Today is Tuesday, Oct. 16, the 290th day of 2012. There are 76 days left in the year.
On Oct. 16, 1962, President John F. Kennedy was informed by national security adviser McGeorge Bundy that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
On this date:
In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.
In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. (Ten of Brown’s men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers ended up being captured; all were executed.)
In 1901, Booker T. Washington dined at the White House as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt, whose invitation to the black educator sparked controversy.
In 1912, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, defeating the New York Giants in Game 8, 3-2 (Game 2 had ended in a tie on account of darkness).
In 1972, a twin-engine plane carrying U.S. House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, D-La., and U.S. Rep. Nick Begich, D-Alaska, disappeared while flying over a remote region of Alaska; the aircraft was never found.
In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.
In 1987, a 58½-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well.
In 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as George Hennard opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq.