Today is Sunday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2014

Today In HistoryToday’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 12, 1964, the Soviet Union launched a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew on the first mission involving more than one crew member (the flight lasted just over 24 hours).

On this date:

In 1492 (according to the Old Style calendar), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.

In 1864, Roger B. Taney (TAH’-nee), the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, died at 87; he was succeeded by Salmon Chase.

In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Virginia, at age 63.

In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans in occupied Belgium during World War I.

In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.

In 1942, during World War II, American naval forces defeated the Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance. Attorney General Francis Biddle announced during a Columbus Day celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped an attempt on her life when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at a hotel in Brighton, England, killing five people. Actor Jon-Erik Hexum was mortally wounded on the set of his TV show “Cover Up” when he jokingly shot himself in the head with a prop pistol loaded with a blank cartridge; he was declared dead six days later.

In 1994, the Magellan space probe ended its four-year mapping mission of Venus, apparently plunging into the planet’s atmosphere.

In 1999, Pakistan’s military overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. NBA Hall-of-Famer Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain died at his Los Angeles home at age 63.

In 2000, 17 sailors were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen.

In 2002, bombs blamed on al-Qaida-linked militants destroyed a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians and seven Americans.

Ten years ago: A jury in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, took 80 minutes to find suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Charlotte Murray Pace. (Lee was later sentenced to death for Pace’s killing; he remains on death row.) The Seattle Storm won their first WNBA title with a 74-60 victory over the Connecticut Sun.

Five years ago: A suicide car bombing near a market in northwestern Pakistan killed 41. Addressing the Northern Ireland Assembly, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged rival leaders of the power-sharing government to keep making their coalition work for the sake of lasting peace. Americans Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson won the Nobel economics prize.

One year ago: Cyclone Phailin struck the east coast of India, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage; some four dozen people are believed to have died. Belgian authorities nabbed alleged pirate kingpin Mohamed Abdi Hassan on his arrival in Brussels (he’d been lured from Somalia with promises of work on a documentary about piracy). Anibal Sanchez and four Detroit Tigers relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, striking out 17 to beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 in the AL championship series opener. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 for a 2-0 lead in the NL championship series.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Antonia Rey is 87. Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 82. Former Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, is 82. Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 79. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 67. Actress-singer Susan Anton is 64. Rock singer-musician Pat DiNizio is 59. Actor Carlos Bernard is 52. Jazz musician Chris Botti (BOH’-tee) is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Claude McKnight (Take 6) is 52. Rock singer Bob Schneider is 49. Actor Hugh Jackman is 46. Actor Adam Rich is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Garfield Bright (Shai) is 45. Country musician Martie Maguire (Courtyard Hounds, The Dixie Chicks) is 45. Actor Kirk Cameron is 44. Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller is 37. Rock singer Jordan Pundik (New Found Glory) is 35. Actor Brian J. Smith is 33. Actor Tyler Blackburn is 28. Actor Marcus T. Paulk is 28. Actor Josh Hutcherson is 22.

Thought for Sunday:

“Everyone’s quick to blame the alien.”

– Aeschylus (ES’-kuh-luhs), Greek poet and dramatist (524 B.C.?-456 B.C.?)

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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