October Factoids

October 1-31

Visit the Knowitall blog for helpful information on using Knowitall all through the month! 

October Observances (Month):

Archaeology Month

October is Archaeology Month in South Carolina. One of the goals of Archaeology Month is to educate the public about what they can do to help protect, preserve, and study the state’s archaeological resources.

Bat Appreciation Month

October has been identified as the perfect time for observing and recognizing bats! 

Health Literacy Month

Every October, we celebrate Health Literacy Month — a time to recognize the importance of making health information easy to understand and the health care system easier to navigate.

Hispanic Heritage Month  

The idea for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the latter half of September and the first half of October, began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

There are several Latin American independence days celebrated during this time period, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (who all celebrate their Independence Day on September 15), Mexico (which celebrates its Independence Day on September 16) and Chile (which celebrates its Independence Day on September 17). However, the origin of the festivities dates back to September 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an executive order for the creation of Hispanic Heritage Week that began on September 17. In1988, the observance went from one week to 30 days, when President Ronald Reagan, extended the observance to a month. 

International Walk to School Month

October is International Walk to School Month. Be sure to keep safety in mind when you walk or bike to school or anywhere.

National Book Month

Held each October, the month-long celebration focuses on the importance of reading, writing and literature. National Book Month is also a time to honor the country’s best books and authors.

National Bullying Prevention Month

A month-long event to prevent childhood bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. 

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

An average of 20 people is abused by their partner each minute which is why October is deemed Domestic Violence Awareness Month. People are encouraged to learn more about domestic violence and its devastating consequences on the lives of the victims and their families. Recognized each October through educational events, community gatherings, and support groups. View these resources on KnowItAll.org. 

Journalists from the Charleston Post and Courier discuss the series, Till Death Do Us Part, published in August 2014. The series won the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Journalism in 2015. The team researched the problem of domestic violence in South Carolina, and discovered the enormity of the problem, and the fact that the story has been in our headlines for the past 15 years, yet little has been done to “stem the carnage.” They looked at court cases and began to record patterns, and bills that had come up in the State House, and why the bills were not passed. They looked at the culture of the state, religion, and why women stay in these relationships. They looked into patterns that were applicable to each. A bill was proposed that would increase penalties and take gun ownership rights from offenders. The legislature convened in January and by June, a bill had passed and was signed by the Governor. 

South Carolina continues to rank at the top when it comes to domestic violence and women killed by men. Research shows teenagers are also experiencing abuse, but have less protection when it comes to the law.

South Carolina continues to rank at the top when it comes to domestic violence and women killed by men. Research shows teenagers are also experiencing abuse, but have less protection when it comes to the law. Here's more information on the important issue of teen dating violence.

This segment explains human trafficking. More on human trafficking is available on the SCETV website.

*If you believe you know of someone who may be a victim of human trafficking, please contact local law enforcement or the NHTRC (National Human Trafficking Resource Center) Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

National Economic Education Month

October has been designated National Economic Education Month. 

  • View the collection and be sure to check out the series and programs listed to learn more! 


TeenTober is a nationwide celebration hosted by libraries every October and aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. View the resources in the Libraries, Literature & Learning Collection and see what may be of interest to teens you know and love!

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October Observances (Week):

World Space Week – Oct. 4 -10, 2023

World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1999 that World Space Week will be held each year from October 4-10. These dates commemorate two events:

October 4, 1957: Launch of the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, thus opening the way for space exploration

October 10, 1967: The signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

View these resources on KnowItAll.org:

Fire Prevention Week – Oct. 8-14, 2023

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

America’s Safe Schools Week – October 15-21, 2023

The National School Safety Center, state governors and state school superintendents sponsor America's Safe Schools Week. This observance is also actively supported by local, state and national public officials and professional organizations.  View these resources on KnowItAll.org:

National Friends of Libraries Week – October 15-21, 2023

National Friends of Libraries Week promotes groups who support libraries across the country. Held the third week in October each year, the observance provides the opportunity for groups to increase awareness about membership opportunities, their goals, projects and more.

National School Bus Safety Week – October 16-20, 2023

National School Bus Safety Week is the ideal time to reinforce bus safety rules among students and express gratitude to your bus drivers and staff for their hard work and professionalism. 

Media Literacy Week – October 23-27, 2023

U.S. Media Literacy Week is hosted by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). The mission is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education all across the country. View these resources on KnowItAll.org:

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October Observances (Day):

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    October 2, 1869 is the birthday of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi. He was born in Porbandar, India. Gandhi was famous world-wide for his devout lifestyle, and for non-violent resistance, which ended British rule in India. (Periscope)

    On October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African American associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Serving until 1991, he was known for opposing discrimination, and the death penalty. Marshall also championed civil liberties and free speech. (Road Trip)

    International Day of Non-Violence

    National Child Health Day*

    In the United States, National Child Health Day occurs each year on the first Monday in October. The day recognizes the care and guidance children need to grow strong and healthy. 

    View our National Child Health Day Collection!  

    World Habitat Day*

    In 1985, the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

    The theme for World Habitat Day 2021 is "Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world."

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      On October 3, 1935, Charles Moss "Charlie" Duke Jr. was born. He was one of the twelve people to walk on the Moon, and did so on the historic Apollo 16 mission in 1972. (S.C. Hall Of Fame)

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        National Walk and Bike to School Day*

        National Walk to School Day is held on the first Wednesday in October. The goal of this day is to raise awareness and support for the health, community and environmental benefits of regularly walking or biking to school.




          On October 5, 1959, Maya Lin was born. She is an American designer and artist who is known for her work in sculpture and land art. (Artopia)

              World Teachers' Day

              World Teachers' Day, held annually since 1994, is celebrated on October 5. This is a day for appreciating teachers for their special contributions to education. Let your favorite teacher know how special he or she is and how much you appreciate his or her decision to go into education!  Say thank you!


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                MFG Day (Manufacturing Day)*

                This day seeks to raise awareness of careers in manufacturing and is celebrated on the first Friday in October. 


                    On October 7, 1780, the Battle of Kings Mountain took place. A thousand patriot militia men, known as the "Over The Mountain Men," surrounded and attacked the British troops and Loyalist soldiers, led by Major Patrick Ferguson. This battle would become a major victory and turn the tides for the patriots. (Southern Campaign Of The American Revolution)

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                    Indigenous People’s Day (Native American Day)*

                    A day to recognize Native people as the first inhabitants of the Americas, and to observe their history. 

                    Visit our Native American Heritage Collection!

                    Columbus Day*

                    Observed the second Monday every October, this U.S holiday commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. (Periscope)



                    On October 11, 1852, George Watt Park was born. He was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1988 for his successful business, George W Park Seed Company, Inc. (Legacy Of Leadership Profile)

                    On October 11, 1918, Jerome Robbins was born. He is recipient of numerous awards including two Academy Awards, four Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, and the Screen Directors' Guild Award. (Artopia)

                    International Day of the Girl Child

                    In 1995, at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing the rights of not only women but girls. On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

                    View these Series & Collections that place the spotlight on women who have made a difference! Great role models for girls in their formative years!

                    View our International Day of the Girl Child Collection!

                    Additional resources may be found here:

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                    National Farmer’s Day

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                    On October 13, 1933, Gayle O. Averyt was born. Averyt served as chairman of the Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, and was a leader in the development of the Republican Party in South Carolina and inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1998. (Legacy Of Leadership Profile)

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                    World Migratory Bird Day

                    A worldwide celebration observed the second Saturday in May in Canada and the U.S. (May 8, 2021), and the second Saturday in October in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean (October 9, 2021).




                    On October 16, 1888, Eugene O'Neill was born. This playwright revolutionized the American theater with his tragedies, setting the path for other influential playwrights. (Artopia)

                    World Food Day

                    Visit the United Nations World Food Day website for more information, including: "The food you choose and the way you consume it affect our health and that of our planet. It has an impact on the way agri-food systems work. And you need to be part of the change." Learn more

                    View these resources on KnowItAll.org:

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                    October 17-25, 1944: During the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Battle of Leyte Gulf took place off the Philippine Islands. 216 U.S. warships faced off against 64 Japanese ships, and resulted in the destruction of the Japanese navy. (South Carolinians In WW II)

                    National Pharmacy Technician Day*

                    Held on the third Tuesday in October, this day recognizes pharmacy technicians. Depending on education and training, Pharmacy Technicians manage dispensary supply at hospitals and clinics, retail pharmacies, prisons, and veterinary clinics. Their roles may include the supervision of other pharmacy staff. Under a pharmacist’s guidance, a technician may supply medications to patients, prepare prescriptions. They also provide patient education and communicate with physicians. 

