On This Day In History

Our "On This Day in History" section of the website is designed to provide teachers with video resources to help students better understand significant events throughout U.S. history.

Each event features several short video clips that help set the stage by providing context through archival footage and witness testimony (where available), utilizing C-SPAN's unique access to historical newsreels, vignettes, oral history, and expert analysis.

As one of the most recent additions to our site, this area will continue to develop each month. If you or your students have suggestions for key moments in history that are not currently represented, please email us at educate@c-span.org.

  • Document ImageOctober 1, 1890

    Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite National Park located in central California was founded on October 1, 1890. Yosemite was the first…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 4, 1957

    The Launch of Sputnik

    On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, into low Earth orbit.…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 4, 1927

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial

    Gutzon Borglum began construction on a monument near Keystone, South Dakota on October 4, 1927 and the project was…

    3 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 10, 1845

    The Creation of the U.S. Naval Academy

    On October 10, 1845, the United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland. Originally named the…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 12, 2000

    USS Cole Bombing

    On October 12, 2000, the Navy destroyer USS Cole, was bombed during a refueling stop in the port of Aden in…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 15, 1966

    Black Panther Party

    On October 15, 1966, in Oakland, CA, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party. This group…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 16, 1859

    John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

    On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and his team launched a raid on a federal armory located in…

    3 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 17, 1973

    OPEC Declares Oil Embargo

    On October 17, 1973, OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, declared an oil embargo on…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 18, 1962

    Cuban Missile Crisis

    In October 1962, the U.S. engaged in a 13 day confrontation with the Soviet Union over the deployment of…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 19, 1781

    The British Surrender at Yorktown

    On October 19, 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis and his troops surrendered to the American and French…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 26, 2001

    U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act

    On October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act into law. The title of the…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageOctober 28, 1886

    Statue of Liberty

    The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York City. The statue was a gift from the French…

    3 Video Clips