On This Day

What Happened in October 1854

Historical Events

  • Oct 1 The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 Abraham Lincoln made his 1st political speech at Illinois State Fair

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • Oct 6 The Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.
  • Oct 9 The siege of Sevastopol begins during the Crimean War
  • Oct 10 US Assay Office in NYC, New York opens
  • Oct 12 Lincoln University founded in Pennsylvania as Ashmun Institute
  • Oct 17 French and British forces bombard Sevastopol for the first time during the Crimean War

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 21 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War

  • Oct 23 English newspaper "The Times" gives precise British positions in Crimea during Crimean War

The Charge of the Light Brigade, a Brave and Foolish TaleThe Charge of the Light Brigade, a Brave and Foolish Tale

Oct 25 The infamous "Charge of the Light Brigade" during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War results in over 100 killed

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Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr.
Charge of the Light Brigade by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr.
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  • Oct 25 Prince Menshikov of Crimea occupies British base at Balaclava

Famous Birthdays

  • Oct 2 Patrick Geddes, Scottish biologist and town planner who coined the term conurbation, born in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (d. 1932)
  • Oct 3 William Crawford Gorgas, American physician and 22nd Surgeon-General of the U.S. Army (help cure yellow fever), born in Toulminville, Alabama (d. 1920)
  • Oct 7 Christiaan R de Wet, South African rebel leader, politician and general in the Boer War
  • Oct 10 Gerónimo Giménez, Spanish composer, born in Seville, Spain (d. 1923)
  • Oct 16 Karl J Kautsky, Austrian marxist/socialist

Person of interestOscar Wilde

Oct 16 Oscar Wilde [Fingal O'Flahertie Wills], (The Picture of Dorian Gray), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1900)

Writer and Poet Oscar Wilde
Writer and Poet
Oscar Wilde
  • Oct 18 Bill Murdoch, cricketer (great pioneer of Australian Test cricket)
  • Oct 18 Salomon August Andrée, Swedish engineer, balloonist and polar explorer, born in Gränna, Sweden (d. 1897)
  • Oct 20 Alphonse Allais, French author/humorist (Pass the Bile)

Person of interestArthur Rimbaud

Oct 20 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and adventurer (Illuminations), born in Charleville, France (d. 1891)

  • Oct 24 Hendrik Willem Bakhuis Roozeboom, Dutch chemist (Heterogenen Gleichgewichte), born in Alkmaar, Netherlands (d. 1907)
  • Oct 26 August Kiehl, Dutch actor (Op hoop van zegen, De kribbebijter), born in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands (d. 1938)
  • Oct 26 C. W. Post, American manufacturer of breakfast cereals, born in Springfield, Illinois (d. 1914)
  • Oct 27 Sir William Alexander Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys' Brigade, born in Pennyland House, Thurso, Scotland (d. 1914)
  • Oct 31 Adolf Erman, German Egyptologist (Grammar of Ancient Egypt), born in Berlin (d. 1937)

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 22 Jeremias Gotthelf [Albert Bitzius], Swiss writer (The Black Spider), dies at 57
  • Oct 28 James P Carrell, composer, dies at 67