Kihei, Hawaii Whitefish, Montana Bloomington, Minnesota Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria UTC/GMT Iraq Afghanistan Republic of Korea Ocean Grove, Victoria
Optimized for 1280x1024 resolution

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Oct. 15, the 289th day of 2008.
There are 77 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 15, 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.

On this date:

  • In 1858, the seventh and final debate between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Alton, Ill.
  • In 1860, 11-year-old Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he could improve his appearance by letting his whiskers grow.
  • In 1908, economist John Kenneth Galbraith was born in Ontario, Canada.
  • In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act was signed into law by President Wilson.
  • In 1928, the German dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, N.J., completing its first commercial flight across the Atlantic.
  • In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.
  • In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.
  • In 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev had been removed from office.
  • In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country, including a candlelight march around the White House, as part of a moratorium against the Vietnam War.
  • In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

Ten years ago:
  • The White House and congressional leaders struck agreement on a $500 billion spending package, ending a week of election-season budget brinkmanship.
  • The Federal Reserve made surprise cuts in two key interest rates, igniting an explosive rally on Wall Street.
  • President Clinton opened Mideast summit talks in Maryland that resulted in the Wye River land-for-peace agreement.

Five years ago:
  • Eleven people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry's pilot, who'd blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter.)
  • Doctors in Florida removed the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged woman at the center of a right-to-die battle. (The tube was reinserted six days later after the Florida Legislature rushed through "Terri's Law," which was later struck down by the Florida Supreme Court.)
  • An explosion ripped apart a U.S. diplomatic vehicle in the Gaza Strip, killing three Americans.
  • China launched its first manned space mission.
  • The Florida Marlins won the National League championship with a 9-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 7.

One year ago:
  • Americans Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson won the Nobel economics prize.
  • The Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 in Game 4 to sweep the NL championship series and advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Jazz musician Freddy Cole is 77.
  • Singer Barry McGuire is 73.
  • Actress Linda Lavin is 71.
  • Actress-director Penny Marshall is 66.
  • Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 66.
  • Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 62.
  • Actor Victor Banerjee is 62.
  • Tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 57.
  • Singer Tito Jackson is 55.
  • Actor Jere Burns is 54.
  • Actress Tanya Roberts is 53.
  • Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 49.
  • Chef Emeril Lagasse is 49.
  • Rock musician Mark Reznicek is 46.
  • Actress Vanessa Marcil is 40.
  • Singer-actress-TV host Paige Davis is 39.
  • Actor Dominic West is 39.
  • Singer Eric Benet is 38.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Ginuwine is 38.
  • Actor Chris Olivero is 29.
  • Christian singer-actress Jaci Velasquez is 29.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Keyshia Cole is 27.
  • Actor Vincent Martella ("Everybody Hates Chris") is 16.

Thought for Today:
"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."
John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-born American economist (1908-2006).

"Let's all be careful out there!"