Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 23, the 296th day of 2019. There are 69 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Oct. 23, 1973, President Richard Nixon agreed to turn over White House tape recordings subpoenaed by the Watergate special prosecutor to Judge John J. Sirica.

On this date:

In 1707, the first Parliament of Great Britain, created by the Acts of Union between England and Scotland, held its first meeting.

In 1910, Blanche S. Scott became the first woman to make a public solo airplane flight, reaching an altitude of 12 feet at a park in Fort Wayne, Ind.

In 1915, tens of thousands of women paraded up Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding the right to vote.

In 1925, talk show host Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf began, resulting in a major Allied victory against Japanese forces.

In 1956, a student-sparked revolt against Hungary’s Communist rule began; as the revolution spread, Soviet forces started entering the country, and the uprising was put down within weeks.

In 1983, 241 U.S. service members, most of them Marines, were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.

In 1984, BBC Television reported on the famine in Ethiopia; the story, which shocked viewers, prompted rock star Bob Geldof to organize “Band Aid,” a group of celebrities who recorded the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” for charity.

In 1987, the U.S. Senate rejected, 58-42, the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.

In 1995, a jury in Houston convicted Yolanda Saldivar of murdering Tejano singing star Selena. (Saldivar is serving a life prison sentence.)

In 2001, the nation’s anthrax scare hit the White House with the discovery of a small concentration of spores at an offsite mail processing center.

In 2006, former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced by a federal judge in Houston to 24 years, four months for his role in the company’s collapse. Eventually 10 years was cut off Skilling’s prison sentence, and he was released to a halfway house in Aug. 2018.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect non-infected patients. Bank closings for 2009 surpassed 100, hitting 106 by day’s end. The NBA and the referees union agreed on a two-year contract, ending a lockout of more than a month. Character actor Lou Jacobi died in New York at age 95.

Five years ago: Officials announced that an emergency room doctor who’d recently returned to New York City after treating Ebola patients in West Africa tested positive for the virus, becoming the first case in the city and the fourth in the nation. (Dr. Craig Spencer later recovered.) John “Bull” Bramlett, a former professional football and baseball player who was nicknamed the “Meanest Man in Football,” died in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 73.

One year ago: Turkey’s president demanded that Saudi Arabia identify those who ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and turn over the suspects for trial. A lottery ticket sold in South Carolina was the only one to match all six numbers drawn for the Mega Millions jackpot, which totaled $1.537 billion – just short of the record for all U.S. lotteries. China opened the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge, a 34-mile span connecting Hong Kong to the mainland. Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, announced that she had been diagnosed with “the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease.”

Today’s birthdays: Movie director Philip Kaufman is 83. Soccer great Pele is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Barbara Ann Hawkins (The Dixie Cups) is 76. Former ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross is 71. Actor Michael Rupert is 68. Movie director Ang Lee is 65. Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 63. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 63. Community activist Martin Luther King III is 62. Movie director Sam Raimi is 60. Parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic is 60. Rock musician Robert Trujillo (Metallica) is 55. Christian/jazz singer David Thomas (Take 6) is 53. Rock musician Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 53. Country singer-musician Junior Bryant is 51. Actor Jon Huertas is 50. Movie director Chris Weitz is 50. CNN medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta is 50. Bluegrass musician Eric Gibson (The Gibson Brothers) is 49. Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 47. Actress Vivian Bang is 46. Rock musician Eric Bass (Shinedown) is 45. TV personality and host Cat Deeley is 43. Actor Ryan Reynolds is 43. Actress Saycon Sengbloh is 42. Rock singer Matthew Shultz (Cage the Elephant) is 36. TV personality Meghan McCain (“The View”) is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Miguel is 34. Actress Masiela Lusha is 34. Actress Emilia Clarke is 33. Actress Briana Evigan is 33. Actress Inbar Lavi is 33. Actress Jessica Stroup is 33. Neo-soul musician Allen Branstetter (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 29. Actress Taylor Spreitler is 26. Actress Margaret Qualley is 25. Actress Amandla Stenberg is 21.

Thought for today: “Just be yourself — it’s the only way it can work.” — Johnny Carson (1925-2005).

— Associated Press

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