Historical events

A look back at the historical events that took place on October 19

Archive image of Mother Teresa. News18

Since the beginning of human civilization, every century has witnessed several historical events, thus marking the dates in the history books. From pivotal revolutions to historic protests, from groundbreaking discoveries to the arrest of famous people, October 19 has also made its way into important books. On the day Napoleon began his disastrous retreat from Russia in 1812, it was today in 1789 that a founding father of the United States, John Jay, was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the notable events that took place on this date in history.

First Battle of Ypres
Battle of World War I, The First Battle of Ypres began today in 1914 on the Western Front around Ypres in Belgian West Flanders. This battle retains its significance, as it saw the destruction of the experienced British regular army. The battle was fought between German forces on one side and an alliance of Belgian, French and British troops on the other side. The battle continued until November 22, after which extreme weather conditions forced both sides to pause in hostilities.

Streptomycin is discovered
It was that day in 1943 when American biochemists Selman Waksman, Albert Schatz and Elizabeth Bugie discovered a miraculous antibiotic, streptomycin. Wondering what’s so unique about it? Well, after penicillin, streptomycin was the first antimicrobial agent developed and the first effective antibiotic in the treatment of tuberculosis. Due to its effectiveness against a wide variety of diseases, this antibiotic has been used very often.

Martin Luther King Jr was arrested
In 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested along with more than 50 people for violating Georgia’s recently enacted trespassing law. This afternoon, Dr. Martin Luther staged a sit-in protest at eight stores in downtown Atlanta and refused to leave his seats at the lunch counters. At this time in Atlanta, strongly enforced Jim Crow segregation laws and customs required blacks and whites to use separate water fountains, bathrooms, ticket offices, and other public spaces. In addition, the law prohibited black people from being served at food counters in department stores.

Beatification of Mother Teresa
On this day in 2003, an estimated 300,000 people gathered around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City when Pope John Paul II led a beatification of Mother Teresa. In what was considered the shortest time in the history of the Church, Mother Teresa, who had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her charitable work, attained the rank of Blessed on October 19, 2003. Later, on September 4, 2016, she was canonized by Pope Francis I.

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