On This Day

October 2020 in History

Events in History

  • Oct 1 US White House aide Hope Hicks tests positive for COVID-19
  • Oct 3 The UK's wettest day on record, with average of 31.7mm (1.24ins) across the country in wake of Storm Alex

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 5 US President Donald Trump leaves Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while still infectious with COVID-19 and returns to the White House

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • Oct 5 Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of hepatitis C virus [1]
  • Oct 5 At least 14m tonnes of plastic pieces are at the bottom of the ocean, 30 times more than on the surface according to new research [1]
  • Oct 5 India COVID-19 death toll passes 100,000, with 6.6 million known cases, 3rd highest death toll in the world behind the US and Brazil
  • Oct 5 WHO estimates 10% of world's population may have been infected with COVID-19, more than 20 times the number of confirmed cases
  • Oct 6 Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea M. Ghez for work on black holes
  • Oct 7 Hurricane Delta makes landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, with 100-mph winds, the 25th named storm for 2020
  • Oct 7 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing”
  • Oct 8 American poet Louise Glück is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Oct 8 FBI charge 13 men with plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and storm the Michigan Capitol
  • Oct 9 The UN's World Food Programme is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Oct 10 Italian teenage computer genius Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia at 15, beatified by the Catholic Church in Assisi, Italy
  • Oct 11 India records more than 7 million cases of COVID-19
  • Oct 12 Nobel Prize for Economics awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson for their contributions to auction theory

  • Oct 12 China announces it will test entire city of Qingdao, 9 million people, for COVID-19 within five days after a dozen cases discovered

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 12 UK PM Boris Johnson announces a new three-tier system for COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 14 French president Emmanuel Macron announces a public health emergency and a curfew of 9 pm for nine cities due to surge in COVID-19 cases

President of France Emmanuel Macron
President of France
Emmanuel Macron

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 14 A copy of William Shakespeare's First Folio sells for a record $9.98 million at auction in New York

  • Oct 14 Details of the world's first room-temperature superconductor created by scientists at the University of Rochester, NY, published in "Nature" [1]
  • Oct 15 Thai government issues emergency decree banning public gatherings amid increasing pro-democracy protests and criticism of the king
  • Oct 16 French teacher Samuel Paty beheaded by 18 year-old Islamist militant in Paris suburb of Éragny

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Oct 17 Labour Party headed by Jacinda Ardern re-elected in a landslide in New Zealand's general election

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern
  • Oct 17 Chicago declared the 'rattiest city' in America for the sixth year in a row by pest control service Orkin
  • Oct 18 Bolivia elects Luis Arce President and his party, Movement for Socialism back into government
  • Oct 19 US charges six Russian military officers with massive cyber-attack meant to disrupt 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 2017 French presidential election, and Ukraine's power grid
  • Oct 19 Belgium officials say country facing a "tsunami" of COVID-19 cases amid new restrictions and figures it has third-highest number of Covid-related deaths per 100,000 people globally
  • Oct 19 Irish government moves country to highest level of COVID-19 restrictions amid rising cases
  • Oct 19 Peru announces rediscovered 37m figure of a cat, completed 500 BC to 200 AD, a geoglyph outline in the Nazca Desert
  • Oct 20 Vietnam suffers its worst floods in decades with over 100 people killed according to the Red Cross
  • Oct 20 Argentina becomes the fifth country in the world to record over 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with the death toll at 26,716
  • Oct 20 Nigerian police open fire on protesters in Lagos amid escalating protests against police violence around the country
  • Oct 20 US Justice Department sues Google for illegal monopoly over search and search advertising
  • Oct 21 Nasa Osiris-Rex spacecraft lands briefly on asteroid Bennu on mission to collect dust, largest sample from space since Apollo
  • Oct 21 Spain becomes the first European country to record more than 1 million COVID-19 cases with the death toll at 34,366

  • Oct 21 Parents of 545 children cannot be found that were separated at the US-Mexico border according to American Civil Liberties Union
  • Oct 21 FBI says Iran and Russia have US voter information and are trying to influence outcome of US election
  • Oct 22 Goldman Sachs agrees to pay record $3 billion to end probe into its role in 1MDB corruption scandal to regulators in the US, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia
  • Oct 23 First US National Women's Rights convention opens in Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Oct 24 Deadliest shipwreck of the year claims 140 lives on a ship that sank with 200 migrants on board off the coast of Senegal [1]
  • Oct 24 Colombia records more than 1 million cases of COVID-19, the 8th globally and 3rd in Latin America

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 25 Chile overwhelmingly votes to scrap their constitution, drafted during dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet

General and Dictator Augusto Pinochet
General and Dictator
Augusto Pinochet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 25 Pope Francis announces appointment of 13 new cardinals including 1st African American Wilton Daniel Gregory

  • Oct 26 Police officers in Philadelphia shoot and kill black man Walter Wallace Jr. armed with a knife, prompting protests and the city to impose a curfew
  • Oct 26 Melbourne officials announce end to their three-month lockdown as city records no new cases of COVID-19 for 1st time since June
  • Oct 26 Pakistan's first metro line, the Orange Line, opens in Lahore
  • Oct 26 NASA announces there is more water on the Moon than previously thought, in sunlit as well as shadowed regions [1]
  • Oct 26 Silverado wildfire breaks out in Orange County, California forcing 60,000 people to evacuate

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 26 Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says the country will becomes carbon neutral by 2050

Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga
Prime Minister of Japan
Yoshihide Suga
  • Oct 27 US Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court sealing a conservative majority
  • Oct 27 Leader of the Nxivm sex cult Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking, racketeering, fraud and other crimes
  • Oct 27 A record 69.5 million Americans have already voted, a week before election day, 50.4% of 2016 total vote [1]
  • Oct 27 WHO confirms Europe is in the midst of a 2nd COVID-19 wave with cases rising rapidly, 30% in a week, deaths rising 40%
  • Oct 28 French President Emmanuel Macron announces France will enter a new 4-week lockdown October 30 in televised address
  • Oct 28 New coral reef 500m (1,640ft) high, taller than the Empire State Building, discovered north of Australia's Great Barrier Reef
  • Oct 28 15th-century medieval manuscript "The Book of Lismore", returns to Ireland after donated by Chatsworth Settlement to University College Cork
  • Oct 28 Global COVID-19 cases record one-day increase of more than 500,000 for the first time, rising 25% in under two weeks according to Reuters
  • Oct 28 Hurricane Zeta makes landfall in the US near Cocodrie, Louisiana, as category 2 storm
  • Oct 28 Typhoon Molave strikes Vietnam triggering heavy rain and landslides, leaving more than 60 people dead
  • Oct 28 Tanzania reelects President John Magufuli, with opposition parties calling the vote fraudulent
  • Oct 29 India records more than 8 million COVID-19 cases, the second country after the US, with a death toll of 120,527
  • Oct 29 Former leader Jeremy Corbyn is suspended from the British Labour Party after saying a report into antisemitism in the party was "overstated"
  • Oct 29 South Australian government axes the Adelaide 500 from 2021 Supercars Championship due to COVID-19 and falling revenue
  • Oct 30 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Aegean Sea kills at least 64 in Turkish city of Izmir and Greek Island of Samos
  • Oct 30 UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a second four-week lockdown for England
  • Oct 30 New DNA study of dogs suggests they were human's first domesticated animal, 11,000 years ago at end of the Bronze Age [1]

Deaths in History

  • Oct 1 Zef Eisenberg, British ultra-speed racer (world's fastest motorbike on sand 201.5mph; fastest wheel powered vehicle 210.33mph) and founder Maximuscle, dies in car speed record crash at 47
  • Oct 1 Derek Mahon, Irish poet (A Disused Shed in Co Wexford), dies at 78
  • Oct 4 Kenzō Takada, Japanese fashion designer (Kenzo), dies of COVID-19 complications at 81
  • Oct 7 Mario Molina, Mexican scientist, 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (CFC's effect on the ozone layer), dies at 77 [1]
  • Oct 8 Jim Dwyer, American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, dies of cancer at 63
  • Oct 18 Sid Hartman, American sports journalist (Minneapolis Star Tribune; WCCO 830 AM), dies at 100
  • Oct 18 Jill Paton Walsh, English writer (Peter Wimsey series, Knowledge of Angels), dies at 83 [1]
  • Oct 19 Hiroh Kikai, Japanese photographer (Asakusa Portraits), dies of lymphoma at 75
  • Oct 23 David Barnes, New Zealand sailor (470 world champion 1981, 83, 84), dies from multiple sclerosis at 62
  • Oct 24 Kevin McCarra, Scottish sports journalist (The Guardian, Scotland on Sunday, The Times), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 62