On November 1, 1512, the Sistine Chapel is opened to the public for the first time. Michelangelo has been working of it for 4 years at this point, and it’s considered today to be one of the greatest pieces of religious art in the Christian world.
Its 40m x 13m surface is viewed by tens of thousands of people every year, and may have to be protected in the future from atmospheric degradation, by either limiting the number of people in the room, or coating the surface with a preservative.
On October 31 1940, the Nazi army decides to end their attempt at extending their Blitzkrieg to the British Isles. A good chunk of the continent has been forcefully occupied, but crossing the strait between France and Great Britain has proven more complex than just rolling over everyone with tanks.
This was purely an air campaign, the idea being to at the very least bomb the British people into sitting out the rest of the war, freeing up a potential front to defend. The valiant efforts of the RAF, combined with the inability of the Luftwaffe to destroy the anti-air defenses, foiled that plan, forcing the Germans to envision a potential boat crossing and landing. But the British Navy and the RAF were too formidable a combination to be brash about that last ditch effort, and other fronts were opening up, so that plan never came to fruition.
On October 30, 1987, NEC wins the “next gen” console race to 16 bits by releasing the “PC Engine”. Much less famous than the SNES from Nintendo or the Megadrive/Genesis from Sega, , it was nonetheless the first – and sold well.
Conversely, it remained a highly popular gaming system in Japan, games being released on it as late as 1999. At the time, the most popular console was probably the PlayStation (PS1), but the PlayStation 2 was to be released only a handful of months later, in 2000.
On October 29, 1787, the first performance of Don Giovanni is performed in Prague. Mozart has been working on it since earlier that year, and it has changed score and ordhestration several times, which is somewhat uncharacteristic of Amadeus.
Don Juan (or Don Giovanni) is a darker story in this version than most: the famous seducer (and also sexual predator / rapist) starts off by killing the Commendatore, the father of one of his victims, in a duel, then wanders around trying to “seduce” (or actually rape, most of the times) the fiancée of another man, being thwarted at every turn by the fantastical amount of enemies he has made, and finally gets dragged to Hell by the ghost of the Commendatore, animating his own graveyard statue. Yikes.
On Oct 28, 1922, Benito Mussolini and his followers march on Rome to take control of the Italian government. For weeks, the “blackshirts” had been engaged in paramilitary operations, and this march is a show of force. Italy’s King, afraid of a civil war, hands the post Prime Minister to Mussolini the very next day.
Funnily enough, Il Duce didn’t actually participate in the march, probably to avoid problems if it ever turned into a blood bath. He did, however, ask after the US’ position regarding his movement, who apparently blessed the whole thing through their ambassador, Mr Child.
On Oct 27, 1961, Apollo-1 is successfully fueled and launched. It reaches an apex of nearly 137km, before coming down and splashing in the ocean.
For reference, planes can’t fly higher than 25km because there isn’t enough air to support flight, a common definition of “being in space” starts at 100km.
130km is the distance between New York and Philadelphia, Paris and Reims are 140km apart, and there are 120km between Sydney and Newcastle.