Today in History
Today is Saturday, Oct. 29, the 303rd day of 2016. There are 63 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Oct. 29, 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, Israel invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” premiered as NBC’s nightly television newscast.
On this date:
In 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh, the English courtier, military adventurer and poet, was executed in London for treason.
In 1787, the opera “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had its world premiere in Prague.
In 1891, actress, comedian and singer Fanny Brice was born in New York.
In 1901, President William McKinley’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz (CHAWL’-gahsh), was electrocuted.
In 1929, Wall Street crashed on “Black Tuesday,” heralding the start of America’s Great Depression.
In 1940, a blindfolded Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number — 158 — from a glass bowl in America’s first peacetime military draft.
In 1964, thieves made off with the Star of India and other gems from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. (The Star and most of the other gems were recovered; three men were convicted of stealing them.)
In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of the great stock market crash, anti-nuclear protesters tried but failed to shut down the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1987, following the confirmation defeat of Robert H. Bork to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Ronald Reagan announced his choice of Douglas H. Ginsburg, a nomination that fell apart over revelations of Ginsburg’s previous marijuana use. Jazz great Woody Herman died in Los Angeles at age 74.
In 1994, Francisco Martin Duran fired more than two dozen shots from a semiautomatic rifle at the White House. (Duran was later convicted of trying to assassinate President Bill Clinton and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.)
In 1998, Sen. John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, retracing the trail he’d blazed for America’s astronauts 36 years earlier.
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy came ashore in New Jersey and slowly marched inland, devastating coastal communities and causing widespread power outages; the storm and its aftermath are blamed for at least 182 deaths in the U.S.
Ten years ago: The board of trustees of Gallaudet University, the nation’s premier school for the deaf, voted to revoke the appointment of incoming president Jane Fernandes, who’d been the subject of protests. A Nigerian Boeing 737 jetliner crashed just after takeoff from Abuja airport, killing 96 of the 105 people on board. Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (loo-EEZ’ ee-NAH’-see-oh LOO’-luh duh SEEL’-vuh), won re-election in a landslide.
Five years ago: A “white Halloween” storm with record-setting snowfalls brought down trees across the northeastern U.S., knocking out power to millions; 39 deaths were blamed on the weather. A grain elevator explosion in Atchison, Kansas, killed six people. A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into an armored NATO bus on a busy thoroughfare in Kabul, killing 17 people, including a dozen Americans. Joe Paterno broke Eddie Robinson’s record for victories by a Division I coach with No. 409 in Penn State’s sloppy 10-7 win over Illinois. Veteran British broadcaster Jimmy Savile, 84, died in Leeds, England, two days before his birthday. (Since then, there have been allegations that Savile had molested hundreds of children.)
One year ago: Paul Ryan was elected the 54th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Owen Labrie, a graduate of the exclusive St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman girl as part of a competition among upperclassmen to rack up sexual conquests. (Labrie remains free pending appeal.) Florida executed Jerry Correll nearly three decades after he was convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, young daughter and two in-laws. China said it would allow all married couples to have two children, signaling the end after 35 years to its drastic and unpopular “one-child” policy. American Simone Biles won her third straight world gymnastics title at the competition in Glasgow, Scotland.
Today’s Birthdays: Bluegrass singer-musician Sonny Osborne (The Osborne Brothers) is 79. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is 78. Country singer Lee Clayton is 74. Rock musician Denny Laine is 72. Singer Melba Moore is 71. Musician Peter Green is 70. Actor Richard Dreyfuss is 69. Actress Kate Jackson is 68. Actor Dan Castellaneta (TV: “The Simpsons”) is 59. Country musician Steve Kellough (Wild Horses) is 59. Comic strip artist Tom Wilson (“Ziggy”) is 59. Actress Finola Hughes is 57. Singer Randy Jackson is 55. Rock musician Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 51. Actress Joely Fisher is 49. Rapper Paris is 49. Actor Rufus Sewell is 49. Actor Grayson McCouch (mih-COOCH’) is 48. Rock singer SA Martinez (311) is 47. Musician Toby Smith is 46. Actress Winona Ryder is 45. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross is 44. Actress Gabrielle Union is 44. Actor Trevor Lissauer is 43. Olympic gold medal bobsledder Vonetta Flowers is 43. Actress Milena Govich is 40. Actor Jon Abrahams is 39. Actor Brendan Fehr is 39. Actor Ben Foster is 36. Rock musician Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend) is 32. Actress India Eisley is 23.
Thought for Today: “Love is like a card trick. After you know how it works, it’s no fun anymore.” — Fanny Brice (1891-1951).