- Global Diversity Awareness Month reminds us of the positive impact a diverse workforce of men and women can have on society.
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed.
- LGBTQ History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the history of the gay-rights movement.
- Breast Cancer Awareness month
→ National Diversity Week, founded in 1998 to raise awareness about the diversity which has shaped and continues to shape the United States. It’s celebrated on a city- or company-wide scale across the U.S., though some organizations observe it at other times of the year. Celebrated October 1 through October 7, 2021 (the first full week of October).
→ Jerry Rescue Day. This observance celebrates the rescue of William Jerry Henry. Known as “Jerry,” Henry was a fugitive slave who was captured in Syracuse, New York but freed from jail on October 1, 1851, with the help of abolitionists. Originally a protest against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the “Jerry Rescue” was commemorated on that day each year from 1852 to 1859, and on occasion after that time.
→ Thurgood Marshall was sworn into the Supreme Court. In 1967, Judge Marshall became the first African American to sit on the highest court in the land. Opposing discrimination and the death penalty, he championed free speech and civil liberties.
→ International Day of Non-Violence: The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. In January 2004, Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi had taken a proposal for an International Day of Non-Violence from a Hindi teacher in Paris teaching international students to the World Social Forum in Mumbai.
→ Frank Robinson was signed as Major League Manager. In 1974, hired by the Cleveland Indians, he became the first African American to manage a major league baseball team.
→ International African Diaspora Day: African Diaspora is the term commonly used to describe the mass dispersion of peoples from Africa during the Transatlantic Slave Trades, from the 1500s to the 1800s. This Diaspora took millions of people from Western and Central Africa to diﬀerent regions throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
→ St. Francis Day, the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, celebrated by many Catholic denominations.
→ Blessing of the Animals, in congruence with St. Francis Day. Many Unitarian Universalists have picked up on the Catholic tradition of blessing animals, particularly pets, as St. Francis was known for his special connection to animals.
→ Do Something Nice Day: To be selfless and think about others. Not only should you think about them, but you should put your thoughts into action by doing something nice for them. Whatever you do should be done not because it will evoke a positive response from someone else, but because you are doing it from your heart.
→ 1947 First televised presidential speech in the United States: Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the US, called on Americans to use less grain to help Europe which was still reeling from the effects of the Second World War. He asked people to avoid eating meat on Tuesdays and eggs and poultry on Thursdays and to consume 1 less slice of bread every day.
→ National German-American Day honors the anniversary of the first German immigrants arriving in America. Since they touched down and created Germantown in Pennsylvania, German immigrants and their descendants have had a massive impact on American culture and history. From starting the first Kindergartens to giving us the legend of Santa Claus, Germans contributed more than you might know!
→ 2007 First successful human-powered attempt to circumnavigate the world: Englishman Jason Lewis set out on the journey, also called Expedition 360 on July 12, 1994, from Greenwich, London. The over 46,000-mile expedition around the world took him 4,833 days, during which he used only human-powered modes of transportation including bicycles, roller blades, and a pedal-powered boat.
→ International Walk to School Day: also known as National Walk Our Children to School Day and National Walk to School Day.
→ 1996 Fox News broadcasts for the first time: The 24-hour news channel with the slogan Fair and Balanced was created by Australian-American businessman and media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch. Today, it is one of the most-watched news channels in the United States.
→ International Lesbian Day celebrates lesbian culture: Mainly celebrated in New Zealand and Australia, the day is marked with lesbian community events. Celebration dances have taken place in Australia, ACON has used the day to launch their Lesbian Health Strategy, and the Australian magazine Lesbians On the Loose has used the date to celebrate their twentieth anniversary.
→ Famed World War I hero, Alvin C. York: Born on December 13, 1887, in Pall Mall, Tennessee, York became a member of the Church of Christ in the Christian Union while in his twenties. This fundamentalist group forbade violence, among other things, which influenced York to become a pacifist. After receiving his draft registration notice, his pastor advised him to seek conscientious objector status. He wrote “Don’t want to fight ” on his draft card before registering. His request was denied, he was drafted in November 1917, and was sent to basic training. The 82nd Infantry Division took part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive near Chatel-Chehery, France. On October 7, York’s unit was given orders to take Hill 223 the following morning, and then to advance to Decauville Railroad. The Americans took the hill around 6 a.m., but after continuing forward, while in a valley, they were pinned down by German machine gunners attacking from surrounding hills, and suffered many casualties.
→ Shemini Atzeret, a Jewish holiday also known as The Eighth (Day) of Assembly, takes place the day after the Sukkot festival, where gratitude for the fall harvest is deeply internalized. From the 9th -11th
→ National Leif Erikson Day Nordic communities worldwide will celebrate Leif Erikson Day – remembering the explorer credited with bringing the first Nordic people to America around the year 1000. The holiday has been adopted by a variety of states throughout the 20th century and represents a celebration of Norweigan explorers, the spirit of discovery, and the contributions of Norwegians in America.
