October 2, 1967 - Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) was sworn in as the first African American associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served until 1991 and was known for opposing discrimination and the death penalty, and for championing free speech and civil liberties.
October 3, 1990 - After 45 years of Cold War division, East and West Germany were reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany.
October 6, 1927 - The first "talkie" opened in New York. The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson was the first full-length feature film using spoken dialogue.
October 13, 1792 - The cornerstone of the White House was laid by George Washington. The building, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is three stories tall with over 100 rooms, and was designed by James Hoban. In November of 1800, President John Adams and his family moved in. The building was first known as the "Presidential Palace," but acquired the name "White House" about 10 years after its completion. It was burned by British troops in 1814, then reconstructed, refurbished and reoccupied in 1817.
October 14, 1964 - Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the $54,000 in prize money to the Civil Rights movement.
October 19, 1781 - As their band played The World Turned Upside Down, the British Army marched out in formation and surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown. More than 7,000 British and Hessian troops, led by British General Lord Cornwallis, surrendered to General George Washington. The war between Britain and its American colonies was effectively ended. The final peace treaty was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783.
October 27, 1904 - The New York City subway began operating, running from City Hall to West 145th Street, the first underground and underwater rail system in the world.
October 30, 1938 - The War of the Worlds radio broadcast panicked millions of Americans. Actor Orson Welles and the Mercury Players dramatized the story by H.G. Wells depicting a Martian invasion of New Jersey. Their script utilized simulated radio news bulletins which many listeners thought were real.
October 31, 1941 – Mount Rushmore National Memorial was completed after 14 years of work. The memorial contains 60-foot-tall sculptures of the heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt - representing America's founding, political philosophy, preservation, and expansion and conservation.