What Happened in October 1917

Historical Events

  • Oct 4 British assault on Broodseinde, France
  • Oct 6 Battle of Passchendaele: Canadian troops capture the village of Passchendaele in the Third Battle of Ypres, after 250,000 casualties on both sides

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 8 Leon Trotsky named chairman of the Petrograd Soviet as Bolsheviks gain control

Russian Revolutionary Leon Trotsky
Russian Revolutionary
Leon Trotsky
  • Oct 10 Giants' Rube Benton is 1st lefty to pitch a World Series no hitter
  • Oct 10 Plymouth Theater opens at 236 W 45th St NYC
  • Oct 12 The First Battle of Passchendaele, now Passendale
  • Oct 13 Soviets accept establishment of Petrograd Military
  • Oct 13 7th College Football Crab Bowl Classic: Navy beats Maryland 62-0 in Annapolis
  • Oct 15 Chicago White Sox beat NY Giants, 4 games to 2 in 14th World Series


Oct 15 Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for Germany during WWI at Vincennes near Paris

Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy Mata Hari
Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy
Mata Hari
  • Oct 17 1st British bombing of Germany
  • Oct 19 Love Field in Dallas, Texas, is opened
  • Oct 21 1st Americans to see action on front lines of WW I: US troops enter front lines at Sommervillier under French command
  • Oct 21 Petrograds garrison accepts Revolutionary Military Committee
  • Oct 23 1st Infantry division "Big Red One" shoots 1st US shot in WW I

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 23 Lenin speaks against Kamenev, Kollontai, Stalin & Trotsky

Marxist Revolutionary and Russian Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Russian Leader
Vladimir Lenin
Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin
Soviet Union Premier
Joseph Stalin
  • Oct 24 Battle at Caporetto: German & Austria smash Italian army
  • Oct 25 Pan-Russian Congress opens in Petrograd
  • Oct 26 Petrograd Soviet accepts establishment of Military
  • Oct 26 World War I:Brazil declared in state of war with Central Powers.
  • Oct 27 20,000 women march in a suffrage parade in New York, US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 30 British government gives final approval to Balfour Declaration

British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
British Prime Minister
Arthur Balfour
  • Oct 31 Eugene O'Neill's "In the Zone" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 31 World War I: Battle of Beersheba in southern Palestine- "last successful cavalry charge in history"

Famous Birthdays

  • Oct 1 Ren√© A de Rooy, Suriname/Antillian poet (Juancho Picaflor)
  • Oct 2 Francis Jackson, organist & master of Music/York minister
  • Oct 2 William Marshall, band leader (Pennsylvanians), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 2 Charles Drake, American actor (d. 1994)
  • Oct 2 Christian de Duve, Thames Ditton,¬†Surrey, cytologist and biochemist (Nobel, 1974), (d. 2013)
  • Oct 4 Albert de Klerk, Dutch composer/conductor
  • Oct 4 Jan Murray, comedian (Treasure Hunt, Who Killed Teddy Bear), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Oct 5 Robert Adams, English sculptor
  • Oct 7 Helmut Dantine, actor (Shadow of the Cloak), born in Vienna, Austria
  • Oct 7 June Allyson, actress (Till the Clouds Roll By, Vegas), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Oct 8 Danny Murtaugh, baseball manager (Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • Oct 8 Hans Poser, German composer, born in Tannenbergsthal (d. 1970)
  • Oct 8 Billy Conn, American boxer (d. 1993)
  • Oct 8 Walter Lord, American author (d. 2002)
  • Oct 9 Kusuo Kitamura, Japan, 1500m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1932)
  • Oct 10 Ilona Ference, actress (Quatermass II, Star of My Night)
  • Oct 10 Thelonious Monk, Rocky Mount North Carolina, American jazz pianist and composer
  • Oct 11 Franz Alphons Wolpert, composer
  • Oct 12 Hans Bentz van den Berg, Dutch actor (Last Train)
  • Oct 13 Burr Tillstrom, puppeteer (Kukla, Fran & Ollie), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 15 Arthur Schlesinger Jr, Ohio, historian (1946 Pulitzer-Age of Jackson)
  • Oct 15 Jan Miner, actress (Crime Photographer), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Oct 16 Alice Pearce, American actress (d. 1966)
  • Oct 17 Marsha Hunt, actress (Jennifer-Peck's Bad Girl, Jigsaw), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 17 Martin Donnelly, cricketer (brilliant lefty bat for NZ post-war)
  • Oct 17 Sumner Locke Elliott, Australian-born American novelist (d. 1991)
  • Oct 20 Efrain Jonckheer, premier Dutch Antilles
  • Oct 20 Jean-Pierre Melville, director (A Cop), born in Paris, France
  • Oct 20 Ken Cranston, cricketer (England all-rounder captained once in 1948)
  • Oct 21 Dizzy Gillespie, [John B], jazz trumpeter, a creator of modern jazz

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Oct 22 Joan Fontaine, British-American actress (Gunga Din, Ivanhoe, Rebecca), born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2013)

Actress Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine
  • Oct 23 Robert Bray, Kalispell Mont, actor (Corey-Lassie, Stagecoach West)
  • Oct 24 Marshall Goldberg, NFL halfback (Chicago Cardinals)
  • Oct 25 Lee MacPhail, American baseball manager and league executive
  • Oct 26 Felix the Cat, cartoon character
  • Oct 26 Mario Biaggi, American politician (Rep-D&R-NY, 1969-88), born in New York (d. 2015)
  • Oct 27 Jack Plimsoll, cricketer (South African lefty quick, 3-143 in only Test 1947)
  • Oct 27 Oliver Tambo, co-founder (African National Congress)
  • Oct 27 Augustine Harris, British Bishop of Middlesbrough (d. 2007)
  • Oct 28 Jack Soo, American actor (d. 1979)
  • Oct 29 Eddie Constantine, US/French actor (Lucky Jo, It Lives Again)
  • Oct 29 Henry Carlsson, Sweden, soccer (Olympic-gold-1948)
  • Oct 30 Bobby Bragan, American baseball player
  • Oct 30 Nikolai Vasilievich Ogarkov, Soviet field marshal (d. 1994)
  • Oct 31 Erik Routley, composer
  • Oct 31 William H. McNeill, Canadian-born historian (Rise of the West), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2016)
  • Oct 31 Thomas Hill, Canadian actor

Famous Weddings

  • Oct 21 Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats (52) weds Georgie Hyde-Lees (25)

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 9 Hussain Kamil, sultan of Egypt (1914-17), dies at 63
  • Oct 11 Harry Trott, cricketer (Aust capt played 24 Tests 1888-1898), dies
  • Oct 13 Florence La Badie, American actress


Oct 15 Mata Hari, Dutch dancer/German spy, executed by firing squad in Paris

Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy Mata Hari
Exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German spy
Mata Hari
  • Oct 17 Maria J "Marie" Bakker, actress/wife of Maarten Stranger, dies at 59
  • Oct 22 Bob Fitzsimmons, English boxer (b. 1863)
  • Oct 27 Arthur Rhys Davids, English pilot (b. 1897)
  • Oct 28 Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (b. 1831)
  • Oct 31 Tibby Cotter, cricketer (at Beersheba 49 wickets for Australia), dies