The coming days will mark the anniversary of some major American and global events. Here is a quick rundown of this week in history.
On Oct. 24, 1929, the Wall Street Stock Exchange crashed as nearly 16 million stocks were dumped and sold by investors after the DOW Jones fell a considerable percentage the day before. This would come to be known as “Black Tuesday.” It was the official start to the Great Depression, and the economic hardship would not end for over a decade. Several wealthy families came to together and decided to buy large portions of stocks on the exchange to demonstrate their confidence in the market and hopefully persuade smaller investors to do the same, but their efforts did little to repair the damage. Nearly one of out every three Americans would be without work during this time period, and the stock market would not reach its 1929 peak again until 1954.
On the same day in 1945, the United Nations Charter took effect after it was accepted and ratified by nearly all major countries. It was a more thorough and powerful entity than the League of Nations that President Woodrow Wilson had pushed for after the First World War, and the organization began to operate just a few months after World War II officially came to a close. The United Nations building in New York City would be completed in 1952, and it has been located there ever since.
On Oct. 25, 1854, the Charge of the Light Brigade would be led by British officer Lord Cardigan against Russian forces in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, the supreme commander of the British forces during the battle, had originally intended to have the brigade flank the enemy and capture some artillery pieces that were being moved. However, due to a problem and miscommunication through the chain of command, Lord Cardigan believed he was being ordered to conduct a direct frontal assault upon the most heavily armed and defended portion of the Russian army. Despite his confusion, Cardigan followed his orders and charged across the field. The Light Brigade would suffer horrendous losses during the attack and were forced to retreat almost immediately. The actions and bravery of the cavalry unit would be immortalized in Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of The Light Brigade.”
On Oct. 27, 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers appeared in print arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Over the course of the next year, 85 essays would be published in favor of the Constitution and written under the pseudonym Publius. The actual authors were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. The three men would be incredibly important figures in the founding of the United States, and would go on to become the first Secretary of the Treasury, the fourth President and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, respectively. Their efforts were not in vain as the Constitution was eventually ratified by all thirteen original states by 1790.
Seamus McKeever is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.