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Today in History

October 8, 2018

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2018. There are 72 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 20, 1973, in the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.

On this date:

In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1936, Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy, died in Forest Hills, New York, at age 70.

In 1944, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte (LAY’-tee) in the Philippines, 2 1/2 years after saying, “I shall return.”

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.

In 1967, a jury in Meridian, Mississippi, convicted seven men of violating the civil rights of slain civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner; the seven received prison terms ranging from 3 to 10 years.

In 1968, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

In 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

In 1977, three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, were killed along with three others in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Mississippi.

In 1987, 10 people were killed when an Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport after the pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing, ejected safely.

In 1990, three members of the rap group 2 Live Crew were acquitted by a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., of violating obscenity laws with an adults-only concert in nearby Hollywood the previous June.

In 2001, officials announced that anthrax had been discovered in a House postal facility on Capitol Hill.

In 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya’s dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte (SURT) and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

Ten years ago: A rising wave of optimism lifted Wall Street, propelling the Dow Jones industrials up more than 400 points on more signs of a reviving credit market and hints from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the government would take more steps to help the economy. Arkansas TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly was found severely beaten in her Little Rock home; she died several days later. (Curtis Vance is serving a life sentence for Pressley’s murder.) Taliban gunmen in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed Christian aid worker Gayle Williams, a British-South African national. Sister Emmanuelle, a Belgium-born nun who’d lived for years in Cairo’s slums, died in Callian, France, at age 99.

Five years ago: One year ago: A suicide bomber slammed his explosives-laden car into a busy cafe in Baghdad, killing some three dozen people. In Egypt, masked gunmen fired on a Coptic church holding a wedding in the Cairo district of Warraq, killing five people.

One year ago: The U.S. government said 24 of its workers had now been confirmed to be victims of invisible attacks in Cuba. Suicide bombers struck two mosques in Afghanistan during Friday prayers, killing more than 60 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Japan’s Empress Michiko is 84. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 81. Former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 80. Actor William “Rusty” Russ is 68. Actress Melanie Mayron is 66. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 65. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is 63. Movie director Danny Boyle is 62. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 61. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 60. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 54. Rock musician David Ryan is 54. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 51. Journalist Sunny Hostin (TV: “The View”) is 50. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 48. Actor Kenneth Choi is 47. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 47. Singer Dannii Minogue is 47. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country group Little Big Town) is 47. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 42. Rock musician Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs) is 42. Actor Sam Witwer is 41. Actor John Krasinski is 39. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 39. Actress Katie Featherston is 36. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 33.

Thought for Today: “Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude.” -- Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).

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