Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wednesday, October 12

This Day In History

  • 1492   On this day, with a crew of 90 and three ships, the "Nina", the "Pinta" and the "Santa Maria", Columbus landed on Guanahani Island in the Bahamas.
  • 1792   The first monument honoring Christopher Columbus was dedicated -- in Baltimore, MD.
  • 1864   U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the infamous Dred Scott decision on slavery, died at age 87.
  • 1933   Bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio.
  • 1942   During World War II, Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.
  • 1950   The Kefauver Crime Commission convened in New York to investigate interstate organized crime. TV was there the following year, showing Frank Costello’s hands for a long, long time on screen. Mr. Costello told Senator Estes Kefauver’s committee that he would refuse to testify on TV if his face was shown. So, viewers were shown his hands instead.
  • 1960   Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev disrupted a U.N. General Assembly session by pounding his desk with a shoe during a dispute.
  • 1971   ''Jesus Christ Superstar,'' the rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater on Broadway.
  • 1973   President Richard Nixon nominated House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford, R-Mich., to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.
  • 1986   The superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States.
  • 1997   Singer John Denver, 53, was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in Monterey Bay, Calif.
  • 1998   Matthew Shepard, a gay student at University of Wyoming, died five days after he was beaten, robbed and left tied to a wooden fence post outside of Laramie.
  • 1999   Pakistan's military overthrew the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
  • 1999   NBA hall-of-famer Wilt Chamberlain died at age 63.
  • 2000   A suicide bomb attack on the U.S. destroyer Cole in Yemen killed 17 sailors.
  • 2001   NBC News said an assistant to anchorman Tom Brokaw had tested positive for skin anthrax after opening a letter addressed to Brokaw.
  • 2002   A bomb destroyed a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida were blamed.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1860   Elmer A. (Ambrose) Sperry (inventor: Sperry Automatic Pilot [gyroscopic compass]; founder: Sperry-Rand Corp.; died in 1930)
  • 1932   Dick Gregory (comedian; civil rights activist)
  • 1935   Luciano Pavarotti (Emmy Award-winning opera star)
  • 1950   Susan Anton (singer; actress)
  • 1968   Adam Rich (actor: Eight is Enough)

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