Over the coming days we will celebrate the anniversaries of several important events in American and global history. Here is a quick rundown of this week in history.
On Oct. 9, 1701, The Collegiate School of Connecticut opened its doors for the first time. A few years later it would be renamed as Yale University. Yale was one the nine colleges started in America before the revolution and is the third oldest school behind Harvard University and The College of William and Mary. It issued the first doctoral degree in America in 1861 and has consistently been ranked as one of the top universities in the world.
On the same day in 1781, the siege of Yorktown continued during the American Revolution in Virginia. George Washington led the Continental Army while Charles Cornwallis directed the British forces. The British retreat to sea was blocked by a supporting French naval fleet commanded by Admiral de Grasse. This battle, which ended on Oct. 19, marked the end of major engagements in the war. The Continental Army, coupled with untrained militia, had managed to defeat the most powerful army in the world at the time and one of the Britain’s best generals. The war would officially come to an end in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
On Oct. 11, 1975, the first episode of Saturday Night Live premiered from New York City on NBC. Directed by Lorne Michaels, SNL became one of the most popular sketch comedy shows at the time. Its first host was George Carlin. It has been nominated for over 150 Emmys during its run, more than any other show in history. Many of its cast rose to fame through the show and would go on to be successful in writing, comedy, films and other television shows. Notable alums of SNL include Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, John Belushi, Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler.
And lastly, on Oct. 13, 2010, the 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped underground from the Copiapo mining accident were finally rescued. The group of men had been stuck for 69 days nearly 2,300 feet below the surface due to a cave in above them. Thirteen days after the accident, a note was found on one of the drill bites stating that all men were safe and in the shelter together. Supplies and a camera were brought to the trapped men via a smaller drill and allowed them to survive until they could be reached. This mobilized the Chilean government to save them and a singular shaft was drilled down to the miners over a two month period. The shaft was only big enough for a capsule capable of carrying one man at a time, so one by one the men were brought to the surface to be reunited with their loved ones. Nearly one billion people watched the rescue operation worldwide on various news networks. The last man brought up to be saved was the leader of the group, Luis Urzua.
Seamus McKeever is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.