Today in HistoryToday is Sunday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2018. There are 85 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 7, 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him; Thomas denied Hill’s allegations.
On this date:
In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under General John Burgoyne surrendered ten days later.)
In 1858, the fifth debate between Illinois senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Galesburg.
In 1916, in the most lopsided victory in college football history, Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University 222-0 in Atlanta.
In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.
In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York.
In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard Nixon held their second televised debate, this one in Washington, D.C.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II concluded his week-long tour of the United States with a Mass on the Washington Mall.
In 1982, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical "Cats" opened on Broadway. (The show ended its original run on Sept. 10, 2000, after a then-record 7,485 performances.)
In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers killed Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish-American tourist, before surrendering on Oct. 9.)
In 1989, Hungary’s Communist Party renounced Marxism in favor of democratic socialism during a party congress in Budapest.
In 1992, trade representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, in the presence of President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fencepost outside of Laramie, Wyoming; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are serving life sentences for Shepard’s murder.)
Ten years ago: The misery worsened on Wall Street, as the Dow lost more than 500 points and all the major indexes slid more than 5 percent. In their second presidential debate, held at Belmont University in Nashville, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain clashed repeatedly over the causes and cures for the economic crisis. Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan and Yoichiro Nambu of the United States won the Nobel Prize in physics.
Five years ago: A partial federal government shutdown lingered, rattling markets in the U.S. and overseas while a gridlocked Congress betrayed little or no urgency toward resolving the impasse. Americans James Rothman and Randy Schekman and German-born researcher Thomas Suedhof won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries on how proteins and other materials are transported within cells.
One year ago: Country music star Jason Aldean, who had been on stage at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas less than a week earlier when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, paid tribute to the victims and to the late Tom Petty by opening "Saturday Night Live" with Petty’s song, "I Won’t Back Down." Protesters rallied across Russia in a challenge to President Vladimir Putin on his 65th birthday; heeding calls from opposition leader Alexei Navalny to pressure authorities into letting him enter the presidential race.
Today’s Birthdays: Retired South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu is 87. Author Thomas Keneally is 83. Comedian Joy Behar is 76. Former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) is 75. Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 73. Actress Jill Larson is 71. Country singer Kieran Kane is 69. Singer John Mellencamp is 67. Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 67. Russian President Vladimir Putin is 66. Actress Mary Badham (Film: "To Kill a Mockingbird") is 66. Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 65. Actress Christopher Norris is 63. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 63. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 61. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Jayne Torvill is 61. Actor Dylan Baker is 60. Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell is 59. Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly) is 59. Country singer Dale Watson is 56. Pop singer Ann Curless (Expose) is 55. Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 51. Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 50. Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 49. Actress Nicole Ari Parker is 48. Actress Allison Munn is 44. Rock singer-musician Damian Kulash is 43. Singer Taylor Hicks is 42. Actor Omar Benson Miller is 40. Neo-soul singer Nathaniel Rateliff (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 40. Actor Shawn Ashmore is 39. Actor Jake McLaughlin is 36. Electronic musician Flying Lotus (AKA Stephen Ellison) is 35. MLB player Evan Longoria is 33. Actress Holland Roden is 32. Actress Amber Stevens is 32. Actress Lulu Wilson is 13.
Thought for Today: "If your contribution has been vital there will always be somebody to pick up where you left off, and that will be your claim to immortality." — Walter Gropius, German-American architect (1883-1969).