Today is Monday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2018. There are 85 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 7, 2001, the war in Afghanistan started as the United States and Britain launched air attacks against military targets and Osama bin Laden’s training camps in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
On this date:
In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under General John Burgoyne surrendered ten days later.)
In 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 40.
In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York.
In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard Nixon held their second televised debate, this one in Washington, D.C.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II concluded his week-long tour of the United States with a Mass on the Washington Mall.
In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro (ah-KEE’-leh LOW’-roh) in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish-American tourist in a wheelchair, and pushed him overboard, before surrendering on Oct. 9.)
In 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him; Thomas denied Hill’s allegations.
In 1992, trade representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, in the presence of President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (muhl-ROO’-nee) and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
In 1996, Fox News Channel made its debut.
In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fencepost outside of Laramie, Wyoming; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are serving life sentences for Shepard’s murder.)
In 2003, California voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger their new governor.
In 2004, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney conceded that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction as they tried to shift the Iraq war debate to a new issue, arguing that Saddam was abusing a U.N. oil-for-food program.
Ten years ago: A top Italian court overturned a law granting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution, allowing trials for corruption and tax fraud to resume in Milan. (Berlusconi was later convicted of tax fraud relating to the purchase of TV rights to U.S. films on his Mediaset network; the corruption trial ended with a court ruling that the statute of limitations had run out.) Americans Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz and Israeli Ada Yonath won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Fashion and celebrity photographer Irving Penn died in New York at 92.
Five years ago: North Korea publicly acknowledged to the international community the existence of its “reform through labor” camps, a mention that appeared to come in response to a highly critical U.N. human rights report. Two Japanese scientists, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, and a naturalized American, Shuji Nakamura, won the Nobel Prize for physics for inventing a new kind of light-emitting diode (LED) that promised to revolutionize the way the world lighted its offices and homes.
One year ago: Breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything political, music superstar Taylor Swift announced that she would be voting for Tennessee’s Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen. Brazilian voters chose a far-right former army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, in the first round of the country’s presidential election, but he fell just short of the margin needed to avoid a late October runoff. (Bolsonaro would win the runoff with 55 percent of the vote.) The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-0 to sweep their National League Division Series.
Today’s Birthdays: Retired South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu is 88. Author Thomas Keneally is 84. Comedian Joy Behar is 77. Former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) is 76. Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 74. Actress Jill Larson is 72. Country singer Kieran Kane is 70. Singer John Mellencamp is 68. Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 68. Russian President Vladimir Putin is 67. Actress Mary Badham (Film: “To Kill a Mockingbird”) is 67. Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 66. Actress Christopher Norris is 64. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 64. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 62. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Jayne Torvill is 62. Actor Dylan Baker is 61. Actress Judy Landers is 61. Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell is 60. Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (formerly with Iron Butterfly) is 60. Actress Paula Newsome is 58. Country singer Dale Watson is 57. Pop singer Ann Curless (Expose) is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 52. Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 51. Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 50. Actress Nicole Ari Parker is 49. Actress Allison Munn is 45. Rock singer-musician Damian Kulash (KOO’-lahsh) is 44. Singer Taylor Hicks is 43. Actor Omar Miller is 41. Neo-soul singer Nathaniel Rateliff (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 41. Actor Shawn Ashmore is 40. Actor Jake McLaughlin is 37. Electronic musician Flying Lotus (AKA Stephen Ellison) is 36. MLB player Evan Longoria is 34. Actress Holland Roden is 33. Actress Amber Stevens is 33. Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is 27. Actress Lulu Wilson is 14.
Thought for Today: “Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time.” — Malcolm Forbes, American publisher (1919-1990).