This Week In Awesome History Vol. 14

From Lady Liberty to the man of all men in the 1950's, it's yet another Week in Awesome History!

Nash Herringtonby Nash Herrington

October 24th, 1973: John Lennon sues the FBI

During the 70’s ex-Beatle John Lennon caused a stir thanks to his heavy protest of the much-maligned Vietnam War, and following his and Yoko Ono’s infamous “bed-in for peace” following their wedding, the US government began considering Lennon a threat.

They launched a surveillance program on him, which included everything from recording his movement to wiretapping his phone, until finally attempting to deport him following his anti-Nixon stance in the run-up to the ’72 election.

After learning of their actions Lennon sued the FBI for illegal wiretapping, who quickly denied his allegations, claiming that there were no logs of the wiretapping in their Lennon surveillance record. Following the case Lennon would lessen his involvement with the rallies against Nixon, and was subsequently allowed to stay in the US.


October 25, 1881: Picasso is born

Now he is widely recognised as one of, if not the most famous artists in history. However, at 19-years-old Picasso had produced hundreds of paintings and still remained unknown.

Born to a professor of drawing, Picasso’s father pushed him into a career in the arts, but later vowed to give up painting after witnessing a 13-year-old Pablo drawing over one his unfinished sketches.

Picasso, along with fellow “Cubist” artist George Braque, would see his artwork lead to the creation of the term “modern art”, wherein paintings were no longer required to realistically represent their real-life counterparts in order to have artistic value. In other words, they spawned the creation of every single piece of artwork that makes simpletons claim they “could’ve painted that”.


October 28th, 1886: Statue of Liberty is dedicated

Sent from the people of France to America in order to commemorate the two countries alliance in the American Revolution, on this day in 1886 the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by then-President Grover Cleveland.

Originally titled “Liberty Enlightening the World”, the 151-foot Statue of Liberty had a tumultuous creation, with France’s troubled political situation meaning that work on the statue didn’t begin until the early 1870’s.

The statue’s right arm and head were both separately put on display, the arm in Philadelphia and the head in Paris, until it was finally completed in 1884. It was then disassembled in preparation for its ocean journey from France to Liberty Island (then called Bedloe’s Island).

The statue oversaw 12million immigrants making their way into the “land of opportunity” over the course of the next 32 years, with its pedestal emblazoned with the following sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus: 

"Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. / I lift my lamp beside the golden door."


October 29th, 2003: Call of Duty is released

It’s weird to think of it now, but just 8 years ago the Call of Duty franchise was first spreading its wings in the shadow of the Medal of Honor series.

Receiving very positive reviews and earning a few Game of the Year accolades, the original Call of Duty aped its more famous sibling by pilfering World War 2 for material. This would continue until the infamous Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which, depending on your stance on the Activision behemoth, was either a blessing to the gaming industry or a curse.


October 30, 1945: Henry “The Fonz” Winkler

Is there anyone more awesome than the Fonz? Now, I could either use these column inches to detail Howard Winkler’s filmography, or I could just shut up and let you witness the overwhelming, inexplicable coolness of Happy Days’ greatest export.