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Sunday, October 26

October 18, 2014

Today is Sunday, October 26, the 299th day of 2014. There are 66 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1524 - Spain surrenders Milan to the French.

1795 - The first jackasses arrive in America through Boston Harbor as a gift from the King of Spain to U.S. President George Washington, so they could be mated with mares and produce America’s first native mules.

1814 - The British governor general of India declares war on Gurkhas of Nepal.

1896 - Italy concedes Ethiopia’s independence by Treaty of Addis Ababa after a crushing defeat at Adwa earlier in the year.

1917 - Brazil declares war against Germany in World War I.

1942 - U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet is sunk after being hit by Japanese aircraft in the Solomon Islands battle.

1947 - U.S. film actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall fly to Washington to protest alleged violations of personal freedom by the House Un-American Activities Committee in hearings on Communist infiltration in Hollywood.

1955 - Republic of South Vietnam is proclaimed under Ngo Dinh Diem.

1962 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev offers to withdraw missiles from Cuba if United States removes bases in Turkey, but is rebuffed.

1975 - Anwar Sadat becomes the first Egyptian president to pay an official visit to the United States.

1979 - South Korea’s President Park Chung-Hee is slain by his lifelong friend Kim Jae Kyu, the head of the Korean intelligence agency.

1987 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan announces an embargo on all U.S. imports from Iran because of its “unprovoked attacks” on American military forces and merchant ships.

1990 - President Alberto Fujimori announces a plan to employ free market incentives as a way to stop Peruvian farmers from their economic dependence on growing coca, the plant used to make cocaine.

1992 - An elaborate pageant for Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her accession to the British throne is held in London.

1994 - Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali of Jordan sign a peace treaty ending 46 years of hostility.

1996 — As eastern Zaire slides into chaos, the United Nations evacuates aid workers from the camp in Bukavu, leaving half a million Hutu refugees from Rwanda to fend for themselves.

1997 - Angola promises to withdraw its troops from Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, where they helped rebels oust elected President Pascal Lissouba.

1998 - Days after signing a peace accord with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu beats a no-confidence vote in Parliament.

1999 - Britain’s House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament.

2000 - Supporters of Ivory Coast’s president-elect and his political rival fight bloody clashes in Abidjan over a demand for new presidential elections.

2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush signs a sweeping anti-terrorism bill into law, giving police and intelligence agencies vast new powers.

2002 - Elite Russian counterterrorism forces storm a theater in Moscow after flooding it with knockout gas, bringing an end to a hostage crisis that had begun with the theater’s seizure by more than 50 Chechen guerrillas. At least 119 of the 750 hostages die.

2004 - Rebel leader Winter Etienne says that Haiti’s U.S.-backed interim government must meet demands to rebuild the storm-devastated city of Gonaives or resign — and if not, the rebels will take up arms and the government will face another revolt.

2005 - Iraqi lawyers defending Saddam Hussein suspend further dealings with the Special Tribunal trying him until their safety is guaranteed, citing a recent kidnapping and murder of a lawyer representing one of the former dictator’s co-defendants.

2006 - A riot in Congo’s capital breaks out at the main jail, killing two prisoners, after authorities tightened restrictions following the escape of a dozen inmates convicted of involvement in the assassination of former President Laurent Kabila.

2007 - Nine French citizens who are a part of the group L’Arche de Zoe are arrested in Chad after the group tried to fly more than 100 African children to France, saying it wanted to save them from the crisis in neighboring Darfur.

2008 - U.S. military helicopters launch a rare attack on Syrian territory, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as “serious aggression.”

2009 - One of Fidel Castro’s sisters says in a memoir that she collaborated with the CIA against her brother, starting shortly after the United States’ failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.

2010 - A volcanic eruption and a tsunami kill scores of people hundreds of miles (kilometers) apart in Indonesia — spasms from the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” which spawns disasters from deep within the Earth.

2011 - Brazil’s sports minister resigns after fighting corruption allegations for more than a week.

2012 - Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi is convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison in a verdict that could see him barred from public office for four years.

2013 - Days of torrential rain cause floods in southeast India, killing dozens of people and forcing the evacuation of more than 70,000 others from hundreds of low-lying villages.

Today’s Birthdays:

Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer (1685-1757); Georges Jacques Danton, French revolutionary leader (1759-1794); William Charles Wentworth, Australian explorer (1790-1872); Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, deposed Shah of Iran (1919-1980); Bob Hoskins, British actor (1942-2014); Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and former U.S. first lady (1947--); Jaclyn Smith, U.S. actress (1945--); Natalie Merchant, U.S. singer (1963--); Keith Urban, Australian country singer (1967--).

Thought for Today:

Each child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man — Sir Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Nobel Prize-winning poet (1861-1941).

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