Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 16, 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. (Ten of Brown’s men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.)
On this date:
In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.
In 1934, Chinese Communists, under siege by the Nationalists, began their “long march” lasting a year from southeastern to northwestern China.
In 1939, the comedy “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, opened on Broadway.
In 1943, Chicago Mayor Edward J. Kelly officially opened the city’s new subway system during a ceremony at the State and Madison street station.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
In 1964, China set off its first atomic bomb, codenamed “596,” on the Lop Nur Test Ground. Harold Wilson of the Labour Party assumed office as prime minister of Britain, succeeding Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home.
In 1969, the New York Mets capped their miracle season by winning the World Series, defeating the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, in Game 5 played at Shea Stadium.
In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.
In 1984, Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of non-violent struggle for racial equality in South Africa.
In 1987, a 58-1/2-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well.
In 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as George Hennard opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.
In 1999, a New York Air National Guard plane rescued Dr. Jerri Nielsen from a South Pole research center after she’d spent five months isolated by the Antarctic winter, forced to treat herself for a cancerous breast lump.
Ten years ago: The Soyuz spacecraft was forced to manually dock with the International Space Station after it closed in on the station at a dangerously high speed. Pierre Salinger, a journalist who’d served as press secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, died in France at age 79.
Five years ago: The government reported that the federal budget deficit for the just-ended fiscal year totaled an all-time high of $1.42 trillion (a record which still stands). Agricultural officials said pigs in Minnesota had tested positive for the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, the first such cases in the U.S.
One year ago: Congress passed and sent to President Barack Obama for his signature legislation to avoid a threatened U.S. default and end the partial, 16-day government shutdown. A Lao Airlines turboprop crashed as it approached Pakse Airport in southern Laos; all 49 people on board were killed. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat St. Louis 6-4, trimming the Cardinals’ lead to 3-2 in the NL championship series. The Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3 to even the AL championship series at 2-all.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Angela Lansbury is 89. Author Gunter Grass is 87. Actor-producer Tony Anthony is 77. Actor Barry Corbin is 74. Sportscaster Tim McCarver is 73. Rock musician C.F. Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 71. Actress Suzanne Somers is 68. Rock singer-musician Bob Weir is 67. Producer-director David Zucker is 67. Record company executive Jim Ed Norman is 66. Actor Daniel Gerroll is 63. Actor Morgan Stevens is 63. Actress Martha Smith is 62. Comedian-actor Andy Kindler is 58. Actor-director Tim Robbins is 56. Actor-musician Gary Kemp is 55. Singer-musician Bob Mould is 54. Actor Randy Vasquez is 53. Rock musician Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 52. Actor Todd Stashwick is 46. Jazz musician Roy Hargrove is 45. Actress Terri J. Vaughn is 45. Singer Wendy Wilson (Wilson Phillips) is 45. Rapper B-Rock (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 43. Rock singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) is 43. Actor Paul Sparks is 43. Actress Kellie Martin is 39. Singer John Mayer is 37. Actor Jeremy Jackson is 34. Actress Caterina Scorsone is 34. Actress Brea Grant is 33.
Thought for Thursday:
“Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”
– Eugene O’Neill, American playwright (born this date in 1888, died 1953)
Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.