→ Leif Erikson Day: is an annual holiday honoring Norse explorer and Viking Leif Erikson, the man who is believed to have led the first Europeans to continental North America, shortly after 1000 CE, centuries before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The holiday takes place on October 9—not on the anniversary of a date related to Erikson, but on the anniversary of the arrival of the Restauration to New York City from Stavanger, Norway, in 1825. This ship marked the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.
→ World Mental Health Day: Mental health has come a long way since the early nineties when the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) officially established the day. Our self-awareness and sensitivity towards it have changed things for the better. Our language surrounding mental health has improved as words like “crazy” and “lunatic” are used less flippantly and we come to better understand that they can be unintentionally hurtful and stigmatizing.
→ National Coming Out Day (In the U.S). For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
→ Cardi B’s Birthday: Cardi B was born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar and switched to her stage name when she became famous. . She was born in the South Bronx to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother.
→ Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday celebrated on October 11 commemorating the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492
→ National Farmers Day: The profession of farming began around 12,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock as hunter/gatherers settled down and started to plant their own food. In short, farming is one of the oldest jobs around.
→ National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization.
→ Navy’s Birthday: recognize the brave men and women who have served our country — past and present. Established during the Revolutionary War, the original Continental Navy was formed, disbanded, and then re-established nearly 10 years later. Today it’s the largest and most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage. The Navy also boasts the world’s largest aircraft carrier fleet, over 300,000 active personnel, and nearly 100,000 in the Ready Reserve.
→ 1792 Construction of the White House Begins: The office and residence of the President of the United States were designed by Irish architect James Hoban. It took 8 years for it to become livable and President John Adams became the first president to occupy the building on November 1, 1800.
→ Stop America’s Violence Everywhere: also known as SAVE Today
→ 1947 First Human to Fly Faster than the Speed of Sound: American Air Force test pilot, Chuck Yeager, flew the Bell X-1, an experimental aircraft at Mach 1.07 at an altitude of 45,000 ft. In doing so, he became the first person to break the sound barrier.
→ I Love Lucy Day celebrates the groundbreaking, and critically and commercially acclaimed sitcom, I Love Lucy, which premiered on this day in 1951, and ran until May of 1957. I Love Lucy starred Lucille Ball and her real-life husband Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.
→ National Spirit Day: the most prominent day of support for LGBTQ youth, was started in 2010 by Brittany McMillan, who wanted to take a stand against bullying and remember gay teens who had died by suicide, in order to increase awareness and acceptance and to prevent more tragedies. This was at a time of heightened media focus on the suicides of gay teens, and the death of Tyler Clementi directly inspired the creation of the holiday.
→ World Student Day: created by IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), is for prayer, celebration, support, and connection. According to IFES, “World Student Day is an annual day that unites our global movement to celebrate all that God is doing through IFES, and to pray for one another and the needs and opportunities for the coming year.” Students in IFES groups around the world connect with other student groups and support each other in prayer.
→ 1923 The Walt Disney Company was Founded: A leader in the international entertainment industry, the company was created by brothers Walt and Roy as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Today, the company is synonymous with cartoon and animated movies and characters.
→ Black Poetry Day, observed annually. This is a day to honor past and present black poets. Jupiter Hammon, the first published black poet in the United States, was born in Long Island, New York, on October 17, 1711. In honor of Hammon’s birth, we celebrate the contributions of all African Americans to the world of poetry
→ Start of Navratri, the nine-day festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It worships God in the form of the universal mother commonly referred to as Durga, Devi, or Shakti, and marks the start of fall. This is part of Hinduism’s culture and religion.
→ Multicultural Diversity Day, a national day created by Cleorah Scruggs, a fourth-grade teacher in Flint, Michigan, the day was adopted as a national event by the NEA’s 1993 Representative Assembly to “increase awareness of the tremendous need to celebrate our diversity collectively.”
→1867 Alaska Becomes a Part of the United States: the US had purchased the large and sparsely populated territory of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. The purchase was not seen as a positive acquisition by many American citizens who believed that adding Alaska to the US’s territory was a waste of taxpayers’ money. Many called the act Seward’s folly after Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was responsible for making the purchase. Alaska was admitted to the Union as a state in 1959. October 18 is annually celebrated as Alaska Day in Alaska.
→ Multicultural Diversity Day: In 1993, the Representative Assembly of the NEA adopted it nationwide, to “increase awareness of the tremendous need to celebrate our diversity collectively.” With this, Multicultural Diversity Day was born. The day is observed by educators, who focus special attention on multiculturalism and diversity in their classrooms during it.
→ LGBT Center Awareness Day: Celebrated on this day.
→ The International Day of the Air Traffic Controller is observed next Wednesday, October 20th, 2021. It has always been observed annually on October 20th.
→ 1973 Sydney Opera House Opens its Doors: The iconic building, which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, was designed by Danish architect Jørn Oberg Utzon. Construction on the performing arts center began in March 1959 and cost over $100 million.
→ 1959 The Guggenheim Opens its Doors: The Guggenheim Museum displays works from some of the world’s most celebrated and sought-after contemporary artists. Situated in the Manhattan area of New York, the museum was first opened in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. It was then named the Guggenheim Museum in 1952, after the death of the founder of the foundation that runs it, Solomon R. Guggenheim. The current museum building was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was opened to the public on this day.
