In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
And on October 16, he anchored in the Bahamas.
Three hundred and one years later Marie Antoinette met her end, aged 37, courtesy of the guillotine.
October 16 turned out to be quite a day for executions: the bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley had been burnt at the stake in 1555; in 1946 Joachim von Ribbentrop was hanged along with nine other senior Nazis at the end of the Nuremburg trials; and five years later Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Miinister of Pakistan was assassinated.
Lifting the gloom surrounding the date - to a degree, at least - Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was published in 1847. Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire had its premiere in 1912 and the Disney brothers founded their cartoon tudios in 1923.
Politics took a turn to the left as the Tories paid the price for the 1963 Profumo scandal and Harold Wilson won his first general election on October 16 1964, with an uncomfortable majority of four.
Still in Britain, the date will be engraved on Michael Fish's heart - for it was on 16/10/87 that the great storm arrived in spite of his assurance on television to the lady who rang to say there was a hurricane on the way that she was mistaken. (If you are tired with this timeline, perhaps you'd like to break off to listen to this comedy gold, which is genuine - and bound to cheer you up.)
America had other concerns that day. Wall Street was in free fall with the Dow dropping more than 100 points in a day for the first time, presaging the Black Monday crash three days later. The rest of the country - and much of the world - was in thrall to the running story of Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old baby who was rescued more than two days after falling 22 ft down a well just 8 inches in diameter.
Football fans in Guatemala City were less fortunate in 1996 when 47,000 tried to get into a stadium with a 36,000 capacity to watch the World Cup qualifier between Guatemala and Puerto Rico. At least 83 died and 140 were injured.
So much for history. In 2007, Collis and Cyan Ta'eed joined with Leo Babauta to launch Blog Action Day, encouraging bloggers all over the world to bring a particular issue to attention by writing on a common theme on a single day. The first topic was the environment and more than 20,000 people took part.
The second year was less successful, but the EU did join in to write about poverty. The number of participants was down again in 2009 - but the 12,000 bloggers managed 30,000 posts on the environment between them. These included efforts by the White House and Gordon Brown.
This year the subject has been human rights - and here's the catch. To mark the occasion, Gameoldgirl has been spouting off again the state of the clothing manufacturing industry in the Far East.
If you want to shut her up for a while, perhaps you might to click here.
(or click on the Bangladesh tab at the top of the page).
Thank you and good night.