1949 – WERD, the first black-owned radio station in the United States, opens in Atlanta.
WERD was the first radio station owned and programmed by African Americans. The station was established in Atlanta, Georgia on October 3, 1949, broadcasting on 860 AM (now used by WAEC).
WERD Atlanta was the first radio station owned and operated by African-Americans. (WDIA in Memphis was on the air in 1948 doing black—or Negro as it was then called—programming, but the owners were not African American). Jesse B. Blayton Sr., an accountant, bank president, and Atlanta University professor, purchased WERD in 1949 for $50,000. He changed the station format to “black appeal” and hired his son Jesse Jr. as station manager. “Jockey” Jack Gibson was hired and by 1951 he was the most popular DJ in Atlanta.
1951 – Kathryn D. Sullivan, American geologist and astronaut is born.
Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan is an American geologist and a former NASA astronaut. A crew member on three Space Shuttle missions, she was the first American woman to walk in space on 11 October 1984. She is the most recent Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2014. Dr. Sullivan’s tenure ended on January 20, 2017 with the swearing in of President Donald Trump. Following completion of her service at NOAA, she was designated as the 2017 Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
1952 – The United Kingdom successfully tests a nuclear weapon to become the world’s third nuclear power.
Operation Hurricane was the test of the first UK atomic device, on 3 October 1952. A plutonium implosion device was detonated in the lagoon in the Monte Bello Islands in Western Australia. With the success of Operation Hurricane, Britain became the third nuclear power after the United States and the Soviet Union.
1962 – Project Mercury: Sigma 7 is launched from Cape Canaveral, with astronaut Wally Schirra aboard, for a six-orbit, nine-hour flight.
Mercury-Atlas 8 (MA-8) was the fifth United States manned space mission, part of NASA’s Mercury program. Astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr., orbited the Earth six times in the Sigma 7 spacecraft on October 3, 1962, in a nine-hour flight focused mainly on technical evaluation rather than on scientific experimentation. This was the longest U.S. manned orbital flight yet achieved in the Space Race, though well behind the several-day record set by the Soviet Vostok 3 earlier in the year. It confirmed the Mercury spacecraft’s durability ahead of the one-day Mercury-Atlas 9 mission that followed in 1963.
1985 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its maiden flight. (Mission STS-51-J).
Space Shuttle Atlantis (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV‑104) is a Space Shuttle orbiter belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States. Constructed by the Rockwell International company in Southern California and delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Eastern Florida in April 1985, Atlantis is the fourth operational and the second-to-last Space Shuttle built. Its maiden flight was STS-51-J from 3 to 7 October 1985.