Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q1: Why is [Insert event here], an event that is "more important and significant" than all the others that are currently listed, not posted?
A1: Relative article quality along with the mix of topics already listed are often deciding factors in what gets posted. Any given day of the year can have a great many important or significant historical events. The problem is that there is generally only room on the Main Page to list about 5 events at a time, so not everything can be posted.
As stated on Wikipedia:FAQ/Main Page, the items and events posted on the Main Page are chosen based more on how well they are written, not based on how much important or significant their subjects are. It is easier for admins to select a well-written, cited, verifiable article over a poor one versus trying to determine objectively how much a subject is important or significant.
Keep in mind that the quality requirements only apply to the selected bolded article, not the other links. Thus, an event may qualify for multiple dates in a year if there is an article written in a summary style and an article providing detailed content; if one of those pages have cleanup issues, the other page can be bolded as an alternate.
Another criterion is to maintain some variety of topics, and not exhibit, just for example, tech-centrism, or the belief that the world stops at the edge of the English-speaking world. Many days have a large pool of potential articles, so they will rotate in and out every year to give each one some Main Page exposure. In addition, an event is not posted if it is also the subject of this year's scheduled featured article or featured picture.
Q2: There are way too many 20th-century events listed. Why aren't there more events from the 19th century and before?
A2: The short, basic reason is the systemic bias of Wikipedia. There are not enough good, well-written articles on 19th-century and earlier events for all 365 days in the year. Currently, a majority of users seem to be generally more interested in writing articles about recent events. If you would like to further help mitigate the systemic bias in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias.
Q3: This page seems to be biased toward events based in [Insert country or region here]. What can be done about it?
A3: This again is attributed to the systemic bias of Wikipedia. Many users are generally more interested in working on good, well-written articles pertaining to their home country. Since this is the English Wikipedia, there will be more English-speaking users, and thus more articles pertaining to English-speaking countries. And if there are more users who are from the United States, there will probably be more well-written articles about events based in the United States. Again, if you would like to further help mitigate the systemic bias in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias.
Q4: Why is the birthday/death anniversary of [Insert name here] not listed?
A4: There are only three slots available for birth and death anniversaries. As with the events, article quality and diversity in time period, geography, and reason for notability are all contributing factors in whether an article gets selected for inclusion.
Q5: Are the holidays/observances listed in any particular order?
A5: Yes, there is a specified order: International observances first, then alphabetically by where observed.
Q6: Some of the holidays/observances that are listed have dates in parentheses beside them. What do they mean?
A6: There are two reasons that some holidays/observances have dates next to them:
  • Non-Gregorian-based holidays/observances are marked with the current year as a reminder to others that their dates do in fact vary from year to year.
  • National Days, Independence Days, and other holidays celebrating the nationhood of a country are generally marked by the year of the significant historic date being observed.
Today's featured article for October 12, 2019 Today's featured picture for October 12, 2019
Wikipedia:Today's featured article/October 12, 2019



Wikipedia talk:Selected anniversaries/October 11 * Wikipedia talk:Selected anniversaries/October 13

If you took the time to check your facts you would know that there was not a "racial brawl" on the Kitty Hawk on October 12. The fact of the matter is that the precipitating factor is that one sailor stole another sailors wallet which is what truly led to the disturbance. It is disingenuous at best to blame this event on race - it was a crime perpetrated by one individual that led to a large fight.

Columbus discovery of America

Shouldn't this event be inserted in selected anniversaries?--Panairjdde 11:46, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

I am in agreement with Pana!

Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard died 10 years ago, October 12, 1998, as a result of being beaten and left tied to a fence in Wyoming. His death made international headlines as a particularly egregious example of gay bashing. It surprised me that it wasn't included in the list of selected anniversaries, and it doubly surprised me that, despite text inviting me to edit the list, I couldn't, since it was fully protected. This is the danger of prophylactic protection of pages; Good-faith editors with a long history of contributions are prohibited from improving the encyclopedia without cause. So, why not Matthew Shepard? --SSBohio 14:12, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Most likely it was omitted because of an unintended oversight (although, isn't the day that Shepard was actually attacked, October 7, more significant?). As for you trying to edit this page at the moment you did, it was probably because it was appearing on the main page, or about to appear there (see

Colombus actually made first landfall on Samana Cay. San Salvador Island was formerly thought to be the correct location, but this was formally corrected in 1986, when the National Geographic Society affirmed that he first visited Samana Cay. - (talk) 18:29, 12 October 2011 (UTC)


howcheng {chat} 10:41, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 12 October 2012

The summary for Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse describing her parachute "jump" is misleading, since she didn't get out of the gondola; the whole gondola descended by parachute. The first actual parachute jump may not have taken place until 1887 in San Francisco (see I suggest something like:

Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse became the first woman to make a parachute descent from a hot-air balloon (artwork pictured), falling 900 m (3,000 ft) in the balloon's gondola.

WolfmanSF (talk) 03:31, 12 October 2012 (UTC)


howcheng {chat} 05:59, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

2014 notes

howcheng {chat} 07:27, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

2015 request

@Howcheng:, this is the 100th anniversary of the execution of Edith Cavell. Please can we make sure this features. Mjroots (talk) 08:45, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Got it.

howcheng {chat} 08:16, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Day of Tasu'a

Dear Howcheng! Day of Tasu'a falls one day before Day of Ashura. Tasu's means ninth and Ashura means tenth in Arabic, AFAIK. So, Day of Tasu'a should go to October 10. Thanks. --Mhhossein talk 12:16, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Oh sorry, I went to WikiConference North America this weekend and did not see your post. Sorry the article did not make it in this year. Next time, please try

howcheng {chat} 17:46, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

2017 notes

howcheng {chat} 16:34, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Caption of illustration that accompanies 1799: First woman to parachute

As was discussed on Main Page/Errors, Jeanne Geneviève Garnerin had not yet married M. Garnerin OTD, so her maiden name is used; however, the illustration depicts a different event that apparently occurred after they married. The last paragraph of MOS:MULTINAMES suggests the caption should show her name as Jeanne Geneviève Garnerin, and I suggest the addition of (née Labrosse), for clarity. -- (talk) 06:08, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

@Howcheng: Thanks for cropping a different image (I assume you're the one who cropped it) and swapping it in, but this one also depicts her after she was married. Her married surname is even written under her likeness. -- (talk) 18:24, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

2018 notes

howcheng {chat} 01:54, 15 October 2018 (UTC)