October 12 is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 80 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese-“Therese’s fields”-in honor of the crown princess; although locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n.” Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event, celebrated in varying forms all across Bavaria.
Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modelled after the Munich event.
The Munich Oktoberfest, traditionally, takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival will go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasts until the first Monday in October, to mark the 200-year anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called Wiesn for short, located near Munich’s centre.
Visitors eat huge amounts of traditional hearty fare such as Hendl (chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezn (Pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).
First hundred years
In the year 1811, an agricultural show was added to boost Bavarian agriculture. The horse race persisted until 1960, the agricultural show still exists and it is held every four years on the southern part of the festival grounds. In 1816, carnival booths appeared; the main prizes were silver, porcelain, and jewelry. The founding citizens of Munich assumed responsibility for festival management in 1819, and it was agreed that the Oktoberfest would become an annual event. Later, it was lengthened and the date pushed forward, the reason being that days are longer and warmer at the end of September.
To honour the marriage of King Ludwig I and Therese of Bavaria, a parade took place for the first time in 1835. Since 1850, this has become a yearly event and an important component of the Oktoberfest. 8,000 people-mostly from Bavaria-in traditional costumes walk from Maximilian Street, through the centre of Munich, to the Oktoberfest. The march is led by the Münchner Kindl.
Since 1850, the statue of Bavaria has watched the Oktoberfest. This worldly Bavarian patron was first sketched by Leo von Klenze in a classic style and Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler romanticised and “Germanised” the draft; it was constructed by Johann Baptist Stiglmaier and Ferdinand von Miller.
In 1853, the Bavarian Ruhmeshalle was finished. In 1854, 3,000 residents of Munich succumbed to an epidemic of cholera, so the festival was cancelled. Also, in the year 1866, there was no Oktoberfest as Bavaria fought in the Austro-Prussian War. In 1870, the Franco-Prussian war was the reason for cancellation of the festival. In 1873, the festival was once more cancelled due to a cholera epidemic. In 1880, the electric light illuminated over 400 booths and tents (Albert Einstein helped install light bulbs in the Schottenhamel tent as an apprentice in his uncle’s electricity business in 1896). In 1881, booths selling bratwursts opened. Beer was first served in glass mugs in 1892.
At the end of the 19th century, a re-organization took place. Until then, there were games of skittles, large dance floors, and trees for climbing in the beer booths. They wanted more room for guests and musicians. The booths became beer halls.
In 1887, the Entry of the Oktoberfest Staff and Breweries took place for the first time. This event showcases the splendidly decorated horse teams of the breweries and the bands that play in the festival tents. This event always takes place on the first Saturday of the Oktoberfest and symbolises the official prelude to the Oktoberfest celebration
In the year 1910, Oktoberfest celebrated its 100th birthday. 120,000 litres of beer were poured. In 1913, the Braurosl was founded, which was the largest Oktoberfest beer tent of all time, with room for about 12,000 guests.
I have very fond memories of Oktoberfest. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Europe, do it in late September because this is a must see and experience.
539 BC – The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon.
1216 – King John of England loses his crown jewels in The Wash, probably near Fosdyke, perhaps near Sutton Bridge
1279 – Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk founder of Nichiren Buddhism, inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon
1398 – The Treaty of Salynas is signed between Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the Great and the Teutonic Knights, who received Samogitia.
1492 – Christopher Columbus’s expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached South Asia
1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
1654 – The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100 people.
1692 – The Salem Witch Trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.
1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens for ‘Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds’ in Virginia
1792 – First celebration of Columbus Day in the USA held in New York
1793 – The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina
1810 – First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen
1822 – Peter I of Brazil is proclaimed the emperor of the Brazil
1823 – Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sells the first raincoat.
1871 – Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) enacted by British rule in India, which named over 160 local communities ‘Criminal Tribes’, i.e. hereditary criminals. Repealed in 1949, after Independence of India.
1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.
1901 – President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the “Executive Mansion” to the White House.
1915 – World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
1917 – World War I: The First Battle of Passchendaele takes place resulting in the largest single day loss of life in New Zealand history.
1918 – A massive forest fire kills 453 people in Minnesota.
1928 – An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children’s Hospital, Boston
1933 – The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, is acquired by the United States Department of Justice
1942 – World War II: Japanese ships retreat after their defeat in the Battle of Cape Esperance with the Japanese commander, Aritomo Goto dying from wounds suffered in the battle and two Japanese destroyers sunk by Allied air attack.
1945 – World War II: Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor.
1953 – “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial” opens at Plymouth Theatre, New York
1959 – At the national congress of APRA in Peru a group of leftist radicals are expelled from the party. They will later form APRA Rebelde.
1960 – Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe
1960 – Inejiro Asanuma, Chair of the Japanese Socialist Party, is assassinated in Japan by Otoya Yamaguchi, a 17-year-old. The cameras were rolling at the time, so the moment was caught on film.
1962 – Infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with record wind velocities; 46 dead and at least U.S. $230 million in damages
1964 – The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
1967 – Vietnam War: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives are futile because of North Vietnam’s opposition
1968 – Equatorial Guinea becomes independent from Spain
1970 – Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas
1972 – En route to the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk
1976 – The People’s Republic of China announces that Hua Guofeng is the successor to the late Mao Zedong as chairman of Communist Party of China.
1979 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published.
1979 – The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip.
1983 – Japan’s former Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei is found guilty of taking a $2 million bribe from Lockheed and is sentenced to 4 years in jail.
1984 – Brighton hotel bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet. Thatcher escapes but the bomb kills five people and wounds 31.
1986 – Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the People’s Republic of China
1988 – Jaffna University Helidrop: Commandos of Indian Peace Keeping Force raided the Jaffna University campus to capture the LTTE chief and walked into a trap.
1988 – Two officers of the Victoria Police are gunned down executional style in the Walsh Street police shootings, Australia.
1991 – Askar Akayev, previously chosen President of Kyrgyzstan by republic’s Supreme Soviet, is confirmed president in an uncontested poll.
1994 – NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere either October 13 or October 14).
1997 – Sidi Daoud massacre in Algeria; 43 killed at a fake roadblock.
1999 – Pervez Musharraf takes power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif through a bloodless coup.
1999 – The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born.
2000 – The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39
2002 – Terrorists detonate bombs in Paddy’s Pub and the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and wounding over 300.
2005 – The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched carrying Fei Junlong and Nie Haishèng for five days in orbit.