Today is Friday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2013. There are 88 days left in the year.
On Oct. 4, 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. James R. Hoffa was elected president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The family comedy series “Leave It to Beaver” premiered on CBS.
On this date:
In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pa., resulting in heavy American casualties.
In 1822, the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, was born in Delaware, Ohio.
In 1861, during the Civil War, the United States Navy authorized construction of the first ironclad ship, the USS Monitor.
In 1887, the International Herald Tribune had its beginnings as the Paris Herald, a European edition of the New York Herald.
In 1931, the comic strip “Dick Tracy,” created by Chester Gould, made its debut.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps.
In 1958, the first trans-Atlantic passenger jetliner service was begun by the British Overseas Airways Corporation with flights between London and New York.
In 1959, the Soviet Union launched Luna 3, a space probe which transmitted images of the far side of the moon.
In 1960, an Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-188A Electra crashed on takeoff from Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing all but 10 of the 72 people on board.
In 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.
In 1976, agriculture secretary Earl Butz resigned in the wake of a controversy over a joke he’d made about blacks.
In 1980, fire broke out aboard the Dutch cruise vessel Prinsendam in the Gulf of Alaska, forcing the 520 people aboard to abandon ship; no deaths or serious injury resulted. (The ship capsized and sank a week later.)
In 1991, 26 nations, including the United States, signed the Madrid Protocol, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.
Ten years ago: A Palestinian woman blew herself up inside a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, killing 21 bystanders.
Five years ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with her Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in New Delhi, where they lauded but did not sign a new agreement opening up U.S. nuclear trade with India. The U.S. military said it had killed an al-Qaida in Iraq leader (Mahir Ahmad Mahmud al-Zubaydi) suspected of masterminding one of the deadliest attacks in Baghdad, several other recent bombings and the 2006 videotaped killing of a Russian official. A North Korean news agency reported on leader Kim Jong Il’s first public appearance in nearly two months.
One year ago: A day after his first debate with Mitt Romney, which had been widely seen as a victory for Romney, President Barack Obama suggested that his Republican rival hadn’t been candid about his policy positions during the faceoff. The Nielsen company said an estimated 67.2 million people had watched the debate; it was the biggest TV audience for a presidential debate since 1992.