October 26th in nerd history: I'll be your huckleberry

October 26th in nerd history: I'll be your huckleberry

Happy Back to the Future Day! Today is the day it all began, October 26, 1985, when Doc Brown used plutonium to power the world's first time machine — built inside a DeLorean. Marty travels back to 1955 from this date and then returns to it — and for a brief period, there are even two Marties. Great Scott!

We'd provide a more in-depth analysis of the timelines in this movie, but we're outta time.

This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.

October 26 in Nerd History

Here are 5 things that happened on October 26th that matter to those of us who mentally are in the sunroom at Wendy's.


Birthdays of honor: Seth MacFarlane (1973), Pat Sajak (1946), Rita Wilson (1956), Cary Elwes (1962), Mahalia Jackson (1911), Bob Hoskins (1942), Jon Heder (1977), Bootsy Collins (1951), Natalie Merchant (1963).


Today in 1984, we learned the true danger of AI when The Terminator was released.


While attending the premiere of Piranha II: The Spawning in Italy in 1982 (yep), director James Cameron became ill with a fever. And in the midst of a fever dream, he glimpsed what would ultimately become the story for this seminal sci-fi flick. Later on, he would sell the rights for the movie for just $1 — under the condition that he would be the film's director.

It was also a huge moment for Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had been trying to break into acting in a major way for years. Yet his casting was anything but smooth. In fact, he came in to audition for the part of Kyle Reese, the human resistance fighter sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor. Cameron had already decided he didn't want Arnold for the role and had concocted a plan to pick a fight with the actor so he could tell the producers they didn't get along.

But during the audition, he became impressed with Schwarzenegger, and having already been turned down by Sly Stallone and Mel Gibson for the role, realized this buff dude would make the perfect Terminator.

And spoiler alert — he did, indeed, deliver on his promise to be back.


In 1881, at about 3 p.m. in the town of Tombstone, Arizona, a gunfight broke out at the O.K. Corral.


While the shootout itself only lasted about 30 seconds, it was the result of a long-simmering feud between local lawmen and a gang of outlaws known as the Cowboys. It's true that Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp were involved (and another Earp brother, Morgan), yet it was Wyatt's brother Virgil who was the town's Marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal, and he was the one who had decided to enforce a ban on carrying weapons on the Cowboys. Despite legend, he was the central figure.

Three of the Cowboys were killed; Virgil, Doc, and Morgan were injured but survived, and Wyatt Earp was unharmed.

And just to ruin your idealistic view of this event a little more, it didn't even happen at the O.K. Corral — it was actually about six doors down, just outside C. S. Fly's photography.

But the story does end with some classic Old West vengeance — after the Cowboys attempted to murder Virgil and succeeded in killing Morgan, but were able to get away without being indicted, Wyatt took matters into his own hands. He formed a posse and over two weeks killed at least four outlaws in a vendetta ride.


Before there was Grey's Anatomy or ER, there was St. Elsewhere, which debuted today in 1982 on NBC. The medical drama told the trials and tribulations of a rundown teaching hospital in Boston.

With an ensemble cast, the show featured up-and-coming names like Howie Mandel, Helen Hunt, and Denzel Washington.

Widely regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time, it ran for six seasons and 137 episodes.


35 years ago, in 1988, "Groovy Kind of Love" by Phill Collins was probably playing on your tape deck, as it was the top song in the nation.