Today is Sunday, Oct. 7, the 281st day of 2012. There are 85 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On Oct. 7, 1929, former Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall, one of the main figures of the Teapot Dome scandal, went on trial in Washington, D.C., charged with accepting a bribe from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny. (Fall was found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000; he ended up serving nine months. Ironically, Doheny was acquitted at trial of offering the bribe that Fall was convicted of taking.)
On this date
In 1612, Italian poet Giovanni Battista Guarini died in Venice.
In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered ten days later.)
In 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore at age 40.
In 1858, the fifth debate between Illinois senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Galesburg.
In 1910, a major wildfire devastated the northern Minnesota towns of Spooner and Baudette, charring at least 300,000 acres. Some 40 people are believed to have died.
In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.
In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held their second televised debate, in Washington, D.C.
In 1982, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Cats” opened on Broadway. (The show closed Sept. 10, 2000, after a record 7,485 performances.)
In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers, who killed Jewish American tourist Leon Klinghoffer, surrendered two days after taking over the ship.)
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 2001, the current 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 Sept. 11 attacks.
Ten years ago
In an address to the nation, President George W. Bush labeled Saddam Hussein a “homicidal dictator” and said the threat from Iraq was unique and imminent. The Washington-area sniper struck again, shooting and critically wounding a 13-year-old boy as his aunt dropped him off at school in Bowie, Md. British researchers Sydney Brenner and John E. Sulston and American researcher H. Robert Horvitz won the Nobel Prize in medicine. The space shuttle Atlantis lifted off on a mission to the international space station.
Page 2 of 2 - Five years ago
Tyler Peterson, a 20-year-old sheriff’s deputy, went on a shooting rampage in Crandon, Wis., killing six people, including his ex-girlfriend, before taking his own life as police closed in. Nine skydivers and a pilot were killed when their Cessna Caravan 208 crashed in Washington’s Cascade Range. In a race run in scorching heat that left one man dead, Kenya’s Patrick Ivuti won the Chicago Marathon by a fraction of a second; another 250 runners were taken to hospitals because of heat-related ailments.
One year ago
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three women: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman, who began pushing for change in Yemen long before the Arab Spring. The Minnesota Lynx completed a near-perfect postseason by beating the Atlanta Dream 73-67 to complete a three-game sweep of the WNBA championship series.
Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is 81.
Comedian Joy Behar (TV: “The View”) is 70.
Former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) is 69.
Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 67.
Actress Jill Larson is 65.
Country singer Kieran Kane is 63.
Singer John Mellencamp is 61.
Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 61.
Actress Mary Badham (Film: “To Kill a Mockingbird”) is 60.
Actress Christopher Norris is 59.
Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 59.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 57.
Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 55.
Actor Dylan Baker is 54.
Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell (TV: “The X Factor”) is 53.
Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly) is 53.
Country singer Dale Watson is 50.
Pop singer Ann Curless (Expose) is 49.
Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 45.
Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 44.
Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 43.
Actress Nicole Ari Parker is 42.
Actress Allison Munn is 38.
Rock singer-musician Damian Kulash is 37.
Singer Taylor Hicks (“American Idol”) is 36.
Actor Omar Benson Miller is 34.
Electronic musician Flying Lotus (AKA Stephen Ellison) is 29.
MLB player Evan Longoria is 27.
Actress Amber Stevens is 26.
Thought for Today
“If a man happens to find himself, he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life.” — James Michener, American author (1907-1997).