On this day, October 18

By Ray Kaiser
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1775

The first published African-American female poet, Phillis Wheatley, was freed from slavery.

1851

Under the title The Whale, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was first published by Richard Bentley of London.

1867

The United States officially took possession of Alaska after purchasing it form Russia for $7.2 million. This day is celebrated in the state as Alaska Day.

1929

The Supreme Court of Canada was overruled in Edwards v. Canada by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council when it declared that under Canadian Law women were considered “persons.”

1945

Then-Venezuelan president Isaías Medina Angarita was overthrown by Venezuelan armed forces in a single day.

1951

The Studio for Electronic Music, the first modern music studio, was established at the West German Broadcasting facility.

1954

The first transistor radio was announced by Texas Instruments.

1963

A black and white female Parisian stray cat named Félicette becomes the first cat launched into space.

1967

The Soviet probe Venera 4 becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet upon reaching Venus.

1979

The Federal Communications Commission began to allow the possession of home satellite earth stations, or satellite TV antennas, without a federal government license.

2003

During a conflict regarding the exploitation of the nation’s natural gas reserves, the Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada was forced to both resign and leave Bolivia.

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