This Week in History: US Revolution, Mao, Marie Antoinette, John Brown, El Cid, Persian Shah, JPII, Zama, and More

As the rumblings of World War III seem to be threatening the world, one cannot but recall the warning that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. This week is packed with important historical events, key parts of our past that can help us understand how we got here and where we should go in the future—avoiding the mistakes of the past, but taking note of our ancestors’ victories.

October 16

1793 – French Queen Marie Antoinette is executed under the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Contrary to legend, Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake,” and she and her husband were actually democratically-minded monarchs; Louis, unfortunately too weak to stop the inevitable crisis after years of aristocratic and royal corruption, was attempting reforms.1 Marie Antoinette was a woman with a compassionate heart, a devoted mother to her children, and she certainly tried to help the poor.

1854 – Poet, playwright, and novelist Oscar Wilde is born in Dublin, Ireland.

1859 – “Fanatical abolitionist John Brown seized the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry with about 20 followers. Three days later, Brown was captured and the insurrection was put down by U.S. Marines under the command of Col. Robert E. Lee. Brown was convicted by the Commonwealth of Virginia of treason, murder, and inciting slaves to rebellion, and was hanged on December 2, 1859.” Brown‘s character is still debated today, some calling him “hero,” some calling him “villain.” The tune for the great American hymn “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was borrowed from a song that served as a rallying cry for abolitionists and Union soldiers during the Civil War era: “John Brown’s Body.”

1863 – U.S. Grant, who would lead Union victory in the Civil War and go on to the presidency, is given command of Union forces in the West.

1886 – David Ben-Gurion, the “Father of the [modern] Nation” of Israel, is born in Poland.

1916 – Rabidly racist eugenicist, Democrat, and Nazi sympathizer Margaret Sangeropens the first U.S. “birth control clinic” in New York; she is the founder of abortion giant Planned Parenthood. Sanger, who gave a speech to the KKK and supported forced sterilizations, said (among other disturbing quotes), “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

1923 – The Walt Disney Company, now one of the most influential media and entertainment companies in the world, is founded by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio.

1978 – “Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland was elected Pope. He was the first non-Italian Pope chosen in 456 years and took the name John Paul II.”

October 17

1777 – “During the American Revolutionary War, British General John Burgoyne and his entire army of 5,700 men surrendered to American General Horatio Gates after the Battle of Saratoga, the first big American victory.”

1944 – “The Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history, took place off the Philippine Islands, during World War II in the Pacific.”

October 18

1009 – “The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is destroyed by the [Muslim] Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the Church’s foundations down to bedrock.”

1945 – “The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial began with indictments against 24 former Nazi leaders including Hermann Göring and Albert Speer.”

1977 – The New York Yankees win their 21st World Championship; Reggie Jackson ties Babe Ruth’s record of 3 consecutive home runs.

October 19

202 BC – Scipio Africanus and the Romans defeat Hannibal and the Carthaginians at the Battle of Zama, ending the Second Punic War.

1781 – Following the Battle of Yorktown, Gen. Lord Cornwallis and the British surrender to the Americans after the American Revolutionaries and their French allies corner and defeat Cornwallis.

1870 – The first black U.S. congressmen are elected.

October 20

1935 – “Mao Zedong’s 6,000 mile ‘Long March’ ended as his Communist forces arrived at Yanan, in northwest China.” Mao is history’s greatest single mass murderer, responsible for up to 65 million deaths.

October 21

1094 –  a victory of the legendary Spanish knight Roderick Díaz, “El Cid,” who won though outnumbered 12-to-1 at the Battle of Cuarte.

1805 – Battle of Trafalgar.

October 22

794 – “Emperor Kanmu relocates Japanese capital to Heiankyo (now Kyoto).”

1734 – Legendary American frontiersman Daniel Boone is born.

1979 – “The exiled Shah of Iran arrived in the United States for medical treatment.”

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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