On This Day

What Happened in October 2021

Historical Events

  • Oct 1 US COVID-19 death toll passes 700,000, with daily deaths averaging 1,900 a day [1]
  • Oct 1 Global COVID-19 death toll of recorded cases passes 5 million as the Delta variant continues to surge around the world [1]

Music Concert

Oct 1 Rock singer David Lee Roth announces his retirement will follow a five-concert residency in Las Vegas in January 2022

Van Halen Rocker David Lee Roth
Van Halen Rocker
David Lee Roth
  • Oct 2 Massive oil slick from a pipeline discovered off California, along Orange County coast covering 13 square miles

Historic Event

Oct 3 Pandora Papers investigation reveals secret wealth of 30 current and former world leaders including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Czech PM Andrej Babis and former UK PM Tony Blair

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair
  • Oct 3 Tropical Cyclone Shaheen makes landfall in Oman and Iran, killing at least nine people

Sports History

Oct 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady becomes NFL's all-time leader in career passing yardage in 19-17 win vs NE Patriots at Gillette Stadium: Brady 22-43 for 269 yards to pass Drew Brees' high of 80,358

NFL Quarterback Tom Brady
NFL Quarterback
Tom Brady
  • Oct 3 Record rainfall in Europe when 36 inches (925 mm) of rain begins falling in northern Italian town of Rossiglione [1]
  • Oct 3 MLB Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris strikes out three Florida Marlins, setting new franchise record of 520, in his last game before becoming a free agent
  • Oct 4 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine awarded to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for discovering receptors for temperature and touch
  • Oct 4 Fumio Kishida takes office as Japan's new Prime Minister after taking over as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party
  • Oct 4 Global outage of Facebook and its apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, for six hours
  • Oct 4 Three years worth of rain (14 inches or 300 mm) falls in 12 hours in city of Al Khaburah, Oman, in the wake of tropical cyclone Shaheen [1]
  • Oct 5 Russia launches an actor and director to the International Space Station to make the first film in orbit
  • Oct 5 Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi for pioneering work that warned of climate change
  • Oct 5 Major French investigation fings clergy sexually abused more than 200,000 children over 70 years, most of the victims boys [1]
  • Oct 5 480 Otis wins Alaska's Fat Bear Week for pre-hibernation weight gain for the third year in a row

Historic Event

Oct 6 WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recommends world's first Malaria vaccine (Mosquirix) for children after a pilot program was effective in Africa [1]

Head of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Head of the World Health Organisation
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
  • Oct 6 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for development of asymmetric organocatalysis (tool for building molecules)
  • Oct 6 Carnegie Hall in NYC re-opens after 18 month pandemic shutdown with a concert by The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin
  • Oct 6 Los Angeles votes in some of the strictest COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the country, requiring vaccinations before people can enter indoor businesses and events
  • Oct 7 Zanzibar born writer Abdulrazak Gurnah is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature [1]

Nobel Prize

Oct 8 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression" [1]

Journalist and Author Maria Ressa
Journalist and Author
Maria Ressa
  • Oct 9 Czech populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis narrowly defeated in nation elections by a coalition of opposition parties

Historic Event

Oct 10 Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen says country won't bow to Chinese pressure in defiant speech on Taiwanese National Day, day after Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to "fulfil reunification"

7th President of the Republic of China Tsai Ing-wen
7th President of the Republic of China
Tsai Ing-wen
Paramount Leader of China Xi Jinping
Paramount Leader of China
Xi Jinping
  • Oct 11 Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for their work on "natural experiments" [1]
  • Oct 11 Australia's largest city Sydney ends its 107-day lockdown, with restrictions easing for fully vaccinated people
  • Oct 11 Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden steps down after The NY Times details emails in which he made homophobic and misogynistic remarks; earlier reports alleged racist statements about a union leader

Film & TV History

Oct 13 William Shatner becomes the oldest person to reach space, travelling aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket on a 10 minute flight

