The week that was; Sputnik went to space, the inventor of the iPhone died, and Gandhi was born...
2011 5 OCTOBER
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple computers, died aged just 56. Whenever he presented his firm's latest gadget, he had a very specific public image - black polo neck and jeans - so rumours flew about his health when it became noticeable he'd started to lose weight. Jobs had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and his sister said his final words were: 'Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.' Flags on his shops were flown at half-mast that day, and he's buried in Palo Alto, California.
1818 8 OCTOBER
Two unnamed English boxers were the first to use padded gloves in a fight.
The boxing glove, as we know it, had been invented by Jack Broughton for practising. It had lambswool or horsehair inside to soften the blows. The first fight took place in Aix-la-Chapelle in France, where a newspaper reported: 'The two champions were built like Hercules they entered the ring with their hands guarded with huge padded gloves.' By 1892, gloves became compulsory in the Marquis of Queensberry rules.
1869 2 OCTOBER
Mohandas Gandhi, Indian activist and philosopher, was born.
The former lawyer was nicknamed 'Mahatma', meaning 'high-souled' or 'venerable'. Before he became The Father of the Nation during India's fight for independence, and practised non-violent protest and self-denial, he had married aged 13, as was the custom. Gandhi suffered six known assassination attempts during the course of his life, before he was eventually shot dead in 1948 by a Hindu fundamentallist who was opposed to Gandhi's tolerance of all religions.
1978 6 OCTOBER
ABBA members Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson got married. She was the redhead, he was the bearded one. Their relationship started about a decade before they became one half of the Swedish supergroup. Both had been in long relationships previously, so they waited until her divorce came through before tying the knot. After two years, they divorced because of Benny's infidelity, then he married his mistress - and current wife - Mona.
1931 7 OCTOBER
Desmond Tutu, archbishop and human rights campaigner, was born. Happy 85th birthday to the man who has won awards for his activism against AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism and homophobia. If that makes him sound a bit serious, he also has a sense of humour, saying, 'We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.'
1883 4 OCTOBER
The Orient Express made its maiden journey from Paris to Istanbul. The original route went through Munich and Vienna to Romania, where passengers went by ferry to Bulgaria to pick up another train. They eventually reached what was then called Constantinople by ferry. The service was suspended during WW1, and nowadays it only takes place once a year - a six-day trip costs PS6,660 per person. Bargain.
1957 4 OCTOBER
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite.
It was the size of a beachball, took 90 minutes to complete an orbit of the Earth, travelled at 18,000 miles per hour - and this little object started the Space Race between the Russians and the Americans. There was a public outcry in the States that the Soviets had got there first, so the government promised more funding for astrophysics projects.
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 2, 2016|
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