This Day In History : October 19

1967 United States

Mariner 5 makes fly-by of Venus

Mariner 5 flew by Venus on October 19, 1967, at an altitude of 3,990 kilometers (2,480 miles). This spacecraft was part of the Mariner program and carried out experiments to probe Venus’s atmosphere using radio occultation, measure the hydrogen Lyman-alpha spectrum in the hard ultraviolet range, and sample solar particles and magnetic field fluctuations above the planet. Its mission provided valuable insights into both Venus and interplanetary space conditions.

Also on This Day in History October 19

Discover what happened on October 19 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, October 19
  • 1956 Grover Norquist

    American activist who founded Americans for Tax Reform

  • 1859 Georg Knorr

    German engineer who created brake system trains

  • 1910 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

    Indian astrophysicist (Nobel Prize 1983 for work on structure and evolution of the stars)

  • 1862 Auguste Lumière

    French engineer and filmmaker who made the 1st movie (Workers Leaving Lumière Factory)

  • 1895 Lewis Mumford

    American architectural critic, urban planner and historian

Deaths on This Day, October 19
  • 1897 George Pullman

    American engineer and businessman who founded the Pullman Company and designed and manufactured the Pullman sleeping car

  • 2004 Lewis Urry

    Canadian-American chemical engineer who invented the ubiquitous alkaline batteries and lithium batteries

  • 1875 Charles Wheatstone

    English scientist (sound transmission), and inventor (English concertina; stereoscope; Playfair cipher)

  • 1937 Ernest Rutherford

    New Zealand physicist and father of nuclear physics (Nobel 1908)

  • 1926 Victor Babeş

    Romanian physician and bacteriologist


Cho Oyu Scaled for the First Time in Recorded History

Cho Oyu was scaled for the first time in recorded history on October 19, 1954, by an Austrian expedition team led by Herbert Tichy, along with climbers Joseph Jöchler and Pasang Dawa Lama. This achievement marked a significant milestone in mountaineering, as Cho Oyu is the sixth-highest mountain in the world, standing at 8,188 meters (26,864 feet) above sea level.

Streptomycin is Discovered

Streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis, was discovered by American biochemists Selman Waksman, Albert Schatz, and Elizabeth Bugie in 1943. The discovery took place in the United States.

US Navy Allows Black Women to Join WAVES

The US Navy announced that Black women could join the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) on October 19, 1944. This decision marked a significant step towards racial integration and equality within the US military during World War II. WAVES was established to enable women to serve in non-combat roles, freeing up men for combat duty, and the inclusion of Black women represented progress in both gender and racial integration in the armed forces.

Scientists Find Evidence Suggesting Life on Earth Began 4.1 Billion Years Ago

On October 19, 2015, a team of scientists from the University of California announced a groundbreaking discovery that suggested life on Earth might have begun as early as 4.1 billion years ago, significantly earlier than the previously accepted timeline. This revelation pushed back the origin of life by approximately 300 million years.
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