The middle of the harvest season, October 14th has witnessed some major historical events. Get to know some of the most famous events, births, and deaths that occurred on this day.
Famous October 14th Events
In the year 1066, the Battle of Hastings took place on October 14th. Perhaps one of the most famous battles of the Middle Ages, the event would change the course of European history. During the battle William the Conqueror defeated Harold II, King of England, who was killed during the battle. The outcome of the battle would establish Norman rule in England, leading to profound cultural change for its rulers and peoples.
On this day in 1892, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his 12-story collection, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Famous tales in the collection include “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Red-Headed League,” “The Adventure of the Speckled Band, and “A Case of Identity.” Doyle’s beloved fictional detective has been portrayed more than 200 times on film by more than 70 different actors—most recently, by Robert Downey Jr. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modern-day Holmes in the hit television series Sherlock.
On October 14, 1943, 600 Jews attempted to storm the fences of the Sobibor concentration camp. About 300 were unsuccessful and immediately murdered in the camp’s gas chambers. About 300 escaped into the forest and while the Nazi guards killed most of the escapees, about 50 reached freedom, including a couple who would later testify against Nazis during the post-war trials. According to historians, about 167,000 people were murdered at Sobibór, although this is a modest estimate. Unlike other camps like Auschwitz where Jews performed some work, this one was created exclusively for killing.
On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. was announced as the winner of the renowned Nobel Peace Prize. King received the prestigious award for his adherence to non-violence and his non-violent campaign to end racism. The prize committee was influenced by King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that took place in 1963 when he led 250,000 demonstrators to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. King was assassinated four years later, but his efforts led to laws prohibiting racial discrimination.
On this day in 1968, the Beatles completed their famous White Album. The band’s 9th studio album, the White Album reached number one status on both the British and U.S. charts even though no singles were released. The album contains some of the band’s most popular songs including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Dear Prudence,” and “Julia.” Though critics have called the album eccentric and highly variable, it’s often regarded with masterpiece standing, supporting the notion of Lennon and McCartney’s song-writing genius.
On October 14, 1978, network NBC premiered The Miracle Worker, a television adaptation of Helen Keller’s life story as well as the challenges of her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The film starred Patty Duke as Annie Sullivan (Duke previously won an Oscar for her portrayal of Keller in the 1962 film) and Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller. Gilbert had already achieved fame at her young age for playing Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. The television event was a highlight of the year’s televised showings for its portrayal of the blind and deaf Keller who would go on to become a great scholar and author.
Famous October 14th Births
On October 14, 1633, James II was born in London to parents King Charles I and Henrietta Marie of France. King of England, Ireland, and Scotland, James II is, perhaps, best known for being deposed as ruler during The Glorious Revolution rather than for his achievements as ruler. His promotion of Roman Catholicism led to his clashes with Parliament. After he was forced to abdicate, the crown passed to joint rulers William and Mary.
On this day in 1890, the WWII American 5-star general and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in the Denison, Texas. A beloved war hero, Eisenhower led the successful invasion of France during the years of 1944-1945 and also ranked as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces during WWII. Eisenhower served as President from 1953 to 1961 and is remembered as one of the most distinguished American presidents of the 20th century.
On this day in 1893, Lillian Gish was born in Springfield, Ohio. She was a legendary silent film star who became known as the First Lady of American Cinema. In fact, she starred in the highest-grossing film of the Silent Era—The Birth of a Nation (1915). She died at the age of 99 in 1993.
In the 1927 on October 14th, Roger Moore, legendary film actor, was born in London. Moore achieved acclaim for his portrayal of Agent 007 James Bond in celebrated series films like Moonraker and Octopussy. Moore was known for his handsome good looks and suave personality. He also starred in noteworthy films like The Saint, The Sea Wolves, and Cannonball Run.
Famous October 14th Deaths
Razia Sultana, first female Muslim ruler, died on this day in the year 1240. She was the Sultan of Delhi from 1236 until her death at the hands of her brother’s forces. Historians note that she and her husband were killed during battle. During he reign, she ruled over large tracts of modern-day Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
On this day in 1944, Erwin Rommel, Rommel, notorious German Field Marshall committed suicide by taking a cyanide pill at the age of 52. Rommel was in charge of the African campaign and was a supporter of the Nazi regime and Adolf Hitler.
Australian actor Errol Flynn died on October 14, 1959 at the age of 50. Flynn died of a heart attack in Vancouver, Canada. He is best known for his role as Robin Hood in the 1939 version of the Adventures of Robin Hood. Other noteworthy films starring Flynn include Santa Fe Trail, Dodge City, and The Charge of the Light Brigade.