  • Oct 13 24 years old Rumeysa Gelgi from Turkey confirmed as World's tallest living woman by Guinness World Records at 215.16 centimeters 215.16cm (7ft 0.7in) [1]
  • Oct 13 Bow and arrow terrorist attack kills five and injuries two in Kongsberg, Norway
  • Oct 14 Record price for a Banksy artwork paid of 18.5 million pounds ($25.4 million) for "Love is in the Bin", that was famously shredded on purchase in 2018 [1]
  • Oct 15 British MP Sir David Amess stabbed to death at a meeting of constituents in Essex in Leigh-on-Sea, England in probable terror attack
  • Oct 15 IPL Cricket Final, Dubai International Stadium: Chennai Super Kings win their 4th IPL title beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs; Faf du Plessis scores 86 off 59 balls for Player of the Match
  • Oct 16 NASA probe Lucy launched on mission to fly-by eight Trojan asteroids circling the sun [1]
  • Oct 18 Flash foods and heavy rain in northern Indian state of Uttarakhand and Nepal kill over 100 people after 328mm falls in 24 hrs [1]
  • Oct 18 Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso declares 60-day state of emergency in response to a violent crime wave caused by power struggle between drug cartels
  • Oct 19 Moscow's mayor orders unvaccinated people over 60 years to stay home for four months amid a worsening COVID-19 crisis
  • Oct 20 Confirmation that Vikings established settlement first in 1021 AD in the New World at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, provided by new dating technique using solar storms [1]
  • Oct 20 Brazilian Senate inquiry finds President Bolsonaro should face series of criminal charges, including crimes against humanity, for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic [1]
  • Oct 20 Barbados elects Sandra Mason as its first-ever president, as part of a process to replace Queen Elizabeth and become a republic
  • Oct 21 Syria's government says it has executed 24 people for starting devastating wildfires in 2020 that killed three [1]
  • Oct 21 Actor Alec Baldwin shots cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and injures director Joel Souza with a prop gun in rehearsal on a film set at Bonanza Ranch, New Mexico
  • Oct 22 Australian city of Melbourne "world's most locked down city" exits its sixth lockdown after a total of 260 days
  • Oct 23 Capture of Colombia's most-wanted drug lord, Dairo Antonio Usuga 'Otoniel', in Colombia's Uraba region, announced live on TV [1]
  • Oct 24 Michael Jordan's 1984 Nike Air Ships sell for $1.472 million at Sotheby's, a new record for sneakers at auction [1]
  • Oct 24 Tom Brady becomes first quarterback in NFL history to record 600 touchdown passes when he hits Mike Evans in 1st quarter of the Buccaneers 38-3 rout of the Chicago Bears in Tampa Bay
  • Oct 24 COVID-19 cases in Eastern Europe pass 20 million with Russia, Ukraine and Romania in top five countries reporting deaths globally [1]
  • Oct 24 Strongest storm to ever hit the West Coast of the US, with California recording barometric pressure of 945.2 mb, and San Francisco its wettest October day [1]
  • Oct 25 Sudan's military takes control of the country, dissolving the power-sharing government and declaring a state of emergency

