Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 22, 1934, bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was shot to death by federal agents and local police at a farm near East Liverpool, Ohio.
On this date:
In 1746, Princeton University was first chartered as the College of New Jersey.
In 1797, French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin (gahr-nayr-AN’) made the first parachute descent, landing safely from a height of about 3,000 feet over Paris.
In 1836, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.
In 1883, the original Metropolitan Opera House in New York held its grand opening with a performance of Gounod’s “Faust.”
In 1928, Republican presidential nominee Herbert Hoover spoke of the “American system of rugged individualism” in a speech at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
In 1953, the Franco-Lao Treaty of Amity and Association effectively made Laos an independent member of the French Union.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy revealed the presence of Soviet-built missile bases under construction in Cuba and announced a quarantine of all offensive military equipment being shipped to the Communist island nation.
In 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre was named winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, even though the French writer had said he would decline the award.
In 1979, the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment – a decision that precipitated the Iran hostage crisis. French conductor and music teacher Nadia Boulanger died in Paris.
In 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization was decertified by the federal government for its strike the previous August.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law sweeping tax-overhaul legislation.
In 1991, the European Community and the European Free Trade Association concluded a landmark accord to create a free trade zone of 19 nations by 1993.
Ten years ago: In a wrenching videotaped statement, aid worker Margaret Hassan, kidnapped in Baghdad, begged the British government to help save her by withdrawing its troops from Iraq, saying these “might be my last hours.” (Hassan was apparently killed by her captors a month later.) President George W. Bush signed a corporate tax overhaul to close loopholes and provide $136 billion in new tax breaks for businesses, farmers and others.
Five years ago: Mortars fired by Islamic militants slammed into Somalia’s airport as President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed boarded a plane, sparking battles that killed at least 24 people; the president was unhurt. Gunmen kidnapped Gauthier Lefevre, a French staff member working for the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Sudan’s western Darfur region. (Lefevre was released in March 2010.) Comedian Soupy Sales died in New York at age 83.
One year ago: The United States defended drone strikes targeting al-Qaida operatives and others, rejecting reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International questioning the legality of attacks that the groups asserted had killed or wounded scores of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan.
Today’s Birthdays: Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale is 78. Actor Christopher Lloyd is 76. Actor Derek Jacobi is 76. Actor Tony Roberts is 75. Movie director Jan (yahn) de Bont is 71. Actress Catherine Deneuve is 71. Rock musician Leslie West (Mountain) is 69. Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is 67. Actor Jeff Goldblum is 62. Rock musician Greg Hawkes is 62. Movie director Bill Condon is 59. Actor Luis Guzman is 57. Actor-writer-producer Todd Graff is 55. Rock musician Cris Kirkwood is 54. Actor-comedian Bob Odenkirk is 52. Olympic gold medal figure skater Brian Boitano is 51. Christian singer TobyMac is 50. Singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding is 49. Actress Valeria Golino is 48. Comedian Carlos Mencia is 47. Country singer Shelby Lynne is 46. Reggae rapper Shaggy is 46. Movie director Spike Jonze is 45. Rapper Tracey Lee is 44. Actress Saffron Burrows is 42. MLB player Ichiro Suzuki is 41. Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson is 39. Christian rock singer-musician Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) is 38. Actor Michael Fishman is 33. Talk show host Michael Essany is 32. Rock musician Rickard (correct) Goransson (Carolina Liar) is 31. Rock musician Zac Hanson (Hanson) is 29. Actor Jonathan Lipnicki is 24. Actress Sofia Vassilieva (vas-ihl-lee-A’-vuh) is 22.
Thought for Wednesday:
“There is no such thing as notoriety in the United States these days, let alone infamy. Celebrity is all.”
– Christopher Hitchens, Anglo-American author and essayist (1949-2011)
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