Today is Thursday, October 15, the 288th day of 2015. There are 77 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On October 15, 1915, “The Metamorphosis,” Franz Kafka’s famous absurdist tale about a man named Gregor Samsa who wakes up one morning to discover that he has been transformed into a huge, insect-like creature, was first published in the German literary journal Die Weissen Blaetter (dee VY’-sehn BLEHT’-ur) (The White Pages).
On this date:
In 1783, the first manned balloon flight took place in Paris as Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier ascended in a basket attached to a tethered Montgolfier hot-air balloon, rising to about 75 feet.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte, the deposed Emperor of the French, arrived on the British-ruled South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he spent the last 5 1/2 years of his life in exile.
In 1905, Claude Debussy’s “La Mer” (The Sea), a trio of symphonic sketches, premiered in Paris.
In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act, which expanded on the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.
In 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.
In 1940, Charles Chaplin’s first all-talking comedy, “The Great Dictator,” a lampoon of Adolf Hitler, opened in New York.
In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.
In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH’-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.
In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country as part of a “moratorium” against the Vietnam War.
In 1975, the book “Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape,” a history of sexual assault authored by Susan Brownmiller, was first published.
In 1990, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. South Africa’s Separate Amenities Act, which had barred blacks from public facilities for decades, was formally scrapped.
In 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, 52-48.
Ten years ago: Iraqis voted to approve a constitution. A crowd that had gathered to protest a neo-Nazi march in Toledo, Ohio, turned violent, prompting the mayor to declare a state of emergency.
Five years ago: The Obama administration reported that the federal deficit had hit a near-record $1.3 trillion for the just-completed budget year. Workers hugged, cheered and set off fireworks as a huge drill broke through a last stretch of rock deep in the Swiss Alps for construction of the 35.4-mile Gotthard Base Tunnel, which is scheduled to officially open in June 2016.
One year ago: Fresh signs of slow global economic growth and the Ebola crisis sent stocks on Wall Street tumbling as much as 460 points in the most turbulent day since 2011 before partially recovering; European shares slid as well. The Kansas City Royals advanced to their first World Series since 1985 after finishing a four-game sweep in the AL Championship Series with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The San Francisco Giants came within one game of winning the NL Championship Seires with a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Today’s Birthdays: Former auto executive Lee Iacocca is 91. Jazz musician Freddy Cole is 84. Singer Barry McGuire is 80. Actress Linda Lavin is 78. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 73. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 72. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 70. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 69. Actor Victor Banerjee is 69. Former tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 64. Singer Tito Jackson is 62. Actor-comedian Larry Miller is 62. Actor Jere Burns is 61. Actress Tanya Roberts is 60. Movie director Mira Nair is 58. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 56. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 56. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ’-nih-chehk) is 53. Singer Eric Benet is 49. Actress Vanessa Marcil is 47. Singer-actress-TV host Paige Davis is 46. Country singer Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town) is 46. Actor Dominic West is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ginuwine is 45. Actor Chris Olivero is 36. Christian singer-actress Jaci (JAK’-ee) Velasquez is 36. Actor Brandon Jay McLaren is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Keyshia Cole is 34. Tennis player Elena Dementieva is 34. Actor Vincent Martella is 23. Actress Bailee Madison is 16.
Thought for Today: “A friend to all is a friend to none.” — Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384 B.C.-322 B.C.).