Today in history


By the Associated Press



Today is Friday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2019. There are 88 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Oct. 4, 2002, “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh received a 20-year sentence after a sobbing plea for forgiveness before a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. In a federal court in Boston, a laughing Richard Reid pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives in his shoes (the British citizen was later sentenced to life in prison).

On this date:

In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pennsylvania, resulting in heavy American casualties.

In 1861, during the Civil War, the United States Navy authorized construction of the first ironclad ship, the USS Monitor.

In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps.

In 1951, the MGM movie musical “An American in Paris,” starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, had its U.S. premiere in New York.

In 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit.

In 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.

In 1989, Triple Crown-winning racehorse Secretariat, suffering a hoof ailment, was humanely destroyed at age 19.

In 1990, for the first time in nearly six decades, German lawmakers met in the Reichstag for the first meeting of reunified Germany’s parliament.

In 1991, 26 nations, including the United States, signed the Madrid Protocol, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.

In 2003, a Palestinian woman blew herself up inside a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, killing 21 bystanders.

In 2004, the SpaceShipOne rocket plane broke through Earth’s atmosphere to the edge of space for the second time in five days, capturing the $10 million Ansari X prize aimed at opening the final frontier to tourists. Pioneering astronaut Gordon Cooper died in Ventura, California, at age 77.

In 2017, President Donald Trump visited hospital bedsides and a police base in Las Vegas in the aftermath of the shooting rampage three nights earlier that left 58 people dead.

Ten years ago: Greek Socialists trounced the governing conservatives in a landslide election. Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, 74, died in Buenos Aires.

Five years ago: North Korea’s presumptive No. 2 leader, Hwang Pyong So, and other members of Pyongyang’s inner circle met with South Korean officials in the rivals’ highest level face-to-face talks in five years. Former Haitian “president for life” Jean-Claude Duvalier, 63, died in Port-au-Prince. Paul Revere, 76, the organist and leader of the Raiders rock band, died in Garden Vallley, Idaho.

One year ago: The Senate Judiciary Committee said it had received an FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; leading GOP lawmakers said there was nothing new in the report, while Democrats complained that the investigation omitted interviews with some potential witnesses and accused the White House of limiting the scope of the probe. President Donald Trump told a Minnesota rally that Republican voters would be motivated by what he called the “rage-fueled resistance” by Democrats to the Kavanaugh nomination. Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was sentenced in Los Angeles to 28 years in prison for running down and killing a Compton businessman with a pickup truck.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Leroy Van Dyke is 90. Actress Felicia Farr is 87. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Sam Huff is 85. Author Roy Blount Jr. is 78. Author Anne Rice is 78. Actress Lori Saunders (TV: “Petticoat Junction”) is 78. Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa is 75. Actor Clifton Davis is 74. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, is 73. Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is 73. Actress Susan Sarandon is 73. Blues musician Duke Robillard is 71. Playwright Lee Blessing is 70. Actor Armand Assante is 70. Actor Alan Rosenberg is 69. Actor Christoph Waltz is 63. Actor Bill Fagerbakke is 62. Music producer Russell Simmons is 62. Actress Kyra Schon (Film: “Night of the Living Dead”) is 62. Actress-singer Wendy Makkena is 61. Musician Chris Lowe (The Pet Shop Boys) is 60. Country musician Gregg “Hobie” Hubbard (Sawyer Brown) is 59. Actor David W. Harper is 58. Singer Jon Secada is 58. TV personality John Melendez is 54. Actor-comedian Jerry Minor is 52. Actor Liev Schreiber is 52. Actor Abraham Benrubi is 50. Country singer-musician Heidi Newfield is 49. Singer-guitarist M. Ward (She & Him) is 46. Actress Alicia Silverstone is 43. Actress Dana Davis is 41. Rock musician Robbie Bennett (The War on Drugs) is 41. Actor Phillip Glasser is 41. Rock singer-musician Marc Roberge (O.A.R.) is 41. Actor Brandon Barash is 40. Actress Rachael Leigh Cook is 40. Actor Tim Peper is 39. Actor Jimmy Workman is 39. Bassist Cubbie Fink is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jessica Benson (3lw) is 32. Actor Michael Charles Roman is 32. Actress Melissa Benoist is 31. NBA All-Star Derrick Rose is 31. Actress Dakota Johnson is 30. Figure skater Kimmie Meisner is 30. Actress Leigh-Anne Pinnock (Little Mix) is 28. Actor Ryan Scott Lee is 23.

Thought for Today: “Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.” — Ben Hecht, American screenwriter (1894-1964).

By the Associated Press