This Day In History : October 14

1947 United States

First Human to Fly Faster than the Speed of Sound

On October 14, 1947, United States Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time in history. Flying the experimental Bell X-1 rocket plane, named Glamorous Glennis after his wife, Yeager reached a speed of Mach 1.06 (700 miles per hour or 1,127 kilometers per hour) at an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,700 meters) over the Rogers Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert of California.

Also on This Day in History October 14

Discover what happened on October 14 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, October 14
  • 1939 Ralph Lauren

    American fashion designer who founded the Ralph Lauren Corporation

  • 1857 Elwood Haynes

    American automotive pioneer (built one of 1st US autos)

  • 1788 Edward Sabine

    Irish-English physicist, astronomer who contributed in various scientific fields, including experiments to determine the shape of the Earth and studies of Earth’s magnetic field

  • 1898 Maurice Martenot

    French cellist, WWI radio telegrapher, and instrument inventor (ondes Martenot)

  • 1946 Craig Venter

    American biotechnologist and geneticist  (first draft sequence of the human genome)

Deaths on This Day, October 14
  • 1984 Martin Ryle

    English radio astronomer who worked on radar for British wartime defense

  • 1940 Heinrich Kayser

    German physicist who discovered the presence of helium in the Earth's atmosphere

  • 1971 Norman Steenrod

    American mathematician (algebraic topology)

  • 2006 Maurice Grosse

    British paranormal investigator

  • 2010 Benoît Mandelbrot

    Polish-French-American mathematician (proved Zipf's law, discovered the Mandelbrot set)


George Eastman receives a U.S. patent for his new paper strip photographic film

On October 14, 1884, photography pioneer, George Eastman, received his patent for a paper-strip photographic film. Initially, photography was primarily done using "wet plates", which was expensive and annoying to transport.

Senghenydd Colliery Disaster

The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster, which occurred on October 14, 1913, was one of the most devastating mining accidents in the history of the United Kingdom. Located in the Welsh village of Senghenydd, near Caerphilly, the disaster resulted in the deaths of 439 miners. The explosion, caused by a buildup of methane gas underground, ignited coal dust, leading to a powerful blast that caused widespread destruction within the mine.

1st Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C.

The first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place in Washington, D.C., on October 14, 1979. This groundbreaking event drew between 75,000 and 125,000 gay men, lesbians, bisexual people, transgender individuals, and straight allies. Their purpose was to demand equal civil rights and advocate for the passage of protective civil rights legislation.

1st Continental Congress makes Declaration of Colonial Rights in Philadelphia

The First Continental Congress made the Declaration of Colonial Rights on October 14, 1774, in Philadelphia. This declaration outlined the grievances of the American colonies against the British Parliament and asserted their rights as British subjects.
Special day
Discover invention