On This Day, Oct. 9, 1635 – Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams Banished from Massachusetts


1635Puritan minister Roger Williams was found guilty of spreading “newe & dangerous opinions” and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Like many of those who came to Plymouth Colony in the 1620s and ’30s, he was a Separatist, who believed that Puritans must break with the Church of England. His Separatism as well as his unorthodox ideas on freedom of worship got him into trouble with church officials, and he fled England to avoid arrest.

Before leaving England in 1630, Williams had seen heretics whipped, imprisoned, and burned at the stake. He called for religious freedom, a serious threat to the social order, and avoided arrest only by fleeing to Boston. Once in Massachusetts, he began preaching religious tolerance. The colony’s leaders agreed with the English authorities that this was nothing less than “Satan’s Policy.” They denounced his views and forced him out of the colony. He took refuge with the Narragansett Indians, whose chiefs sold land to him and his followers. They established a new settlement and named it Providence, in thanksgiving to God.

1701 – The Collegiate School of Connecticut was chartered in New Haven. The name was later changed to Yale.

1776 – A group of Spanish missionaries settled in what is now San Francisco.

1781 – The last major battle of the American Revolutionary War took place in Yorktown, VA. The American forces, led by George Washington, defeated the British troops under Lord Cornwallis.

1812 – During the War of 1812 American forces captured two British brigs, the Detroit and the Caledonia.

1855 – Isaac Singer patented the sewing machine motor.

1855 – Joshua C. Stoddard received a patent for his calliope.

1858 – Mail service via stagecoach between San Francisco and St. Louis began.

1872 – Aaron Montgomery started his mail order business with the delivery of the first mail order catalog. The firm later became Montgomery Wards.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson made their longest telephone call to date. It was a distance of two miles.

1888 – The public was admitted to the Washington Monument for the first time.

1919 – The Cincinnati Reds won the World Series. The win would be later tainted when 8 Chicago White Sox were charged with throwing the game. The incident became known as the “Black Sox” scandal.

1930 – Aviator Laura Ingalls landed in Glendale, CA, to complete the first solo transcontinental flight across the U.S. by a woman.

1936 – The first generator at Boulder Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles. The name of the dam was later changed to Hoover Dam.

1946 – The first electric blanket went on sale in Petersburg, VA.

1959 – Bobby Darin became the youngest performer to headline the Sands Hotel’s Copa Room in Las Vegas. Johnny Mathis held the previous record (he had been 23).

1975 – Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Soviet scientist is known as the “father of the hydrogen bomb.”

1983 – Helen Moss joined the Brownies at the age of 83. She became the oldest person to become a member.

1986U.S. District Judge Harry E. Claiborne became the fifth federal official to be removed from office through impeachment. The Senate convicted Claiborne of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

1989 – The official Soviet news agency Tass reported an unidentified flying object. The report included a trio of tall aliens that had visited the city of Voronzh.

1994 – The U.S. sent troops and warships to the Persian Gulf in response to Saddam Hussein sending thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks toward the Kuwaiti border.

1995 – Saboteurs tinkered with a stretch of railroad track in Arizona. An Amtrak train derailed killing one and injuring a hundred.

2000 – Brett Hull (Dallas Stars) scored his 611th National Hockey League (NHL) goal. The goal allowed him to pass his father, Bobby Hull, on the all time scoring list bringing him to number 9.

2009 – NASA launched the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS). On November 13, it was announced that water had been discovered in the planned impact plume on the moon.


Source: massmoments.org; On-this-day.com