#TodayInHistory – October 273 min read
October 27 – Some important events on this day.
312 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.
Constantine the Great’s rule over the Roman Empire was impactful for many reasons, one of the most famous being his conversion to Christianity and promotion of the religion during his lifetime. His conversion to Christianity on his deathbed was preceded by the Edict of Milan in 313 which declared tolerance for the Christian faith across the Roman Empire. He also played an influential role in developing the Nicene Creed, the Christian statement of belief, in 325, and also ordered construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the supposed site of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem, now the holiest site in Christianity.
This process of conversion is debated by historians, but some believe it began at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, one of the civil wars during Constantine’s reign. The day before this battle, on this day, Constantine is said to have had a vision of a cross in the sky in which “he saw with his own eyes in the heavens and a trophy of the cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message, In Hoc Signo Vinces” (“with this sign, you shall win”). Constantine’s forces then arrived at the battle with symbols unfamiliar to his opponent, with the Emperor developing the Chi Rio symbol to symbolize Jesus Christ.
Whatever the case, Constatine’s advocacy for the Christian faith marked a significant turning point in the religion’s history, leading it to become the dominant religion in the Empire and subsequently across Europe for centuries to come.
1275 👉🏼 Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam
1795 👉🏼 Pinckney’s Treaty [Treaty of San Lorenzo] signed by Spain and US, establishing the southern boundary of the US and giving Americans right to navigate the Mississippi River
1904 👉🏼 First section of New York subway – Lower Manhattan to Broadway Harlem, opened by Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT), fare one nickel.
At 2:35 on the afternoon of this day, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.
While London boasts the world’s oldest underground train network (opened in 1863) and Boston built the first subway in the United States in 1897, the New York City subway soon became the largest American system. The first line, operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), traveled 9.1 miles through 28 stations. Running from City Hall in lower Manhattan to Grand Central Terminal in midtown, and then heading west along 42nd Street to Times Square, the line finished by zipping north, all the way to 145th Street and Broadway in Harlem. On opening day, Mayor McClellan so enjoyed his stint as engineer that he stayed at the controls all the way from City Hall to 103rd Street.
At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel each to take their first ride under Manhattan.
1938 👉🏼 DuPont announces its new synthetic polyamide fiber will be called “nylon”
1962 👉🏼 Black Saturday during the Cuban Missile Crisis: An American spy plane is shot down over Cuba and the navy drops warning depth charges on Soviet submarines
1982 👉🏼 China announces its population has reached 1 billion plus people
1986 👉🏼 British government deregulates financial markets in a “Big Bang”, enhancing London’s status as a financial capital while increasing income inequality