Samantha's Today in History

Oct 15th · Oct 16th · Oct 17th · Oct 18th · Oct 19th · Oct 20th · Oct 21st · Oct 22nd · Return to Website

October 15th

1917 The most famous spy of World War I, Gertrude Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, was executed by a firing squad outside Paris.
1946 Nazi Reichsmarshal Herman Goering, sentenced to death as a war criminal, committed suicide in his prison cell on the eve of his scheduled execution.
1951 I Love Lucy, TV's first long-running sitcom and still seen in syndication, made its debut.
1964 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was ousted and replaced by Alexei Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev.
1984 Astronomers in Pasadena, Calif., displayed the first photographic evidence of another solar system 293 trillion miles from Earth.
1990 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1991 The Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 52-48, the closest confirmation vote in court history.
1992 A man who terrorized the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don for more than a decade with a series of more than 50 grisly killings was sentenced to death.
1993 South Africa's President F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1993 The Pentagon censured three U.S. Navy admirals who organized the Tailhook Association convention in 1991 during which scores of women had been subjected to abuse and indignities by junior officers.
1994 Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti three years after being driven into exile by a military coup.
1999 The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the international group Doctors Without Borders.
2001 A package containing a substance believed to be anthrax was opened in the personal office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
2002 The Washington-area sniper claimed his ninth fatality, a female FBI analyst, as the massive manhunt continued.
2002 Former ImClone Chief Executive Officer Samuel Waksal pleaded guilty to insider trading as part of an ongoing investigation into the trading of shares from his biotech company, which also involved home decor diva and Waksal friend Martha Stewart.
2003 10 people were killed and dozens injured when a New York ferry, transporting passengers from Manhattan, slammed into a pier on Staten Island.
2003 China became the third nation to launch a man into space. He landed safely the next day after orbiting the Earth 14 times.
2004 The United Nations said it was getting reports of attacks against internally displaced people in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region where tens of thousands had been killed and 1.6 million others displaced.
2005 Millions of Iraqis went to the polls to vote on a new constitution. There were incidents of violence but they were not widespread.
2007 Chinese President Hu Jintao, in his inaugural address to the 17th party Congress, said his nation needed to improve institutions of democracy.
2008 The U.S. government racked up a record $455 billion deficit in fiscal 2008, an even larger shortfall than expected, officials report. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called the situation a fiscal and economic mess of historic proportions that would take years to dig our way out. The previous year's shortfall was $162 billion.
2008 Analysts said the $700 billion U.S. bailout designed to put the financial market back on its feet isn't going to help the underlying economy. The New York Times said that while credit markets show signs of improvement, the economy remains on the brink of recession.
... Return to top »

October 16th

1701 Yale University was founded.
1793 French Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded.
1859 Abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Va. He was convicted of treason and hanged.
1868 America's first department store, ZCMI, opened in Salt Lake City.
1916 The nation's first birth control clinic was opened in New York by Margaret Sanger and two other women.
1946 At Nuremberg, Germany, 10 high-ranking Nazi officials were executed by hanging for World War II war crimes. Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo and chief of the German air force, was to have been among them but he committed suicide in his cell the night before.
1964 China detonated its first atomic bomb.
1972 A light plane carrying House Democratic leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana and three other men was reported missing in Alaska. The plane was never found.
1984 Black Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa won the Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle against apartheid.
1991 George Hennard killed 22 people and then took his own life after driving his pickup truck through the front window of Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas.
1998 Protestant David Trimble and Roman Catholic John Hume, both political leaders in Northern Ireland, were named winners of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for their work toward bringing peace to Ulster.
2002 U.S. President George Bush signed into law the joint congressional resolution authorizing him to use military force if necessary to rid Iraq of its suspected weapons of mass destruction.
2003 The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution endorsing a U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq.
2004 The World Health Organization said smoke from home stoves and fires in developing countries had become a major cause of death and disease.
2004 In a letter to fans on her Web site, homemaking guru Martha Stewart assured all she was adjusting to life in a West Virginia federal prison which she described as like an old-fashioned college campus -- without the freedom, of course.
2005 Louisiana state officials were investigating the possibility of euthanasia in 215 deaths at 19 New Orleans hospitals and nursing homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
2006 U.S. intelligence officials confirmed an underground explosion in North Korea a week before was the test of a nuclear device. The explosive yield was reported less than 1 kiloton of conventional explosives.
2007 Iraqi officials said their investigation of the killing of Iraqi citizens by Blackwater USA, a private security firm under contract to the U.S. State Department indicates the shootings were unprovoked.
2008 The latest Gallup poll gave Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama a 6-percentage-point nationwide lead over Republican nominee John McCain with less than a month before the election.
2008 U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus was reported developing an assessment for strategy for Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and surrounding regions. The assessment will aim toward a new campaign plan for the Middle East and Central Asia, where Petraeus will oversee military operations.
... Return to top »

