This Day In History : October 10

1967 United States

The Outer Space Treaty goes into effect

The Outer Space Treaty, formally known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, went into effect on October 10, 1967. This landmark treaty was established to set the foundation for international space law, promoting the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.

Also on This Day in History October 10

Discover what happened on October 10 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, October 10
  • 1861 Fridtjof Nansen

    Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian, Nobel Prize laureate

  • 1797 Thomas Drummond

    Scottish civil engineer who invented the Drummond light (similar to limelight illumination in theatres)

  • 1892 Earle Dickson

    American inventor (Band-Aid)

  • 1936 Gerhard Ertl

    German surface chemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007)

  • 1958 John M. Grunsfeld

    American physicist and astronaut (STS 67, 81)

Deaths on This Day, October 10
  • 2015 Sybil Stockdale

    American activist who co-founded the National League of Families

  • 1929 Elijah McCoy

    Canadian-American inventor (57 patents)

  • 1708 David Gregory

    Scottish mathematician and astronomer (Astronomiae, physicae & geometricae elementa)

  • 2000 Sirimavo Bandaranaike

    Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960-65, 1970-77 and 1994-2000) and 1st female head of state

  • 1834 Thomas Say

    American naturalist and father of descriptive entomology


William Lassell, an English astronomer discovers Triton, the largest moon of the planet Neptune

On October 10, 1846, just 17 days after the planet Neptune was discovered by Johann Galle and Heinrich d'Arrest, English astronomer William Lassell discovered Triton, Neptune's largest moon. Using his self-built 24-inch reflecting telescope at his observatory in Liverpool, Lassell observed the moon and identified it as a companion to Neptune.

Fiji becomes independent

Fiji gained its independence from the United Kingdom on October 10, 1970. The move towards independence began after World War II when the British government began decolonizing its territories. A constitutional conference held in London in 1965 laid the groundwork for Fiji's independence.

United Airlines Boeing 247 explosion

On October 10, 1933, a United Airlines Boeing 247 exploded in mid-air near Chesterton, Indiana, killing all seven people on board. This tragic event is considered the first proven act of sabotage in the history of commercial aviation. Investigators found evidence of a bomb made with nitroglycerin, but the perpetrator was never identified, and the case remains unsolved.

The Windscale fire causes Britain's worst nuclear accident

The Windscale fire was a serious nuclear reactor accident that occurred at the Windscale Works in Cumberland, England (now Sellafield, Cumbria), on October 10, 1957. The fire originated in the graphite core of one of the two reactors, releasing radioactive contaminants into the atmosphere. It was caused by a combination of factors including a cooling failure during routine maintenance and design flaws in the reactor.
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