Today in History: Oct. 28

The Statue of Liberty National Monument was dedicated in New York Harbor on this date in 1886. President Grover Cleveland (he was a former New York State governor) was among the dignitaries.

The huge statue, a gift from France, was hidden behind an enormous cloth, and a signal was to be given when the final speech was done to drop the cloth and reveal the work. The last speaker, U.S. Senator William Evarts, had been on the committee that raised funds to build the pedestal for the statue. He paused in the middle of the speech, and this was interpreted as the end, so the signal was given, and the veil was dropped. With that, guns were fired from hips in the harbor for the next 30 minutes, and Sen. Evarts sat down.

It was a rainy day, so the smoke from the celebratory gunfire continued to shroud the statue. Crowds that had followed a parade to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan for the unveiling and many-gun salute could not see the new gift.

* * * *
Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels (full title: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships) was published 290 years ago today by Benjamin Motte in London.

* * * *
The fossilized Taung Child’s skull was found on this date on 1924.

* * * *
Evelyn Waugh was born on this date in 1903. Francis Bacon was born in 1909 on this date. Dr. Jonas Salk was born on this date in 1914.

* * * *
Dame Cleo Laine is 89 today. Dame Joan Ann Plowright, the Baroness Olivier is 87 today. Lenny Wilkens is 79. Anne Perry is 78. Jane Alexander is 77 today. Dennis Franz is 72. Caitlyn Jenner is 67. Bill Gates is 61. Daphne Zuniga is 54. Jami Gertz is 51. Andy Richter is 50. Julia Roberts is 49. Brad Paisley is 44. Joaquin Phoenix is 42 today. Frank Ocean is 29 today.

Follow The Gad About Town on Facebook! Subscribe today for daily facts (well, trivia) about literature and history, plus links to other writers on Facebook.

Follow The Gad About Town on Instagram!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. Jean Ludvig · October 28, 2016

    Poor Senator Evarts. He tried.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. s1ngal · October 28, 2016

    I’ll remember this day for Dr. Jonas Salk.

    Liked by 1 person

Please comment here. Thank you, Mark.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.