October 17th

1777 At one of the turning points of the American Revolution, British Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American Gen. Horatio Gates at Saratoga, N.Y.
1945 Juan Peron became dictator of Argentina. He remained in power for 11 years before being overthrown.
1973 The Arab-dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would cut oil exports to the United States and other nations that provided military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. A full oil embargo hit the United States in December causing a serious energy crisis.
1979 Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a Roman Catholic nun who cared for the sick and poor, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1986 Congress passed a landmark immigration bill, the first U.S. law authorizing penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.
1989 The most powerful California earthquake since the legendary temblor of 1906 struck the San Francisco Bay Area at evening rush hour, just before the scheduled start of Game Three of the World Series in San Francisco between the Giants and the Oakland A's. At least 67 people were killed.
1990 U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said military force would be a legitimate response to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait if sanctions did not work.
1996 O.J. Simpson, who had been acquitted in a highly publicized trial of killing his estranged wife and her friend, went on trial in civil court in a suit brought by the victims' families and accusing him of responsibility for the deaths.
1998 By request of Spanish authorities, British police arrested former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet for questioning about crimes of genocide and terrorism that include murder.
2004 Brazil authorized its air force to shoot down planes suspected of smuggling drugs.
2005 General Motors estimated it would save about $1 billion a year under an agreement with the United Auto Workers Union to cut annual health benefits for workers and retirees.
2005 The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a government demand for $280 billion in penalties from American cigarette makers.
2006 North Korea termed U.N. sanctions to punish it for its recent nuclear test a declaration of war. Reports meanwhile said there was evidence a second nuclear test was planned.
2007 Israeli President Shimon Peres said Israel did not intend to split Jerusalem, a matter often brought up during Palestinian peace talks. But, the minister in charge of strategic affairs said he did not believe Israel needed to retain control over certain parts of the city if future peace agreements call for such an arrangement.
2008 Iraq and the United States reported completion of a draft of a security agreement which called for all U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011, depending on conditions there.
2008 Tim Mahoney, a first-term U.S. Democratic Florida congressman, admitted having several affairs, officials say. Mahoney succeeded the resigned Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., linked to an earlier sex-tinted scandal.
... Return to top »

October 18th

1776 The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was settled. Dubbed the Mason-Dixon line, it became the unofficial boundary between North and South.
1898 The United States took control of Puerto Rico one year after Spain had granted self-rule to the Caribbean nation.
1922 The British Broadcasting Corp. was established.
1931 Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history, died in West Orange, N.J., at the age of 84.
1959 The Soviet Union announced an unmanned space vehicle had taken the first pictures of the far side of the moon.
1974 The jury in the Watergate cover-up trial heard a tape recording in which U.S. President Richard Nixon told aide John Dean to try to stop the Watergate burglary investigation before it implicated White House personnel.
1984 U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered an investigation of a CIA handbook for Nicaraguan rebels that suggested assassination as a political tactic.
1990 Iraq, pinched by economic sanctions, offered to sell oil to anyone at half the going price.
1991 Israel and the Soviet Union agreed to renew full diplomatic relations for the first time since 1967.
1991 The United States and Soviet Union formally invited Israeli and Arab leaders to a conference in Spain to initiate direct bilateral peace talks.
1992 Numerous civilians were killed or wounded when Serbian forces unleashed a citywide artillery barrage on Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2002 North Korea revealed it was working on a secret nuclear weapons program and U.S. intelligence officials concluded that Pakistan was a major supplier of critical equipment for it.
2004 Exhumation orders were issued for 42 bodies in Sonthofen, Germany, where a hospital orderly admitted to giving lethal injections to 16 patients.
2005 Iraqi election officials said parliamentary election results would be delayed a few days while procedures were checked at 12 voting sites where as many as 99 percent of ballots favored a new constitution.
2005 Iran sought to have former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein charged also with genocide and the use of chemical weapons in the war with Iran when he goes on trial for war crimes in Baghdad.
2006 Despite opposition in both countries, the U.S. government reportedly was pressing the Iraqi government to offer a broad amnesty to insurgents.
2007 Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned home after eight years in exile to triumphant fanfare that gave way to panic when a suicide bomber killed a reported 139 people in her convoy. Bhutto survived the attack.
2008 Public health officials in North Bay, Ontario, say the number of people sickened by E. coli bacteria at Harvey's fast-food restaurant has risen to 131. Inspectors say hamburgers are the suspected source.
2008 Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to share power but after a week of intense negotiations they say they are getting nowhere. They can't decide who runs the police and financial ministries.
... Return to top »

