October 30: The birth of John Adams, First African-American in the MLB, and other events of the date
A number of important events took place on October 30 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1735 – The birth of John Adams
One of the Founding Fathers, who served both as Vice President and later as the second President (1797-1801), was born on this day.
Prior to the American Revolution, Adams was known as apolitical activist who stood for the right to counsel and defended the concept of the presumption of innocence—to become a key American value. Despite being a loyal American patriot and representing Massachusetts at the Continental Congress, Adams always followed his sense of morals. For example, he once defended British soldiers captured in the aftermath of the Boston Massacre.
George Washington respected Adams for his humanitarianviews and persistence, so he helped him become his Vice President. Based on thise experience, Adams had every right to become President himself, which he did back in 1796. John Adams’s fiercest rival was his colleague within the Federalist Party, Alexander Hamilton; his negotiations with him on a number of controversial issues (for instance, on the Alien and Sedition Acts, which made it harder for immigrants to become U.S. citizens) became a true pattern for internal diplomacy.
1938 – “The War of the Worlds” airs causing great panic
After H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds was adapted andaired as a Halloween episode of The Mercury Theatre on the Airradio show, directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, American society found itself in a panic!
Despite the fact that the one-hour program began with the Mercury Theater theme music and an announcement that the staging was an adaption of The War of the Worlds, people thought that aliens had really landed in America. The panic was caused by the fact that the broadcast was presented as a typical evening radio program being interrupted by a series of “breaking” news bulletins.
For example, the first few “news” updates interrupted the dance music program and described a series of odd explosions observed on Mars, followed by a “seemingly unrelated report of an unusual object falling on a farm in Grover's Mill, New Jersey.” Not a single commercial break interrupted the airing of The War of the Worlds, which also contributed to the panic.
One of the witnesses of the panic later recalled:
The following hours were a nightmare. The building was suddenly full of people and dark-blue uniforms. Hustled out of the studio, we were locked into a small back office on another floor. Here we sat incommunicado while network employees were busily collecting, destroying, or locking up all scripts and records of the broadcast. Finally, the Press was let loose upon us, ravening for horror. How many deaths had we heard of? (Implying they knew of thousands.) What did we know of the fatal stampede in a Jersey hall? (Implying it was one of many.) What traffic deaths? (The ditches must be choked with corpses.) The suicides? (Haven't you heard about the one on Riverside Drive?) It is all quite vague in my memory and quite terrible.
1945 – First African-American in the MLB
If Back on this day in the year of victory, second baseman Jack Roosevelt Robinson, 26, of the Kansas City Monarchs (the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues) signed a professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, formally ending the era of racial segregation in Major League Baseball.
Despite being signed on October 30, 1945, Robinson debuted in the league only a year and a half later, on April 15, 1947, as theDodgers were heavily criticized for this decision and apparently didn’t want to risk reputation and fans.
After the wall was broken, Robinson had an exceptional 10-year career in the MLB, as he was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, was elected as an All-Star for six consecutive seasons, starting from 1949 through 1954,and also won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. He was the first African American player to win the award. As part of the Dodgers organization, Robinson played in six World Series and contributed much to the team'schampionship in the 1955 World Series.
21 years ago, back in 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number 42 across all major league teams; Robinson was the first pro athlete in any sport to be honored this way.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on October 30, at least in our view.