Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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October 5, 1789
The Women’s March on Versailles, a crucial moment in the unfolding of the French Revolution, begins this morning when women in the marketplaces of Paris, confronted by high prices and a scarcity of bread, decide to take their grievances directly to the King at his Palace in Versailles.
A rapidly growing revolutionary mood leads them to first go to the city armoury and help themselves to the weapons stored there; there is a feeling that they will be able to present their grievances more persuasively if they are armed.
Thousands join the march to Versailles, and there, in a series of confrontations, they compel the King to promise more food for the people.
Having little faith in royal promises alone, however, they insist that the King and his entourage leave Versailles and return with them to Paris. Faced with the people armed, the king has no choice but to comply. From this day on, the king’s power to control events is effectively ended.
Related Topics: French Revolution
October 5, 1813
Death of Tecumseh (1768-1813), a Shawnee who organized and led a tribal confederacy that sought to prevent the United States from seizing Native lands. In the face of continuing American expansionism and treaty violations, Tecumseh allies himself with the British in the War of 1812. He is killed in the Battle of the Thames in what is now Ontario.

Quote: “My people wish for peace; the red men all wish for peace; but where the white people are, there is no peace for them, except it be on the bosom of our mother. Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun. Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear to us? I know you will cry with me, Never! NEVER!”

Related Topics: War of 1812
October 5, 1839  
Publication of The People’s Charter, the first manifesto of the Chartist movement in Britain. Chartism is a working-class movement that seeks political reform, including the removal of the property qualifications which deny the vote to the working class.
October 5, 1887  
Chief Joseph (1840-1904), leader of the Nez Perce Indians, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending a desperate struggle by his people for self-determination and to maintain their traditional homeland.
Related Topics: Aboriginal History
October 5, 1923
Birth of Philip Berrigan (1923-2002), American peace activist.
October 5, 1970  
The October Crisis begins with the kidnapping in Montreal of British Trade Commissioner James Cross by members of the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ).
October 5, 1993  
Russian President Boris Yeltsin stages an armed coup to crush the Russian Parliament, which has been opposing some parts of his program for capitalist restructuring of the Russian economy.
Related Topics: Coups

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: