October 1 (A Double)
Also known as the Battle of Arbela.
Alexander the Great crushed King Darius III's Persian army, even though Darius entered the battle with a 1,000,000 man army (according to ancient historian, Arrian).
Obviously the ancient estimation is terribly inaccurate, but there's little doubt the Persians had at least a 4-1 advantage, which simply meant Alexander had more enemies to kill...Reasonable estimates claim Alexander suffered around 10,000 casualties compared to 140,000 for Darius.
Gaugamela is one of the most decisive and important battles in history, and it's result went a long way towards Alexander becoming the 'Master of the Known World.'
1952 - Britain exploded its first atom bomb, at Monte Bello Island, Australia.
Anytime a country solves and figures out how to weaponize the power of the atom it signifies a great event...Maybe not a good one, but definitely a great one.
1800 - The Treaty of San Ildefonso.
A secret treaty between France and Spain: Spain gave the Louisiana Territory to France...Spain didn't have much of a choice, with Napoleon threatening to take over Spain.
France didn't control the territory for long, though, and sold it to the U.S. in 1803.
1903 - The first World Series began in Boston.
Not the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Pilgrims v. Pittsburgh Pirates...Eventually won by the Pilgrims, who won 5 of 8 games in the best-of-nine series.
1934 - Adolph Hitler expanded the German army and navy, and created an air force, violating the Treaty of Versailles.
Hitler promised he'd do it, and no one took him seriously...Sadly, this reality continued for the next five years, but by then it was too late to reverse his gains.
Sadly, the civilized world continues to make similar mistakes with madmen in our time.
1939 - Winston Churchill said the USSR "is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma": WWII.
Churchill is the greatest leader of the 20th Century and he had this description perfectly pegged...The Soviets did nothing to prove otherwise with their bizarre actions in the first years of the war - nor during the rest of or after the war.
1942 - The German Army ground to a complete halt within the city of Stalingrad: WWII.
The great German Army was about to get it's first taste of 'Hell on Earth'...Which they'd been giving the rest of Europe for the past three years.
The battle turned into an artillery and sniper's battle, with both sides looking for any breakout possibility.
Needless to say, it was damn cold pretty soon, and the Germans were extremely unprepared for a prolonged battle in the Russian winter. But at least they had the 'Fat Field Marshal' to count on delivering his promise of supplying the Army from the air...Hahahaha!! If you don't get that, you need to visit this site more often.
The offensive phases of Stalingrad were awesome (Germans in the beginning and Soviets in the end), but this period of stagnant-warfare proved to be a slaughter-house for both sides.
Again, I can't stress how much I recommend you read up on the Battle of Stalingrad. Simply, the greatest battle in the history of the world.
1949 - Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung raised the first flag of the People's Republic of China during a ceremony in Beijing.
There's no way the Communists should have been able to win this battle, but they did.
Fortunately, China proved to be a different kind of communism than the Soviet system...Unfortunately, it proved to be equally deadly - also much heartier and sustaining.
1961 - Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run.
MARIS IS THE REAL SINGLE-SEASON HOME RUN KING!!!
Forget 'Roids Mac,' 'Roids Sammy,' and 'Roids Bonds.'