What happened on October 7: Poe dies, Teresa saves lives and a war begins

Every day has a history but this day has a history that changed the lives of millions with a writer, a saint and an unholy war
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: Edexlive
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: Edexlive

The 19th-century American writer and poet, Edgar Allen Poe, who is widely credited to have invented the genre of detective fiction died on October 7, 1849,  under what remain to be mysterious circumstances even today. Poe was just 40 at the time. 

What do we know about his death? Well, just four days earlier, on October 3, he was found walking on the streets of Baltimore, in a dishevelled state wearing someone else's clothes, with not a penny in those pocket, and possibly beaten up. He died in a hospital four days later and the writer's last words were, "Lord, help my poor soul."

Speaking of the lord, Mother Teresa founded Missionaries of Charity on October 7, 1950, in Kolkata as a small order with only 13 members. It was in 1979 that her work was recognised by the Nobel committee and she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for undertaken the struggle to overcome deprivation and distress in the world. However, she refused the Nobel honour banquet and asked for the 1,92,000 USD prize money to be used to help the poor in India. By the turn of the century, her brainchild grew into a congregation of thousands of nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices and charity centres worldwide. 

There is something else that happened that changed the entire world by the beginning of this century -- the so-called 'War on Terror' taken up by the United States. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the States, on October 7, 2001, the then US President George W Bush launched operation “Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan, after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden. 

In mere weeks, the US-led forces overthrew the Taliban, which was in power since the mid-90s. There were heavy air-raids, even civilian casualties in subsequent years. Some 1,000 American soldiers were deployed on the ground in the following month, and just in a year, there were 10,000 US troops on Afghan soil, until they weren't as the Taliban rose back to power this year.

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