This Week in History

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This Week in History, Oct 28 - Nov 3

Oct 28, 1965
Gateway Arch completed. Construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

Oct 29, 1998
John Glenn returns to space. Nearly four decades after he became the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is launched into space again as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery. At 77 years of age, Glenn was the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging.

Oct 30, 1938
Welles scares nation. Orson Welles causes a nationwide panic with his broadcast of "War of the Worlds"—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth. Orson Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells' 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio. Despite his age, Welles had been in radio for several years, most notably as the voice of "The Shadow" in the hit mystery program of the same name. "War of the Worlds" was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause.

Oct 31, 1517
Martin Luther posts 95 theses. Priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.

Nov 01, 1512
Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo's finest works, is exhibited to the public for the first time. Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest of the Italian Renaissance artists, was born in the small village of Caprese in 1475. The son of a government administrator, he grew up in Florence, a center of the early Renaissance movement, and became an artist's apprentice at age 13. Demonstrating obvious talent, he was taken under the wing of Lorenzo de' Medici, the ruler of the Florentine republic and a great patron of the arts. After demonstrating his mastery of sculpture in such works as the Pieta (1498) and David (1504), he was called to Rome in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—the chief consecrated space in the Vatican.

Nov 02, 1947
Spruce Goose flies. The Hughes Flying Boat—the largest aircraft ever built—is piloted by designer Howard Hughes on its first and only flight. Built with laminated birch and spruce, the massive wooden aircraft had a wingspan longer than a football field and was designed to carry more than 700 men to battle. Howard Hughes was a successful Hollywood movie producer when he founded the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932. He personally tested cutting-edge aircraft of his own design and in 1937 broke the transcontinental flight-time record. In 1938, he flew around the world in a record three days, 19 hours, and 14 minutes.

Nov 03, 1964
D.C. residents cast first presidential votes. Residents of the District of Columbia cast their ballots in a presidential election for the first time. The passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961 gave citizens of the nation's capital the right to vote for a commander in chief and vice president. They went on to help Democrat Lyndon Johnson defeat Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964, the next presidential election.

History.com

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