• On Oct. 2, 1780, British Major John Andre is hanged as a spy by U.S. military forces in New York. Andre, an accomplice of Benedict Arnold, was captured with incriminating papers in his boot. The papers revealed Arnold’s offer to surrender West Point to the British for a bribe of 20,000 pounds.
• On Oct. 3, 1863, expressing gratitude for a Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an offi- cial Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26, and on the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter.
• On Oct. 1, 1890, an act of Congress creates Yosemite National Park, paving the way for generations of nature lovers. Yosemite’s natural beauty is immortalized in the stark black-and-white landscape photographs of Ansel Adams (1902-1984).
• On Sept. 30, 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, is commissioned by the U.S. Navy. In August 1958, the Nautilus accomplished the first voyage under the geographic North Pole.
• On Oct. 6, 1961, President John F. Kennedy advises American families to build bomb shelters to protect themselves from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. One year later, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear war after the USSR placed nuclear missiles in Cuba.
• On Oct. 5, 1978, Isaac Bashevis Singer wins the Nobel Prize for literature. Singer wrote about Jewish life in Poland and the United States. One of his stories, “Yentl,” was made into a movie directed by and starring Barbra Streisand in 1983.
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