On October 7th, the Terminator was elected Governor of California in 2003. No, the world didn’t get taken over by robots, but Arnold Schwarzenegger did get the title as Governor in the most populous state in the nation with the world’s fifth largest economy. With no previous political experience, its still a mystery how Schwarzenegger beat his competition by more than 1 million votes. But don’t let that Austrian accent and hundred pounds of muscle fool you… I’m sure “he’ll be back”.
On October 8th, one of the most notorious fires in Chicago occurred in 1871. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern igniting a fire that burned for 2 days, costing an estimated 2 million dollars. Nowadays, that would be about $3 billion dollars. Talk about one expensive hamburger. Four square miles were left in ruins, destroying 17,450 buildings, killing 300 people and leaving 100,000 homeless.
On October 9th, socialist revolutionary Che Guevara was assassinated in Bolivia in 1967. He still remains one of the most famous anti-imperialism symbols. Guevara worked alongside with Fidel Castro as his right hand man and minister at this time. Guevara played a key role in Castro’s seizure of power from Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. After resigning, Guevara fled Cuba, but soon after, he was captured in Bolivia and murdered. He was placed in an unmarked grave, which was later uncovered. He was sent back to Cuba where he was then reburied in a ceremony attended by Castro and thousands of Cubans.
On October 10th, 1985, American and Italian forces teamed together to end one of the most epic cruise ship hijackings ever reported.. The Italian cruise ship known as Achille Lauro was hijacked by four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists in the Mediterranean sea. The hijackers demanded the release of 50 Palestinian militants imprisoned in Israel, or they would blow up the ship. President Reagan gave his final order, on this day, to intercept the aircraft on which the hijackers had boarded, forcing them to land the Boeing 737 airliner at the NATO airbase in Sicily. All 7 men were arrested and most received a sentence of life in prison.
On October 12th, Italian Explorer Christopher Columbus thought he had found East Asia in hopes of finding gold and spices in 1492. Columbus claimed land for the King and Queen of Spain, who had sponsored his attempt to find a western ocean route to China and India. Though Columbus underestimated the world’s size, his men along with three small ships received the highest honors by the Spanish court as being the first European to explore the Americas. Columbus died 14 years later without realizing just what he had achieved. His discovery of the New World would lead to making Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.