Today in history
Saturday, Oct. 16, is the 289th day of 2021. There are 76 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 16, 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry in what was then a part of 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 1962, the Cuban missile crisis began as 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.
In 1968, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked controversy at the Mexico City Olympics by giving “Black power” salutes during a victory ceremony after they’d won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race.
In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla 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 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as a gunman opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.
In 1995, a vast throng of Black men gathered in Washington, D.C., for the “Million Man March” led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq.
In 2009, agricultural officials said pigs in Minnesota had tested positive for the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, the first such cases in the U.S.
In 2017, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been captured and held by the Taliban for five years after walking away from his post in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty to desertion and endangering his comrades. (A military judge later decided not to send him to prison.)
Ten years ago: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was formally dedicated in Washington, D.C. British race car driver Dan Wheldon, 33, died in a fiery 15-car wreck in the Las Vegas Indy 300. Danell Leyva became the first American male gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Championships since 2003, taking the parallel bars title in Tokyo. The St. Louis Cardinals captured their 18th National League pennant with a 12-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the NLCS.
Five years ago: Joy, jubilation and dancing erupted when a group of Nigerian parents were reunited with 21 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram 2 1/2 years earlier and freed in the first negotiated release organized by the government and the Islamic extremist group. Singer Randy Travis, fiddler Charlie Daniels and producer Fred Foster were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
One year ago: A French history teacher who had opened a discussion with his high school students about caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was beheaded on a street northwest of Paris; police shot and killed the suspect, an 18-year-old radical Islamist. After initially denying the request, the Trump administration approved California’s application for disaster relief funds to clean up damage from six deadly and destructive wildfires. A federal judge refused to block New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order limiting worship to as few as 10 congregants in communities seeing spikes in coronavirus infections.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Angela Lansbury is 96. Actor Peter Bowles is 85. Actor-producer Tony Anthony is 84. Actor Barry Corbin is 81. Sportscaster Tim McCarver is 80. Rock musician C.F. Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 78. Actor Suzanne Somers is 75. Rock singer-musician Bob Weir is 74. Producer-director David Zucker is 74. Record company executive Jim Ed Norman is 73. Actor Daniel Gerroll is 70. Actor Morgan Stevens is 70. Actor Martha Smith is 69. Comedian-actor Andy Kindler is 65. Actor-director Tim Robbins is 63. Actor-musician Gary Kemp is 62. Singer-musician Bob Mould is 61. Actor Randy Vasquez is 60. Rock musician Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 59. Movie director Kenneth Lonergan is 59. Actor Christian Stolte is 59. Actor Todd Stashwick is 53. Actor Terri J. Vaughn is 52. Singer Wendy Wilson (Wilson Phillips) is 52. Rock singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) is 50. Actor Jeremy Jackson is 41. Actor Caterina Scorsone is 41. Actor Brea Grant is 40. U.S. Olympic and WNBA basketball star Sue Bird is 40. Actor Kyler Pettis is 29. Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper is 29. Tennis star Naomi Osaka is 24.
Sunday is Oct. 17, the 290th day of 2021. There are 75 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, New York, in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.
On this date:
In 1919, Radio Corp. of America was chartered.
In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted in Chicago of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)
In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
In 1957, the movie “Jailhouse Rock,” starring Elvis Presley, had its world premiere in Memphis, Tenn.
In 1966, 12 New York City firefighters were killed while battling a blaze in lower Manhattan. The TV game show “The Hollywood Squares” premiered on NBC.
In 1967, Puyi, the last emperor of China, died in Beijing at age 61.
In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.
In 1978, President Carter signed a bill restoring U.S. citizenship to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1989, an earthquake measuring 6.9 in magnitude struck northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.
In 2014, the World Health Organization acknowledged it had botched attempts to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff, lack of information and budget cuts.
In 2018, residents of the Florida Panhandle community of Mexico Beach who had fled Hurricane Michael a week earlier returned home to find homes, businesses and campers ripped to shreds; the storm had killed at least 59 people and caused more than $25 billion in damage in Florida, Ga., the Carolinas and Virginia.
Ten years ago: Rolling through small Southern towns in a campaign-style bus, President Barack Obama pressed lawmakers back in Washington to start taking up pieces of his rejected jobs bill and mocked the Republicans who had shot it down in toto. Financier Carl Lindner Jr., who used his experience running the family dairy store to build a business empire whose reach included baseball, banks and bananas, died at age 92.
Five years ago: A long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city Mosul from the Islamic State group began with a volley of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and heavy artillery bombardments on a cluster of villages east of the militant-held city. Orbital ATK’s unmanned Antares rocket blasted off from Wallops Island in Virginia on a supply mission to the International Space Station; it was the first flight of an Antares since a launch explosion in 2014.
One year ago: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said movie theaters in the state could reopen the following week, with restrictions on audience size and other coronavirus precautions in place; theaters in New York City weren’t included. Iran said its death toll from the coronavirus had passed 30,000, in what had been the Mideast’s worst outbreak.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Marsha Hunt is 104. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 79. Singer Gary Puckett is 79. Actor Michael McKean is 74. Actor George Wendt is 73. Actor-singer Bill Hudson is 72. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 65. Country singer Alan Jackson is 63. Movie critic Richard Roeper is 62. Movie director Rob Marshall is 61. Actor Grant Shaud is 61. Animator Mike Judge is 59. Rock singer-musician Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth) is 58. Actor Wood Harris is 52. Singer Wyclef Jean (zhahn) is 52. World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els is 52. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick (‘N Sync) is 50. Rapper Eminem is 49. Actor Sharon Leal is 49. Actor Matthew Macfadyen is 47.