Cyrus the Great took Babylon in 539 BC. King John lost his crown jewels in The Wash in 1216. The first Oktoberfest is celebrated in Munich in honour of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in 1810. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by American schoolchildren for the first time in 1892. British nurse, Edith Cavell, was executed by the Germans in 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape into Belgium. Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was published in 1979. The Provisional IRA attempted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher by planting a bomb in Brighton's Grand Hotel in 1984. Five people were killed, 31 wounded.
Born today: Dmitri Donskoi (1350-1389), Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937), Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958), Magnus Magnusson (1929-2007), Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), David Vanian (1956) and Hugh Jackman (1968).
It is National Day in Spain, Thanksgiving Day in Canada, Mothers Day in Malawi and Columbus Day in the United States.