Famous Deaths

  • Oct 1 Fred Hill, English soccer forward (2 caps; Bolton Wanderers 375 games), dies at 81
  • Oct 1 Earle Wells, New Zealand sailor (Olympic gold Flying Dutchman 1964), dies at 87
  • Oct 3 Cynthia Harris, American stage and screen actress (Edward & Mrs. Simpson; Mad About You - "Sylvia"), dies at 87
  • Oct 3 Budge Patty, American tennis player (French C'ship, Wimbledon men's singles 1950), dies at 97
  • Oct 4 Alan Kalter, American television announcer (Late Show with David Letterman, 1995-2015), dies at 78
  • Oct 4 Laurie Davidson, New Zealand yacht designer (Black Magic 1995; Team New Zealand 2000; America's Cup HOF 2007), dies at 94
  • Oct 4 Eddie Robinson, American baseball first baseman (MLB All Star 1949, 51–53; Washington Sens, Chicago WS, Philadelphia A's) and executive (GM Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves), dies at 100
  • Oct 6 Pat Fish [Huntrods], British guitarist (The Jazz Butcher), dies at 63
  • Oct 8 Everett Morton, Nevisian-born English drummer and percussionist (English Beat), dies at 71
  • Oct 9 Keitaro Hoshino, Japanese boxer (WBA minimumweight title 2000-01, 02), dies at 52
  • Oct 11 Tony DeMarco, American boxer (NBA, NYSAC, The Ring welterweight titles 1955), dies at 89
  • Oct 11 Trevor Hemmings CVO, British businessman (Owner Preston North End FC; 3 x Grand National winners Hedgehunter [2005], Ballabriggs [2011], Many Clouds [2015]), dies at 86
  • Oct 11 Olav Nilsen, Norwegian soccer striker/midfielder (62 caps; Viking FK), dies at 79
  • Oct 12 Leon Black, American college basketball coach (Texas Longhorns men's team 1967-76), dies at 89
  • Oct 12 Raúl Coloma, Chilean soccer goalkeeper (13 caps; Ferrobádminton, Municipal Santiago, Ferroviaros), dies at 93
  • Oct 12 Renton Laidlaw, Scottish golf broadcaster and journalist (President Association of Golf Writers 1995-2015; BBC Radio), dies from COVID-19 at 82
  • Oct 13 Ray Fosse, American baseball catcher (MLB All-Star, Gold Glove Award 1970, 71 Cleveland Indians; World Series Oakland A's 1973, 74) and broadcaster (Oakland A's NBC), dies of cancer at 74
  • Oct 13 Otis Armstrong, American College Football HOF running back (Purdue; All-Pro 1974; Pro Bowl 1974, 76; Denver Broncos), dies at 70
  • Oct 13 Norm Provan, Australian rugby league second rower (14 Tests; St. George RLFC NSWRL Premiers 1956-66; 13th Immortal) and coach (St. George, Parramatta, Cronulla), dies at 89
  • Oct 15 Miguel de Oliveira, Brazilian boxer (WBC light middleweight champion 1975), dies from pancreatic cancer at 74
  • Oct 16 Leo Boivin, Canadian Hockey HOF defenceman (Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs) and coach (St. Louis Blues), dies at 89
  • Oct 16 Pat Studstill, American football wide receiver (Pro Bowl 1965, 66; NFL receiving yards leader, record 99-yard TD reception [tied] 1966; Detroit Lions, LA Rams), dies at 83

Colin Powell

Oct 18 Colin Powell, American General and 1st Black US Secretary of State (2001-05), dies from complications of COVID-19, blood cancer, and Parkinson's disease at 84 [1]

General and US Secretary of State Colin Powell
General and US Secretary of State
Colin Powell
  • Oct 18 Bandula Warnapura, Sri Lankan cricket batsman (4 Tests; first SL Test captain; 12 ODIs; Bloomfield CC), dies at 68
  • Oct 18 Edita Gruberová, Slovak operatic soprano, dies at 74
  • Oct 19 Fred Goodall, New Zealand cricket umpire (24 Tests, 15 one-day internationals 1965-88), dies at 83
  • Oct 19 Leslie Bricusse, British stage and film composer and lyricist (Doctor Dolittle; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; "Goldfinger"; Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - "The Candy Man"; "Pure Imagination"), dies at 90
  • Oct 19 Pierre Kerkhoffs, Dutch soccer striker (5 caps; SC Enschede, PSV, Lausanne Sport), dies at 85
  • Oct 20 Dragan Pantelić, Serbian soccer goalkeeper (19 caps Yugoslavia; Radnički Niš, Bordeaux), dies at 69
  • Oct 21 Kathy Flores, American rugby union coach (United States women's team 2002-11; Brown University), dies at 66
  • Oct 21 Bernard Haitink, Dutch conductor (Concertgebouw, 1961-88; London Philharmonic, 1967-79; Royal Opera Covent Garden, 1987-2002), dies at 92 [1]
  • Oct 21 (Nils) Einár [Grönberg], Swedish rapper ("Första klass"; "Katten i trakten"), shot to death in suspected gang-related incident at 19
  • Oct 22 Peter Scolari, American stage and screen Emmy Award-winning actor (Newhart - "Michael"; Girls - "Tad"; Bosom Buddies - "Henry"), dies of cancer at 66 [1]
  • Oct 22 Jay Black [David Blatt], American pop singer (Jay and the Americans - “Come A Little Bit Closer”; “This Magic Moment”), dies of pneumonia and complications from dementia at 82