October 10, 1957. The finance minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah stops to buy orange juice in a restaurant in Dover, Delaware, USA but is refused service; the waitress and her manager explained that black people are not allowed to eat or drink in the restaurant. The press soon got hold of the story and Gbedemah was invited to the White House by an apologetic President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There they discussed Ghana’s plan to build a dam on the Volta River. The US ended up providing finance for the project, while the restaurant in question – a branch of the Howard Johnson’s chain – changed its policy to serve whoever walked in the doors.
Also on October 10: the Outer Space Treaty, the principle document in international space law, enters into force (1967); Fiji gains independence from Great Britain (1970); Armenia and Turkey agree to open their shared border (2009).
Born on October 10: Giuseppe Verdi (1813), Claude Simon (1913), Thelonious Monk (1917), Harold Pinter (1930), Naoto Kan (1946), Midge Ure (1953), Matthew Pinsent (1970).