• On Oct. 6, 1683, encouraged by William Penn’s offer of 5,000 acres in the Pennsylvania colony and the freedom to practice their religion, the first Mennonites arrive in America. By the American Revolution, there were 100,000 Germans in Penn’s former colony.
• On Oct. 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. It remained that way until 1939 when President Roosevelt, hoping to boost the economy by providing shoppers a few extra shopping days before Christmas, temporarily moved Thanksgiving to November’s third Thursday.
• On Oct. 1, 1890, an act of Congress creates Yosemite National Park. More than 3 million people visit Yosemite annually to view such stunning landmarks as the 2,425-foot-high Yosemite Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the world.
• On Oct. 5, 1902, Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, is born. When Kroc died in 1984 there were more than 7,500 McDonald’s golden arches around the world.
• On Oct. 4, 1927, sculpting begins on the face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The first face chiseled was George Washington’s, with Jefferson’s to the right. But, within two years, Jefferson’s face cracked, and it was blasted off the mountain. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum then started over with Jefferson situated to the left of Washington.
• On Oct. 2, 1951, Gordon Sumner (better known as the musician Sting) is born in Newcastle, England. He picked up his nickname because of the black-and-yellow-striped shirt he frequently wore.
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.