                    Please note that there are differences between the role of a Pharmacy Technician and a Pharmacist, based on education and training.

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                      On October 21, 1917, jazz great Dizzy Gillespie (born as John Birks Gillespie) was born in Cheraw, South Carolina. Known for his puffed cheeks and bent trumpet, he was a trumpet player, composer, band leader, and one of the founding fathers of modern jazz. (Carolina Stories)

                      On October 21, 1925, Celia Cruz was born. She won the Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album in 1989 and was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1994. (Artopia)

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                      National Make a Dog's Day

                      National Make A Dog’s Day on October 22 provides an opportunity to give all dogs the best day of their lives. The day not only encourages visits to shelters, but it is also a reminder to animal lovers everywhere to adopt instead of shop for a new pet.



                        On October 23, 1883, Archibald Rutledge was born. He was named South Carolina's first Poet Laureate and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. (S.C. Hall Of Fame)

                        National Mole Day

                        A day on which we hope to encourage interest in chemistry. National Mole Day recognizes a special number in chemistry. Chemists and chemistry students mark the occasion each year on October 23. 

                        • A mole is a unit of measurement used in chemistry to express amounts of a chemical substance.
                        • Avogadro’s number is a historical term closely related to the Avogadro constant.
                        • The Avogadro constant is named after the early 19th-century Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro.

                        View the resources related to chemistry in our National Mole Day Collection!

                        Additional resources on chemists may be found by searching “chemist” or simply click here

                        National Paralegal Day

                        A day to appreciate those who assist attorneys by doing the legal research and paperwork needed for their cases. 

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                          United Nations Day 

                          The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.

                          To learn more about the United Nations, view the Collections under United Nations & International Observances.

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                          On October 25, 1881, Pablo Picasso was born. He is said to have set the tone for all modern art in the 20th century. (Artopia)

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                          On October 26, 1757, Charles Pinckney was born. He is one of the oldest and most historically distinguished names in South Carolina. (Forgotten Founder)

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                          National First Responders Day 

                          National First Responders Day, held annually on October 28, honors the men and women who act quickly to save lives when an emergency occurs. They are firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians (EMT), paramedics, and 911 operators.

                          View our National First Responders Day Collection

                          Serving as a national day of gratitude, National First Responders Day gives us an opportunity to pay tribute to firefighters for their endless hours and around-the-clock service to their communities. As one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, the day also pays tribute to the fallen first responders. 

                          According to the CDC, 97 firefighters and 155 police officers die each year in the line of duty. Additionally, their rate of occupational injury is higher than the national average. Often, the very people saving lives are our neighbors, friends and family members. And their families know the price they pay for their dedication to the job. 

                          In addition to EMTs, paramedics, and 9-1-1 communications personnel, we also include a doctor, a trauma surgeon and a neonatal nurse in the collection.

                          Make a Difference Day 

                          A day dedicated to making a difference in someone else's life. Consider those in need around you and how you can assist.

                          • Check our Career Education page to see the various ways you can make a difference!

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                            National Cat Day

                            A day for appreciating cats! The day also reminds us of the many cats that are in need of rescue. Consider adopting a cat today!

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                            Explore ghosts, legends and lore from South Carolina's past in our Halloween Collection.

                            We have some great ghost stories that will captivate your students! From Alice of the Hermitage to Bubba, from Lizard Man to Stumphouse Tunnel, these stories will “shiver your timbers!”

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                            These factoids were compiled by Imani-Grace King, 2017 ETV Endowment Intern.

                            Updated by Andrew Davis, Media Production Assistant, 2018. (Digital Media/Knowitall)