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GTA III and Gargoyles! This Week in History: October 21-27

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey

We are going back in time to recall the nostalgia filled events that have occurred during the week of October 21st - 27th. From the revolutionary release of the iconic yet controversial Grand Theft Auto: III, to the release of the classic iPod, this week was full of important and memorable moments!


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Get ready for these blasts from the past! And to realize how old you are… Welcome to, and today we’ll be opening up our time capsule to tell you what happened this week in history, October 21-27.

For this list, we’re scouring our memory banks and the history books to find ten interesting stories that’ll make you say “oh yeah! I remember that!” Be sure to keep an eye on our Community Tab to vote for your favorite memories on upcoming episodes! For this episode, over two hundred thousand of you guys voted, so thanks! Keep ‘em coming!

17 Years Ago
Gamers Rev Their Engines for “GTA III”
October 22nd, 2001

With an overwhelming majority of votes from you guys on our Community Tab poll, is this giant leap into a brave new world of gaming. First released on October 22nd, 2001 for PlayStation 2, Rockstar’s action-adventure title “Grand Theft Auto III” made video game history with its detailed open world environment, diverse, hybrid gameplay, and controversial depictions of sex and violence. Crime, humor, murder, car chases, and a compelling story: “GTA III” had it all. For better or worse, its mature content became pivotal in the violence-and-sex-in-video-games debate. It also laid the groundwork for numerous sequels, and is recognized by many as one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time.

13 Years Ago
Kanye’s “Gold Digger” Is THE Song
September 17th-November 25th, 2005

Before he was MAGA Ye, or a giant Perrier bottle, he was the talent behind the number one single “Gold Digger.” Kanye had already hit it big with his first album, The College Dropout, in 2004. His 2005 follow-up, Late Registration, received widespread acclaim, and used “Gold Digger” as its second single. The track soon reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained there for an impressive ten weeks - including this week 13 years ago. It’s Kanye at his best, with Jamie Foxx briefly featured in the intro, and samples from Ray Charles’ song “I Got a Woman” in the background. Ah, those were the days.

17 Years Ago
Apple’s iPod Takes a Bite Outta the Tech World
October 23rd, 2001

It’s getting difficult to remember a time when we didn’t live inside an electronic bubble. But before October 23rd, 2001, people actually had to pay attention to the world around them. Shocking, we know. Steve Jobs’ brainchild, the iPod, was a forerunner of so much more: the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the iPad, and of course crowds of copycats. Innovative and unique, with a sleek, practical design that got tinier and tinier over time, the iPod was a seminal music and storage device that forever changed how we use technology. But can you believe the classic iPod could only hold 1,000 songs? Talk about prehistoric!

24 Years Ago
“Gargoyles” Rocks the Airwaves
October 24th, 1994

Ah the ‘90s: it was the age . . . of gargoyles. On October 24th, 1994, these mysterious winged creatures sloughed off their stone skins and took flight on TV screens for the first time. Disney’s animated series stood out thanks to epic narrative arcs, a surprisingly mature tone, and frequent references to Shakespeare. Although ending its run in 1997, it consisted of a whopping 78 episodes thanks to a hearty second season, and achieved a cult following of loyal viewers who still remember, even today, when gargoyles were defenders of the night.

38 Years Ago
Eating Ghosts: A New National Pastime
October 26th, 1980

How did a little yellow circle become the most iconic character in video games? Even today, in an era of incredibly realistic digital characters and environments, Pac-Man is an easily recognizable figure… or shape, or whatever. First released in Japan, Namco’s “Pac-Man” had its title changed from “Puck-Man” for American audiences, to avoid kids replacing a particular letter there with a big fat F. What, like Puck… Fan? Anyway, the game’s U.S. debut on October 26th, 1980, marked the arrival for Western audiences of a completely new gaming genre, and would eventually turn “Pac-Man” into a multi-billion dollar franchise. Let’s all head to the arcade in its honor!

77 Years Ago
An Elephant Learns to Fly
October 23rd, 1941

In 1941, the world was at war. But in the midst of global turmoil, a simple tale about a down-on-his-luck, floppy-eared elephant won the hearts and minds of captivated audiences. Released on October 23rd that year, “Dumbo” was Disney’s fourth animated feature, and due to financial constraints, it was made on a limited budget, which is evident in the stripped down nature of the animation. Yet it’s one of Disney’s finest, most heartwarming films, focusing on an unlikely friendship and triumph in the face of adversity. In fact, it’s so beloved; we can expect a live-action remake in 2019. Who knows, maybe 77 years from then, people will be looking back fondly at the new “Dumbo” movie?

10 Years Ago
The Stock Market Draws Blood
October 24th, 2008

October 24th is not a lucky day for investors. In 2008, stock markets around the world suffered massive declines in the wake of the U.S.’ subprime mortgage crisis. Named “Bloody Friday” for the way investments - including some people’s retirement accounts - hemorrhaged value, it launched us into the Great Recession. It recalled another October 24th, 89 years ago, when the stock market crash of “Black Thursday” signaled the start of the Great Depression. So, if you remember your parents tearing their hair out about ten years ago, now you know why!

37 Years Ago
Most Ambitious (Rock) Crossover Event in History
October 26th, 1981

It was a match made in music heaven: legendary glam rock pioneer David Bowie and incomparable rock band Queen. Released on October 26th, 1981, the single “Under Pressure” quickly became a hit, topping UK charts. The collaboration is unique for its distinctive bassline - later purloined by Vanilla Ice for “Ice Ice Baby”; its powerful and climactic musical arrangement; and its unique mix of vocal styles, featuring Bowie-written lyrics and Freddie Mercury scatting between lines. A rousing call to compassion in tough times, it captured the hardships of the Thatcher years, and remains a favorite song for fans of both Bowie and Queen.

61 Years Ago
Elvis the Pelvis Tops the Charts
October 26th, 1957

His pelvic gyrations were too much for some, but a hit with the kids. In October 1957, the premiere of the musical drama “Jailhouse Rock” polarized critics: some were scandalized that the movie featured a convicted criminal as its protagonist; others by Presley’s performance in the film’s iconic dance sequence, using movements that further cemented his reputation as “Elvis the Pelvis.” Nonetheless, on October 26th the title song reached number one in Billboard magazine, released with the B-side “Treat Me Nice.” Looking back now, it’s hard to believe his dancing was ever considered shockingly explicit.


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