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October 2 is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 90 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1959, “The Twilight Zone” premiered on CBS television.
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. The series consisted of unrelated episodes depicting paranormal, futuristic, dystopian, or simply disturbing events; each show typically featured a surprising plot twist and was usually brought to closure with some sort of message. The series was also notable for featuring both established stars (e.g. Cliff Robertson, Ann Blyth, Jack Klugman) and younger actors who would later became famous (e.g. Robert Redford, William Shatner, Mariette Hartley, Shelley Fabares). Rod Serling served as executive producer and head writer; he wrote or co-wrote 92 of the show’s 156 episodes. He was also the show’s host, delivering on- or off-screen monologues at the beginning and end of each episode. During the first season, except for the season’s final episode, Serling’s narrations were off-camera voiceovers; he only appeared on-camera at the end of each show to promote the next episode (footage that was removed from syndicated versions but restored for DVD release, although some of these promotions exist today only in audio format).
The “twilight zone” itself is not presented as being a tangible plane, but rather a metaphor for the strange circumstances befalling the protagonists. Serling’s opening and closing narrations usually summarized the episode’s events in tones ranging from cryptic to pithy to eloquent to unsympathetic, encapsulating how and why the main character(s) had “entered the Twilight Zone”.
1187 – Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.
1263 – The battle of Largs is fought between Norwegians and Scots.
1535 – Jacques Cartier discovers Montreal, Quebec.
1552 – Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible.
1780 – John Andre, British Army officer of the American Revolutionary War, is hanged as a spy by American forces.
1789 – George Washington sends the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification.
1814 – Battle of Rancagua: Spanish Royalists troops under Mariano Osorio defeated rebel Chilean forces of Bernardo O’Higgins and Jose Miguel Carrera.
1835 – The Texas Revolution begins with the Battle of Gonzales: Mexican soldiers attempt to disarm the people of Gonzales, Texas, but encounter stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia.
1851 – The pasilalinic-sympathetic compass is demonstrated but proves to be a fake.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Saltville – Union forces attack Saltville, Virginia, but are defeated by Confederate troops.
1889 – In Colorado, Nicholas Creede strikes it rich in silver during the last great silver boom of the American Old West.
1919 – US President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed.
1924 – The Geneva Protocol is adopted as a means to strengthen the League of Nations.
1925 – John Logie Baird performs the first test of a working television system.
1928 – The “Prelature of the Holy Cross and the Work of God”, commonly known as Opus Dei, is founded by Saint Josemaria Escriva.
1938 – Tiberias massacre: Arabs murder 20 Jews.
1941 – World War II: In Operation Typhoon, Germany begins an all-out offensive against Moscow.
* 1944 – World War II: Nazi troops end the Warsaw Uprising.
1950 – Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is first published
1958 – Guinea declares its independence from France.
1959 – The anthology series The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS television.
1967 – Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African-American justice of United States Supreme Court.
1968 – A peaceful student demonstration in Mexico City culminates in the Tlatelolco massacre.
1990 – A Chinese airline Boeing 737-247 is hijacked; after landing at Guangzhou, it crashes into two airliners on the ground, killing 132 people.
1996 – The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
1997 – European Union: The Amsterdam Treaty is signed.
2001 – NATO backs US military strikes following 9/11.
2001 – Swissair liquidates and the airline is replaced by SWISS.
2002 – The Beltway sniper attacks begin, extending over three weeks.
2004 – American Samoa joins the North American Numbering Plan.
2005 – Ethan Allen Boating Accident: The Ethan Allen tour boat capsizes on Lake George in Upstate New York, killing twenty people.
2006 – Five school girls are murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before Roberts commits suicide.
2007 – President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea walks across the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea on his way to the second Inter-Korean Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
2009 – Rio de Janeiro is elected the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
2009 – The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland is approved at the second attempt, permitting the state to ratify the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon.