Today in History
Today is Monday, Oct. 14, the 287th day of 2019. There are 78 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 14, 1947, U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles E. (“Chuck”) Yeager became the first test pilot to break the sound barrier as he flew the experimental Bell XS-1 (later X-1) rocket plane over Muroc Dry Lake in California.
On this date:
In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning for the presidency, was shot in the chest in Milwaukee. Despite the wound, he went ahead with a scheduled speech.
In 1930, Ethel Merman made her Broadway debut in the musical comedy “Girl Crazy” with songs by George and Ira Gershwin.
In 1933, Nazi Germany announced it was withdrawing from the League of Nations.
In 1939, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the HMS Royal Oak, a British battleship anchored at Scapa Flow in Scotland’s Orkney Islands; 833 of the more than 1,200 men aboard were killed.
In 1960, the idea of a Peace Corps was suggested by Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy to an audience of students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
In 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1968, the first successful live telecast from a manned U.S. spacecraft was transmitted from Apollo 7.
In 1981, the new president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, was sworn in to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat. Mubarak pledged loyalty to Sadat’s policies.
In 1987, a 58-hour drama began in Midland, Texas, as 18-month-old Jessica McClure slid 22 feet down a narrow abandoned well at a private day care center; she was rescued on Oct. 16.
In 2001, as U.S. jets opened a second week of raids in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush sternly rejected a Taliban offer to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a third country.
In 2003, John Allen Muhammad pleaded not guilty to murder as the first trial in the deadly Washington-area sniper rampage got under way in Virginia Beach, Va. (Muhammad was later convicted of killing Dean Harold Meyers and executed in 2009.)
In 2017, a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital killed more than 500 people in one of the world’s deadliest attacks in years; officials blamed the attack on the extremist group al-Shabab and said it was meant to target Mogadishu’s international airport, but the bomb detonated in a crowded street after soldiers opened fire. The board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked the membership of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, after published reports about sexual harassment and rape allegations against Weinstein.
Ten years ago: The Unification Church held the largest mass wedding in a decade, with some 40,000 people participating in dozens of cities around the world. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. headlined the five inductees into the first Hall of Fame class; Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Jr. and Junior Johnson were the others. Pro wrestler Lou Albano, 76, died in Westchester County, New York.
Five years ago: A second nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas came down with Ebola after contracting it from a dying patient. (The nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, was later declared free of the disease.) After a conspicuous public absence of nearly six weeks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared in images released by state media attending a pair of events, dispelling rumors that he was gravely ill, deposed — or worse.
One year ago: Saudi Arabia threatened to retaliate for any sanctions imposed on it over the disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; President Donald Trump had told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the kingdom deserved “severe punishment” if it was responsible. Pope Francis made saints of Pope Paul VI and Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, praising them as prophets who shunned wealth and looked out for the poor.
Today’s Birthdays: Classical pianist Gary Graffman is 91. Movie director Carroll Ballard is 82. Country singer Melba Montgomery is 82. Former White House counsel John W. Dean III is 81. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is 80. Singer Sir Cliff Richard is 79. Singer-musician Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) is 73. Actor Greg Evigan is 66. TV personality Arleen Sorkin is 64. World Golf Hall of Famer Beth Daniel is 63. Singer-musician Thomas Dolby is 61. Actress Lori Petty is 56. Former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is 55. Actor Steve Coogan is 54. Singer Karyn White is 54. Actor Edward Kerr is 53. Actor Jon Seda is 49. Country musician Doug Virden is 49. Country singer Natalie Maines (The Dixie Chicks) is 45. Actress-singer Shaznay Lewis (All Saints) is 44. Actor Stephen Hill is 43. Singer Usher is 41. TV personality Stacy Keibler is 40. Actor Ben Whishaw is 39. Actor Jordan Brower is 38. Director Benh Zeitlin is 37. Actress Skyler Shaye is 33. Actor-comedian Jay Pharoah is 32. Actor Max Thieriot is 31.
Thought for Today: “If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969).
Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Top photo courtesy of Politico.