October 19th

1781 Britain's Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered with more than 7,000 troops to Gen. George Washington at Yorktown, Va., effectively ending the American War of Independence.
1812 Napoleon's beaten French army began its long, disastrous retreat from Moscow.
1982 Carmaker John DeLorean was arrested in Los Angeles and charged in a $24 million cocaine scheme aimed at salvaging his bankrupt sports car company. He was tried and acquitted.
1987 The New York stock market suffered its biggest setback, with the bellwether Dow Jones industrial average nose diving 508 points in one session.
1993 A U.N. oil-and-arms embargo against Haiti was reinstated in an effort to return the exiled Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president of Haiti.
1994 More than 20 people were killed in the terrorist bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv, Israel. Islamic militants claimed responsibility.
2000 Independent counsel Robert Ray said in his final report about the White House travel office scandal dubbed Travelgate that first lady Hillary Clinton gave factually false sworn testimony. But, he said, there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges.
2003 Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims packed into St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, the last formal step to sainthood.
2005 A defiant Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent as he went on trial in Baghdad on charges of murder and torture during his reign as president of Iraq. The initial session, with the former dictator questioning the court's legitimacy and scuffling with guards, lasted three hours before the judge ordered an adjournment.
2006 Courts-martial were ordered for four U.S. soldiers accused of raping a teenage Iraqi girl and killing her and her family in a town south of Baghdad.
2007 Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said she was warned of an assassination plot by four groups against he, but chose to return home anyway. An attack upon her arrival in Karachi killed a reported 139 people and injured hundreds of others.
2008 Two weeks before the national election, Colin Powell, a Republican and former secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, gave his endorsement to Democrat Barack Obama, whom he referred to as a transformational figure.
2008 Taliban insurgents pulled 30 men from a bus in Afghanistan and beheaded them, authorities reported. A Taliban spokesman said they were members of the Afghan army but the Afghan government said they were civilians looking for work.
... Return to top »

October 20th

1818 The United States and Britain agreed to establish the 49th parallel as the official boundary between the United States and Canada.
1918 Germany accepted U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's terms to end World War I.
1944 U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur kept his promise to return to the Philippines Islands when he landed with U.S. forces during World War II.
1947 The U.S. House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee opened public hearings into communist influence in Hollywood.
1982 The world's worst soccer disaster occurred in Moscow when 340 fans were crushed to death in an open staircase during a game between Soviet and Dutch players.
1990 The rap group 2 Live Crew was acquitted in Miami of obscenity charges arising from a performance of selections from the album As Nasty As They Wanna Be.
1992 One of Europe's leading environmentalists, Germany's Greens Party founder Petra Kelly, was found shot to death by her companion, Gert Bastian, who then committed suicide.
1994 Hollywood heavyweight Burt Lancaster died at the age of 80.
2000 A former U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty to joining in a terrorist plot against the United States, linking Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden to the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
2003 The London Mirror said that British Princess Diana claimed there was a plot to kill her in a car crash in a handwritten letter 10 months before she died in an auto accident.
2004 Margaret Hassan, chief of operations for the British CARE charity, was kidnapped on her way to work in Iraq by unknown armed militants. CARE suspended its work in Iraq soon after.
2004 Retired Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in as Indonesia's sixth president after winning the country's first direct elections for head of state.
2005 Former U.S. House of Representatives Republican leader Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was booked in Houston after his indictment on conspiracy and money laundering charges. He was freed on $10,000 bond.
2005 Pakistan set the official death toll of the Oct. 8 quake at 47,000 but various aid officials claim it was closer to 80,000. Three million people were reported without shelter as winter approached the Himalayan region.
2007 Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and several, smaller Central Asian states for help in fighting terrorism in the region.
2008 U.S. auto giants Chrysler and General Motors were reported looking for government help in financing a merger. Details remained under wraps but sources said such a company would command 36 percent of the U.S. auto market.
... Return to top »

October 21st

1805 In one of history's greatest naval battles, the British fleet under Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated the combined French-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar off the coast of Spain.
1879 After 14 months of experiments, Thomas Edison invented the first practical electric incandescent lamp.
1908 The Saturday Evening Post magazine carried an ad for a brand new product: a two-sided phonograph record.
1950 Chinese troops occupied Tibet.
1959 Rocket designer Wernher von Braun and his team were transferred from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
1987 The U.S. Senate rejected U.S. President Ronald Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court by the biggest margin in history, 58-42.
1990 Gunmen stormed the home of a key supporter of Lebanese Christian military leader Michel Aoun, killing him, his wife and their two sons.
1991 Beirut University professor Jesse Turner, a hostage since January 1987, was released by his captors in Lebanon.
1992 New York protesters upset with Sinead O'Connor for ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, used a steamroller to crush dozens of the Irish singer's CDs, records and tapes.
1994 Rosario Ames, wife of confessed spy Aldrich Ames, was sentenced to 63 months in prison for collaborating with her husband.
1996 The Dow Jones industrial average of 30 major stocks topped the 6,000 mark for the first time.
2004 The most senior soldier accused in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Ivan Chip Frederick, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
2005 Results from the Afghanistan parliamentary elections showed that Islamic conservatives and former jihad fighters made up at least half of the lower house.
2007 U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, in one of the strongest warnings from Washington on the matter, said, We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.
2008 U.S. President George Bush reportedly decided not to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba where the United States holds suspected terrorists, despite his stated desire to do so.
2008 Saudi Arabian officials said they have indicted nearly 1,000 suspected militants, saying the country was a target for an organized terror campaign. The campaign was said to be aimed at undermining the country's lifestyle and economy and had a direct link to al-Qaida.
... Return to top »

October 22nd

1797 The first parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin, who dropped from a height of about 6,500 feet over a Paris park.
1836 Gen. Sam Houston was sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Texas.
1938 Inventor Charles Carlson produced the first dry, or xerographic, copy, but had trouble attracting investors.
1962 U.S. President John Kennedy announced that Soviet missiles had been deployed in Cuba and ordered a blockade of the island.
1966 The Supremes became the first all-female group to score a No. 1 album, with Supremes a Go-Go.
1978 Pope John Paul II was installed as pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
1990 U.S. President George H.W. Bush vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1990, saying it would lead to a quota system.
1991 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir warned that Israel would refuse to negotiate with any Palestinians who claimed alliance to the PLO.
1992 Pioneer sportscaster Red Barber died at age 84.
2001 Anthrax spores were found in a mail-opening machine serving the White House. Preliminary tests on 120 workers who sort mail for the executive mansion were negative.
2001 The Pentagon announced nearly 200 U.S. jets struck Taliban and al-Qaida communications facilities, barracks and training camps and disputed Taliban claims that 100 civilians died when a bomb hit a hospital in western Afghanistan.
2003 A poll indicated 59 percent of Palestinians wanted attacks against Israel to continue even if Israel leaves the West Bank and Gaza.
2004 Rescuers confirmed 64 dead following an explosion in a central China coal mine. Eighty-four miners were missing in the toxic gas-filled shaft.
2005 Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation into the reported desecration of bodies by U.S. troops said to be captured on tape by a TV crew.
2007 U.S. President George Bush formally asked Congress for $46 billion in emergency funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That's in addition to the nearly $145 billion in his original budget for next year.
2008 Mexican officials say federal army troops have arrived at Rosarito Beach in Baja California to battle a relentless wave of drug gang slayings in the state's border towns. Police estimated at least 140 killings in and around Tijuana since Sept. 26.
Powered by Bravenet