10 October 1957

The Windscale fire results in Britain’s worst nuclear accident.

The Windscale fire, also known as the Windscale Pile No. 1 incident, was a significant nuclear accident that occurred in the United Kingdom in October 1957. It is considered one of the worst nuclear accidents in British history.

Windscale was a facility located in Cumbria, England, and it housed two nuclear reactors known as “piles.” These piles were used for the production of plutonium for the UK’s nuclear weapons program and later for electricity generation.

The incident began on October 10, 1957, when a routine cooling operation in Pile No. 1 went awry. The reactor experienced overheating due to a combination of design flaws and operator errors. As the temperature inside the reactor continued to rise, there was a fear that it could lead to a catastrophic explosion.

In a desperate attempt to prevent an explosion and the release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere, a decision was made to cool the reactor using forced air circulation. This action, however, resulted in a fire breaking out inside the reactor. Firefighters and plant workers struggled for several days to bring the fire under control, using various methods, including the use of water and carbon dioxide to extinguish the flames.

During the fire-fighting efforts, a significant amount of radioactive contamination was released into the atmosphere. Fortunately, the prevailing wind direction carried most of the radioactive plume out to sea, minimizing immediate health risks to the nearby population. However, there were concerns about potential long-term health effects for those involved in the response efforts and the possibility of contaminated milk from local farms.

In the aftermath of the Windscale fire, significant efforts were made to contain and clean up the contamination. The reactor involved in the accident, Pile No. 1, was permanently shut down, and it was later renamed Windscale Reactor No. 1. The incident led to a reevaluation of safety protocols and design improvements in nuclear reactors.

10 October 1963

The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty comes into effect.

The Partial Test Ban Treaty is the abbreviated name of the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, which prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted underground. It is also abbreviated as the Limited Test Ban Treaty and Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, though the latter may also refer to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which succeeded the PTBT for ratifying parties.

Negotiations initially focused on a comprehensive ban, but this was abandoned due to technical questions surrounding the detection of underground tests and Soviet concerns over the intrusiveness of proposed verification methods. The impetus for the test ban was provided by rising public anxiety over the magnitude of nuclear tests, particularly tests of new thermonuclear weapons, and the resulting nuclear fallout. A test ban was also seen as a means of slowing nuclear proliferation and the nuclear arms race. Though the PTBT did not halt proliferation or the arms race, its enactment did coincide with a substantial decline in the concentration of radioactive particles in the atmosphere.

The PTBT was signed by the governments of the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States in Moscow on 5 August 1963 before being opened for signature by other countries. The treaty formally went into effect on 10 October 1963. Since then, 123 other states have become party to the treaty. Ten states have signed but not ratified the treaty.

10 October 2010

The Netherlands Antilles gets dissolved as a country.


The Netherlands Antilles was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was dissolved on 10 October 2010.

After dissolution, the “BES islands” of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba became special municipalities of the Netherlands proper, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along the lines of Aruba, which separated from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986.

he idea of the Netherlands Antilles as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands never enjoyed the full support of all islands, and political relations between islands were often strained. Geographically, the Leeward Antilles islands of Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire, and the Leeward Islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten lie almost 1,000 kilometres apart. Culturally, the Leeward Antilles have deep connections with the South American mainland, especially Venezuela, and its population speaks a Portuguese-Dutch creole language called Papiamento; the other three islands are part of the English-speaking Caribbean.

When the new constitutional relationship between the Netherlands and its former West Indian colonies was enshrined in the Kingdom Charter of 1954, the colonial administrative division of the Netherlands Antilles, which was derived from the colony of Curaçao and Dependencies and grouped all six Caribbean islands together under one administration, was taken for granted. Despite the fact that Aruban calls for secession from the Netherlands Antilles originated in the 1930s, the governments of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles did everything in their power to keep the six islands together. The Netherlands did this so as to make sure that the Netherlands Antilles could become independent as soon as possible, a call that became increasingly louder in the Netherlands after the Willemstad riots of 1969 in Curaçao. The government of the Netherlands Antilles feared that the whole Netherlands Antilles would disintegrate if one of the islands seceded; Antillean Prime Minister Juancho Evertsz once famously remarked that “six minus one equals zero”.

10 October 1964


The 1964 Summer Olympics open in Tokyo, Japan.

The 1964 Olympics were the first held in Japan and in Asia.Hosting the 1964 Olympic Games was hugely significant for Japan as it returned to the global stage as a peaceful, economically confident nation. It was also a massive undertaking, with some estimates suggesting Tokyo spent the equivalent of its national budget on a major building program that transformed the city’s infrastructure–a far cry from plans for the nest 2020 summer games.The 1964 Olympics were also the last to use a traditional cinder track for the track events. A smooth synthetic all-weather track was used for the first time at the 1968 Olympics and at every Games thereafter.

10 October 1780

The Great Hurricane of 1780 in the Caribbean kills 20 000 to 30000 people.

The Great Hurricane of 1780 was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck the Caribbean region in late October 1780. It is considered one of the deadliest hurricanes in recorded history and remains the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. The hurricane’s exact path is not well-documented, but it is believed to have passed over the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and possibly Hispaniola.

Date and Impact: The hurricane occurred from October 10 to October 16, 1780. It is estimated to have reached Category 5 intensity, with sustained winds that likely exceeded 200 mph (322 km/h).

Casualties: The storm caused immense destruction and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 22,000 to 27,500 people. The majority of the casualties occurred in the Lesser Antilles, where entire fleets of ships were destroyed.

Naval Losses: The hurricane had a profound impact on naval history. The British Royal Navy suffered significant losses, with many warships and merchant vessels destroyed. The disaster played a role in the British defeat in the American Revolutionary War, as it weakened British naval power in the Caribbean.

Barbados and Martinique: Barbados and Martinique were among the islands hardest hit. In Barbados, the hurricane destroyed the capital, Bridgetown, and caused widespread devastation. In Martinique, the storm inflicted severe damage, including the destruction of the town of Saint-Pierre.

Unprecedented Intensity: The intensity of the Great Hurricane of 1780 is believed to have been unparalleled in Atlantic hurricane history. The storm’s high winds and storm surge caused widespread destruction, and the devastation was exacerbated by the fact that many structures at the time were not built to withstand such a powerful storm.

Limited Meteorological Understanding: In the 18th century, meteorological understanding and communication were limited, and there was no formal system for naming hurricanes. Consequently, the Great Hurricane of 1780 was not well-documented compared to modern storms.