October 12, 1928–An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children’s Hospital, Boston. This negative pressure ventilator has been replaced by positive pressure ventilation, and the disease most associated with it, polio, has been mostly eradicated by vaccines.
I remember seeing some old iron lung respirators in a basement in the LSU hospital when I was a medical student.
October 11, 1767 – Surveying for the Mason–Dixon Line, separating Maryland from Pennsylvania, is completed. You thought it was further south, didn’t you?
September 27, 1777–Lancaster, Pennsylvania is the capital of the United States, for one day. The Continental Congress fled Philadelphia, which had been captured by British forces, To Lancaster. The following day, they fled even further, to York, PA.
Lancaster is also known for the first paved road in the United States, the Lancaster Turnpike.
John Herschel Glenn Jr., America’s hero of the 1960s, has passed away at age 95. In 1962 Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, circling three times. Before joining NASA, he was a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea, with five Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters.
He was one of the “Mercury Seven” group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America’s first astronauts. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990.
Add.–A fact I didn’t know: Glenn flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea, where his wingman and eventual lifelong friend was baseball legend Ted Williams.
November 10, 1975–The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board. Most of us would not be aware of this tragedy were it not for the song by Gordon Lightfoot, an almost equal tragedy.
November 5, 1994–George Foreman, age 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion when he defeats 26-year-old Michael Moorer in the 10th round of their WBA fight in Las Vegas. Foreman dedicated his upset win to “all my buddies in the nursing home and all the guys in jail.”
October 31, 1517–Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, beginning the Protestant Reformation.
October 14, 1947–Chuck Yeager, flying a Bell X1, becomes the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound.
October 4, 1537 – The first complete English-language Bible (the Matthew Bible) is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale. Since then, there have been more than 450 English translations of the Bible.
October 3-4, 1993–Operation Gothic Serpent, Battle of Mogadishu, “Black Hawk Down”. Eighteen US servicemen died, and 73 were wounded. You can read a great summary here.