chicago Browns broke the career rushing record previously held by Jim Brown, formal fullback for the Cleveland Browns. The record is currently held by Emmitt Smith, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. 

     Oct. 8, 1993: U.N. lifts sanctions against South Africa 

     Economic sanctions were imposed on South Africa by the United Nations General Assembly from the 1960s up to 1993 in response to apartheid, a segregationist system put in place by the all-white minority government over the majority non-white citizens in 1948. Sanctions ended in 1993 as the country moved towards a new constitution and legislation that revoked apartheid. 

     Oct. 9, 1949: Harvard Law School decides to begin admitting women 

     Women, historically underrepresented at Harvard Law, were first admitted to Harvard Law School in 1950, after a decision in October 1949 to accept women into HLS. Twelve women would go on to graduate in the class of 1953.  

     Oct. 10, 1979: Pac-Man arcade game released 

     The popular arcade game, Pac-Man, made its debut in Japan in 1979, created by Toru Iwatani. The game would not reach worldwide audiences until the following year but has remained a phenomenon in videogaming since.  

     Oct. 11, 1939: Albert Einstein warns President FDR 

     Franklin D. Roosevelt revealed to Wall Street’s Alexander Sachs a letter he received from Albert Einstein, wherein Einstein explained his worries about his theories of fission chain reactions. He feared that they could lead Nazis toward the development of an atomic bomb. Einstein urged the U.S. to develop its own bomb, thus birthing the top-secret “Manhattan Project.” FDR wrote back to Einstein on Oct. 19 to inform him of his approval of research into uranium.  

Albert Einstein in 1947. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.