By Brent Ashworth
Oct 17, 2013

This Week in History, October 15, 2013

This week Brent Ashworth shares some autographs and discusses the size of autographs compared to the signers position. For example, President John Adams had a large signature as president but afterwards had a smaller signature. President Nixon also had a large signature but it was smaller after Watergate. What does your signature say about you?

  • 1793 – Queen Marie-Antoinette of France is tried and convicted in a swift, pre-determined trial in the Palais de Justice, Paris, and condemned to death the following day.
  • 1815 – Napoleon I of France begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. (see video)
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sinks during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley.
  • 1878 – The Edison Electric Light Company begins operation. See video for more on Thomas Edison.
  • 1917 – World War I: At Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for the German Empire. (see autograph)
  •  1951 – The first episode of I Love Lucy, an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley, airs on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
  • 1966 – Black Panther Party is created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War; The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam is held in Washington DC and across the US. Over 2 million demonstrate nationally; about 250,000 in the nation’s capital.
  • 1989 – Wayne Gretzky becomes the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL.
  • 1990 – Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation.


  • 1924, Lee Iacocca, American businessman and author
  • 1926, Jean Peters, American actress (d. 2000). See video
  • 1942, Penny Marshall, American ac tress and director
  • 1945, Jim Palmer, American baseball player


Message exchange between Jean Peters and Howard Hughes



Thomas Edison letter


Mata Hari letter


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One thought on “This Week in History, October 15, 2013

  1. AvatarEmily

    I love this portion of the newsletter. I feel like it has real relevance to the youth, who should also have access to this and be reading it!
    I also love that it has everything from the great things (Edison Electric Light Company) to the terrible bits of our history as people.


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