25 Years Ago
October 1, 1981 President Ronald Reagan pledges that the United States will not let Saudi Arabia fall into the hands of any power that threatens to cut off its supply of petroleum to the West. The statement seems motivated by fears of an Iran-style revolution. On October 28, after much horse-trading and arm-twisting by Reagan’s aides, the Senate votes, 52–48, to permit sales of AWACS planes and other high-tech military equipment to the Saudis.
October 2, 1981 President Reagan abandons the mobile MX missile plan and announces his support for basing intercontinental missiles in hardened silos instead.
50 Years Ago
October 8, 1956 Don Larsen, a mediocre pitcher who was knocked out in the second inning of his previous start, pitches the only perfect game in World Series history as the New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 2–0.
75 Years Ago
October 17, 1931 The Chicago gangster Al Capone is found guilty of income tax fraud. He will be sentenced to 11 years in prison and a $50,000 fine but will be released in 1939 because of ill health.
October 24, 1931 The George Washington Bridge, which links New York City with New Jersey across the Hudson River, is officially dedicated.
350 Years Ago
October 2, 1656 The colony of Connecticut passes legislation providing for Quakers to be fined and banished as religious heretics. Later in the month Massachusetts will enact similar laws.