On Oct. 30, 1938, the radio play "The War of the Worlds," starring Orson Welles, aired on CBS. (The live drama, which employed fake breaking news reports, panicked some listeners who thought the portrayal of a Martian invasion was real.)
On this date:
In 1735, the second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree, Mass.
In 1885, poet Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho.
In 1893, the U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to repealing the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.
In 1912, Vice President James S. Sherman, running for a second term of office with President William Howard Taft, died six days before Election Day. (Sherman was replaced with Nicholas Murray Butler, but Taft, the Republican candidate, ended up losing in an Electoral College landslide to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.)
In 1921, the silent film classic "The Sheik," starring Rudolph Valentino, premiered in Los Angeles.
In 1944, the Martha Graham ballet "Appalachian Spring," with music by Aaron Copland, premiered at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., with Graham in a leading role.
In 1945, the U.S. government announced the end of shoe rationing, effective at midnight.
In 1961, the Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb, the "Tsar Bomba," with a force estimated at about 50 megatons. The Soviet Party Congress unanimously approved a resolution ordering the removal of Josef Stalin's body from Lenin's tomb.
In 1972, 45 people were killed when an Illinois Central Gulf commuter train was struck from behind by another train in Chicago's South Side.
In 1974, Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in the eighth round of a 15-round bout in Kinshasa, Zaire, known as the "Rumble in the Jungle" to regain his world heavyweight title.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter announced his choice of federal appeals judge Shirley Hufstedler to head the newly created Department of Education.
In 1985, schoolteacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe witnessed the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, the same craft that would carry her and six other crew members to their deaths in Jan. 1986.
Ten years ago: The House approved an $87.5 billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan. Four construction workers were killed when an Atlantic City casino parking garage collapsed.
Five years ago: A federal jury in Miami convicted the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor in the first case brought under a 1994 U.S. law allowing prosecution for torture and atrocities committed overseas. (Charles McArthur Emmanuel was later sentenced to 97 years in prison.)
One year ago: New York's subways remained shut down, and much of Manhattan was still without power, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Rescuers and staff at a New York City hospital were hailed as heroes for working through the night to evacuate nearly 300 patients, floor-by-floor, after the hospital lost generator power at the height of the storm. Entering the final week of a hard-fought battle for the White House, President Barack Obama stayed off the campaign trail, while Republican Mitt Romney spoke of the needs of storm survivors rather than bashing his rival.
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