Today in History

  • Wednesday, October 1, 2014 9:34pm
  • Life

Today is Sunday, Oct. 5, the 278th day of 2014. There are 87 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Oct. 5, 1984, the space shuttle Challenger blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on an 8-day mission; members of the crew included Kathryn D. Sullivan, who became the first American woman to walk in space, and Marc Garneau, the first Canadian astronaut.

On this date:

In 1829, the 21st president of the United States, Chester Alan Arthur, was born in North Fairfield, Vermont.

In 1864, French film pioneer Louis Lumiere was born in Besancon.

In 1921, the World Series was carried on radio for the first time as Newark, New Jersey, station WJZ (later WABC) relayed a telephoned play-by-play account of the first game from the Polo Grounds. (Although the New York Yankees won the opener, 3-0, the New York Giants won the series, 5 games to 3.)

In 1931, Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon completed the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean, arriving in Washington state some 41 hours after leaving Japan.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised White House address as he spoke on the world food crisis.

In 1953, Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th chief justice of the United States, succeeding Fred M. Vinson.

In 1969, the British TV comedy program “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” made its debut on BBC 1.

In 1970, British trade commissioner James Richard Cross was kidnapped in Canada by militant Quebec separatists; he was released the following December.

In 1988, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen lambasted Republican Dan Quayle during their vice-presidential debate, telling Quayle, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

In 1989, a jury in Charlotte, North Carolina, convicted former PTL evangelist Jim Bakker of using his television show to defraud followers. (Although initially sentenced to 45 years in prison, Bakker was freed in December 1994 after serving 4 1/2 years.) The Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1994, 48 people were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide carried out simultaneously in two Swiss villages by members of a secret religious doomsday cult known as the Order of the Solar Temple; five other bodies were found the same week in a building owned by the sect near Montreal, Canada.

In 1999, two packed commuter trains collided near London’s Paddington Station, killing 31 people.

Ten years ago: Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic rival John Edwards slugged it out over Iraq, jobs and each other’s judgment in their one and only debate of the 2004 campaign. Americans’ supply of flu vaccine was abruptly cut in half as British regulators unexpectedly shut down Chiron Corp., a major supplier. Americans David Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczeck won the Nobel Prize in physics. Tiger Woods married Swedish model Elin Nordegren in Barbados (the couple divorced in 2010). Comedian Rodney Dangerfield died in Los Angeles at age 82.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama filled the Rose Garden with doctors supportive of his health care overhaul, saying “nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do.” Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine. A suicide bomber blew himself up in the lobby of the U.N. food agency in Islamabad, killing five staffers.

One year ago: In a stealthy seaside assault in Somalia and in a raid in Libya’s capital, U.S. military forces struck out against Islamic extremists who had carried out terrorist attacks in East Africa, snatching Abu Anas al-Libi, allegedly involved in the bombings of U.S. embassies 15 years earlier. (Al-Libi has since pleaded not guilty to the embassy bombings.) A monster truck went out of control at an “Extreme Aeroshow” in Chihuahua, Mexico, killing eight people and injuring ten times as many. Wladimir Klitschko retained his WBA and IBF heavyweight titles, unanimously outpointing previously undefeated Alexander Povetkin in Moscow.

Today’s birthdays: Actress Glynis Johns is 91. Comedian Bill Dana is 90. Actor Peter Brown is 79. College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer is 77. Rhythm-and-blues singer Arlene Smith (The Chantels) is 73. Singer-musician Steve Miller is 71. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., is 71. Rock singer Brian Johnson (AC/DC) is 67. Actress Karen Allen is 63. Writer-producer-director Clive Barker is 62. Rock musician David Bryson (Counting Crows) is 60. Rock singer and famine-relief organizer Bob Geldof is 60. Designer Maya Lin is 55. Actor Daniel Baldwin is 54. Rock singer-musician Dave Dederer is 50. Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux is 49. Actor Guy Pearce is 47. Actress Josie Bissett is 44. Singer-actress Heather Headley is 40. Pop-rock singer Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) is 40. Rock musician Brian Mashburn (Save Ferris) is 39. Actress Parminder Nagra is 39. Actor Scott Weinger is 39. Actress Kate Winslet is 39. Rock musician James Valentine (Maroon 5) is 36. Rock musician Paul Thomas (Good Charlotte) is 34. Actor Jesse Eisenberg is 31. TV personality Nicky Hilton is 31. Actress Azure Parsons is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brooke Valentine is 29. Actor Kevin Bigley is 28. Actor Joshua Logan Moore is 20.

Thought for today: “The usefulness of a meeting is in inverse proportion to the attendance.” — Lane Kirkland, American labor leader (1922-1999).

Associated Press

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