OCTOBER 8, 1978
Australian Ken Warby set the world water speed record of 317.6 mph at Blowering Dam, Australia, with his boat Spirit Of Australia.
He built the craft in his back garden from bits of an old military jet engine, fibreglass and wood. The record still stands.
OCTOBER 8, 2003
The Terminator took on California when movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor.
He won a decisive victory with 48.7% support, ousting Gray Davis.
OCTOBER 10, 1981
The guillotine is a bloody symbol of the French Revolution and was used to execute thousands, but France abolished capital punishment on this day.
The last person to (literally) lose their head was Hamida Djandoubi, who was put to death in September 1977.
OCTOBER 10, 1957
The world’s first major nuclear accident, and the worst in UK history, occurred when a fire broke out at the Windscale facility in Cumbria.
The fire burned for three days and spread radioactive contamination across the UK and Europe.
No one was evacuated. In fact, many didn’t even know about it at the time.
OCTOBER 12, 1979
The first book in Douglas Adams’ comedy sci-fi series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, hit the shelves.
Having started life as a comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it spawned a universe of books, games and films.
The book has sold more than 14 million copies.