Today is Friday, Oct. 11, the 284th day of 2013. There are 81 days left in the year.
On Oct. 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII convened the first session of the Roman Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council, also known as “Vatican 2.”
On this date:
In 1779, Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski, fighting for American independence, died two days after being wounded during the Revolutionary War Battle of Savannah, Ga.
In 1811, the first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana (built by John Stevens), was put into operation between New York City and Hoboken, N.J.
In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate forces led by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart looted the town of Chambersburg, Pa.
In 1890, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in Washington, D.C.
In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt became the first former U.S. president to fly in an airplane during a visit to St. Louis, Mo.
In 1932, the first American political telecast took place as the Democratic National Committee sponsored a program from a CBS television studio in New York.
In 1942, the World War II Battle of Cape Esperance began in the Solomon Islands, resulting in an American victory over the Japanese.
In 1958, the lunar probe Pioneer 1 was launched; it failed to go as far out as planned, fell back to Earth, and burned up in the atmosphere.
In 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, was launched with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard. The government of Panama was overthrown in a military coup.
In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev opened two days of talks concerning arms control and human rights in Reykjavik, Iceland.
In 1992, in the first of three presidential debates, three candidates faced off against each other in St. Louis, Mo. — President George H.W. Bush, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and businessman Ross Perot.
Ten years ago: A team of 18 doctors at Children’s Medical Center Dallas began complicated separation surgery for 2-year-old conjoined twins from Egypt; the successful operation was completed in 34 hours. Clerks for three major supermarket chains in Southern California began a 4½-month strike after negotiations with store officials broke off. Ivan A. Getting, a Cold War scientist who conceived the Global Positioning Satellite system, died in Coronado, Calif., at age 91.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush and foreign financial officials, meeting at the White House, displayed joint resolve in combatting the unfolding financial crisis. Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider, 58, was killed in a car accident. Composer and arranger Neal Hefti, who wrote the themes for the movie “The Odd Couple” and the TV show “Batman,” died in Toluca Lake, Calif., at age 85.
One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden and Republican opponent Paul Ryan squared off in their only debate of the 2012 campaign. The two interrupted each other repeatedly as they sparred over topics including the economy, taxes and Medicare.