→ Unity Day: those who are bullied are shown that they aren’t alone when people come together to wear and display the color orange. The color shows that those displaying it are against bullying, and are also united in kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. They wear orange for hope and to show support, and to show that no youth should experience bullying. The day brings together youth, parents, teachers, businesses, and community members to say that bullying is unacceptable and that students deserve to be safe.
→ Clean Up the Earth Day: takes place exactly six months after Earth Day. It is a day to reflect on the progress that has been made to make a cleaner world since that holiday, and a day to redouble efforts to make the world a cleaner place in the future.
→National Domestic Violence Awareness Month: the goal of the day is to raise awareness about domestic, spousal, and teen dating violence. People wear purple on the day, a color that has long been used by women seeking justice.
→ 2001 Apple announces the first iPod Player: The iPod is the world’s best-selling portable media player. Already 6 years after its initial launch, Apple announced that 100 million devices had been sold. The company has been criticized for its aggressive policies forcing users to use only original batteries and preventing them from freely sharing content with others.
→ 1964 Jean-Paul Sartre Turns Down Nobel Prize: The French existentialist philosopher and writer published a letter in the newspaper Le Figaro to explain why he did not want to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature he had been awarded the day before on October 22. In his letter, he said he did not want to take sides in the East and West struggle of the Cold War, by accepting an award that was given out by Western institutions.
→ Make a Difference Day: Celebrate this day.
→ World Polio Day: Every year to raise awareness for polio vaccination and eradication of polio. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
→ 1940 First African-American made general in the US military: Benjamin Oliver Davis became the first African-American general in the United States Army.
→ 1760 George III starts his reign: George III started his reign as the King of Great Britain and Ireland.
→ 1984 First Infant to Receive an Organ From Another Species: Born on October 14, 1984, with a rare congenital heart defect, Baby Fae received a heart from a baboon. The surgery was performed by Dr. Leonard L. Bailey at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. While the operation was successful, Baby Fae’s body rejected the heart, and she died a few weeks later.
→ 1863 The Football Association is Formed: The world’s oldest governing football body was created at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London. The foundation was instrumental in creating and formalizing the rules of the game. Before this, every area and organization playing football (soccer) made its own rules.
→ Navy Day: is observed
→ 1904 New York City Subway Begins Operations: The oldest underground subway system in the United States, construction of the transit system began in 1902. Today, the NYC subway is one of the world’s largest and the most used rapid transit systems in the world.
→ Statue of Liberty Dedication Day celebrates the Statue of Liberty and commemorates the day on which it was dedicated in 1886. The idea for the statue was proposed by French historian Edouard de Laboulaye in 1865. France decided to build and give the statue to the United States to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the alliance between the two countries during the Revolutionary War, and the friendship that continued afterward. An agreement was made that the statue would be paid for by the people of France, and the pedestal on which it would stand would be paid for by Americans. The project was delayed because of a lack of funds from both countries, especially the United States, but the money was eventually raised. French artist Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi designed the statue, and its support system was engineered by Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc and Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel—who shortly afterward became famous for his work on the Eiffel Tower. In June 1885 the statue arrived in New York City in 214 packing crates and was reconstructed on Bedloe’s Island—which was renamed Liberty Island in 1956. On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.
→ Separation of Church and State Day: commemorates the 1963 Supreme Court decision Abington School District v. Schempp, which ruled that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools is unconstitutional. Like many other Supreme Court rulings before and after it, Abington School District v. Schempp deals with the separation of church and state. This concept has been debated on American soil since before the country’s founding, and today’s holiday can be viewed not only as a commemoration of this one Court decision but also as a celebration of the concept of the separation of church and state in general.
→ 1863 Red Cross founded: Also known as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Red Cross is a humanitarian institution that has been a three-time recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
→ 1998 Oldest person to fly in space: John Glenn flew on the Discovery shuttle at the age of 77 years, making him the oldest person to fly in space.
→ 1961 Biggest Bomb in History is Detonated: The Soviet Union detonated Tsar Bomba or Big Ivan over the Mityushikha Bay test range on the Novaya Zemlya Island in the Arctic Circle. The 57 Megatons nuclear bomb was one-of-a-kind and the flash of light when it exploded at a height of 13,000 feet was visible over 1000 kilometers away.
→ 1908 First cross-country flight in Europe: French aviator Henri Farman flew from Bouy to Reims in France. The 14-mile journey took him about 20 minutes. Farman was also the co-founder of the Farman Aviation Works, an airline and engine manufacturing company.
→ Halloween is a holiday that is rooted in and was influenced by, both pagan and Christian traditions. On one hand, there are the influences of Celtic harvest festivals, such as the Gaelic festival Samhain, and on the other hand, Halloween stems from All Hallows’ Eve, which is the night before the Christian holiday of All Hallows’ Day—or All Saints Day. Halloween traditions were culled from these influences, and from varied traditions that different countries celebrated. The amalgamation of these influences helped to create what we now know as Halloween in the United States.
→ 2011 Day of Seven Billion: The world’s official population reached 7 billion on approximately this day. The United Nations Population Fund designated it as the Day of Seven Billion.