On October 14, 1867, frustrated ex-Texas ranger Lt. James Pike allegedly died when his rifle, which had malfunctioned during an Indian attack, accidentally discharged when he smashed it against a rock in frustration. Pike had arrived in Texas in 1859 and joined the Texas Rangers, but after the outbreak of the Civil War, he left Texas and went to Ohio, joining the Fourth Ohio Cavalry. In later years he wrote a book about his experiences, which can be read online at no charge at the Gutenberg Project website.
On October 18, 1942, the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant, also called the Longhorn Ordinance Works, began producing munitions on a 10,000 acre site beside Caddo Lake in Harrison County. When the U.S. entered into WWII, the Monsanto Chemical Co. selected the site for an explosives-manufacturing facility.
On October 17, 1839, Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas, arrived with his cabinet in the new capital city of Austin. Sam Houston was elected for a second term as president in 1841, and fearing a Mexican attack on Austin, wanted to make Washington-on-the-Brazos the capital of the republic. He ordered the government archives removed from Austin, but his order touched off the Archive War, and Austin was reaffirmed as capital in 1844.