This annual, month-long tribute to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights, is observed in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11.
The achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender icons are recognized over the month. Intended to encourage honesty and openness about being LGBT, this observance originated in the United States and was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson in 1994. Learn more.
October 9 Taliban in Pakistan attempt to assassinate a 14-year-old girl because she advocated the education of girls (2012)
A masked gunman entered Malala Yousafzai's school bus and asked for her by name. She then was shot with a single bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Malala symbolized infidels and obscenity. However, other Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa against the Taliban leaders and said there was no religious justification for shooting a schoolgirl. Her assassination attempt, and her refusal to stand down from her beliefs, brought to light the plight of millions of children worldwide who are denied education. Learn more.
October 14 Martin Luther King Jr. awarded Nobel Peace Prize
The 1964 Nobel Peace Prize was given to Martin Luther King Jr. for his nonviolent campaign against racism.
King adhered to Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. In 1955, he began his struggle to persuade the U.S. government to declare race discrimination in the southern states unlawful. Following King's nonviolent march to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 1963, President Johnson passed the law prohibiting all racial discrimination in 1964. Learn more.
October 21 Military attacks on civilians outlawed world-wide (1950) /
Day to mourn all civilian victims of war
The Geneva Conventions, first developed at an international convention in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1864, established rules for the treatment of prisoners of war, the sick and the wounded. In the aftermath of World War II, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 updated the terms of the treaty to protect civilians. This fourth Geneva Convention treaty was signed on August 12, 1949 and entered into force on October 21, 1950. Learn more.
All soldiers have a legal duty and a moral obligation to refuse an order to attack a noncombatant. Anyone who plans, orders, or
carries out such an act is legally culpable. All attacks on noncombatants should be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.
October 24 United Nations Day
On this date in 1945, the United Nations Charter officially went into affect. Originally signed in June 26, by 50 of the 51 member countries, it was enforced after ratification by the five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) It has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. Learn more.
October 28 Statue of Liberty Dedicated
Originally known as "Liberty Enlightening the World," The Statue of Liberty National Monument was officially dedicated to the United States on October 28, 1886. The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution. Over the years, the Statue of Liberty's symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as international friendship. Learn more.