• On Oct. 25, 1881, Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain. Picasso’s work comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures and ceramics produced over 80 years. He had his first exhibit at age 13.
• On Oct. 24, 1901, schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel in an attention-getting stunt. She reached the shore alive, if a bit battered. Taylor claimed she was in her 40s, but records later showed she was 63.
• On Oct. 26, 1942, the last U.S. carrier built before America entered World War II, the USS Hornet, is so badly damaged by Japanese warplanes in the Battle of Santa Cruz that it must be abandoned and was later sunk. The Hornet launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.
• On Oct. 21, 1967, in Washington, D.C., nearly 100,000 people gather to protest the war in Vietnam, and more than 50,000 later marched to the Pentagon. Polls taken that summer showed that American support for the war had fallen below 50%.
• On Oct. 22, 1975, Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, is given a “general” discharge after publicly declaring his homosexuality. Matlovic’s discharge was later upgraded to “honorable,” and he was buried with full military honors in 1988.
• On Oct. 23, 1989, 23 people are killed in a series of explosions sparked by an ethylene leak at a Phillips Petroleum plant in Pasadena, Texas. The blasts were caused by inadequate safety procedures.
• On Oct. 27, 2006, the last Ford Taurus rolls off the assembly line in Hapeville, Georgia. The keys to the silver car went to 85-year-old Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A, who added it to his automobile collection.
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