Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 6, 1973, war erupted in the Middle East as Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel during the Yom Kippur holiday. (Israel, initially caught off guard, managed to push back the Arab forces before a cease-fire finally took hold in the nearly three-week conflict.)
On this date:
In 1884, the Naval War College was established in Newport, Rhode Island.
In 1927, the era of talking pictures arrived with the opening of “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson, a feature containing both silent and sound-synchronized sequences.
In 1928, Chiang Kai-shek became president of China.
In 1939, in a speech to the Reichstag, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler spoke of his plans to reorder the ethnic layout of Europe — a plan which would entail settling the “Jewish problem.”
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, providing $1.3 billion in military aid to NATO countries.
In 1969, the New York Mets won the first-ever National League Championship Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves, 7-4, in Game 3; the Baltimore Orioles won the first-ever American League Championship Series, defeating the Minnesota Twins 11-2 in Game 3.
In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford, in his second presidential debate with Democrat Jimmy Carter, asserted that there was “no Soviet domination of eastern Europe.” (Ford later conceded such was not the case.)
In 1979, Pope John Paul II, on a week-long U.S. tour, became the first pontiff to visit the White House, where he was received by President Jimmy Carter.
In 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot to death by extremists while reviewing a military parade.
In 2004, the top U.S. arms inspector in Iraq, Charles Duelfer (DEHL’-fur), reported finding no evidence Saddam Hussein’s regime had produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991.
In 2014, the Supreme Court unexpectedly cleared the way for a dramatic expansion of gay marriage in the United States as it rejected appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans, effectively making such marriages legal in 30 states.
In 2018, in the narrowest Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court justice in nearly a century and a half, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote; he was sworn in hours later.
Ten years ago: A presidential commission said the Obama administration had blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the American public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and committed other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis. Roy Halladay pitched the second no-hitter in postseason history, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in Game 1 of the NL division series. Social networking app Instagram was launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.
Five years ago: Gen. John F. Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, recommended before Congress that President Barack Obama revise his plan to cut the current U.S. force of 9,800 and keep more than 1,000 U.S. troops in the country beyond 2016. Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada won the Nobel Prize in physics for key discoveries about neutrinos, a cosmic particle that whizzes through space at nearly the speed of light, passing easily through Earth and even people’s bodies. Convicted killer Juan Martin Garcia was executed by Texas for fatally shooting another man in a robbery that yielded just $8.
One year ago: The White House said U.S. forces in northeast Syria would move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault, essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who’d fought alongside American forces against Islamic State militants. (Turkey would launch the assault days later.) The FBI said California prison inmate Samuel Little, who claimed to have killed more than 90 women across the country, was considered to be the deadliest serial killer in U.S. history, and that all of his confessions appeared to be credible. Ginger Baker, the drummer who helped shatter boundaries of time, tempo and style in popular music during his work with Cream and other bands, died at the age of 80. Comedian Rip Taylor died in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 88.
Today’s Birthdays: Broadcaster and writer Melvyn Bragg is 81. Actor Britt Ekland is 78. The former leader of Sinn Fein (shin fayn), Gerry Adams, is 72. Singer-musician Thomas McClary is 71. Musician Sid McGinnis is 71.
Rock singer Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) is 69.Rock singer-musician David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) is 66. Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy is 65. Actor Elisabeth Shue is 57. Singer Matthew Sweet is 56. Actor Jacqueline Obradors is 54. Country singer Tim Rushlow is 54. Rock musician Tommy Stinson is 54. Actor Amy Jo Johnson is 50. Actor Emily Mortimer is 49. Actor Lamman (la-MAHN’) Rucker is 49. Actor Ioan Gruffudd (YOH’-ihn GRIH’-fihth) is 47. Actor Jeremy Sisto is 46. Actor Brett Gelman is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Melinda Doolittle is 43. Actor Wes Ramsey is 43. Actor Karimah Westbook is 42. Singer-musician Will Butler is 38. Actor Stefanie Martini is 30.