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Friday, October 17, 2008


Today is Friday, Oct. 17, the 291st day of 2008.
There are 75 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under General John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, N.Y., in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

On this date:

  • In 1807, Britain declared it would continue to reclaim British-born sailors from American ships and ports regardless of whether they held U.S. citizenship.
  • In 1907, Guglielmo Marconi began offering limited commercial wireless telegraph service between Nova Scotia and Ireland.
  • In 1919, the Radio Corporation of America was chartered.
  • In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)
  • In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
  • In 1941, the U.S. destroyer Kearny was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Iceland; 11 people died.
  • In 1958, the special "An Evening with Fred Astaire," the first major TV program produced on color videotape, aired on NBC.
  • In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.
  • In 1978, President Carter signed a bill restoring U.S. citizenship to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
  • In 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion in damage.

Ten years ago:
  • A pipeline explosion and fire in southwest Nigeria killed some 700 people.
  • The New York Yankees won Game 1 of the World Series, defeating the San Diego Padres 9-6.

Five years ago:
  • Fire killed six people in a high-rise county building in Chicago.
  • The House and Senate voted to spend some $87 billion earmarked for securing peace and eliminating terrorist threats in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resigned; Vice President Carlos Mesa replaced him.

One year ago:
  • President Bush, raising Beijing's ire, presented the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal and urged Chinese leaders to welcome the monk to Beijing.
  • Comedian Joey Bishop, the last of Sinatra's Rat Pack, died in Newport Beach, Calif., at age 89.
  • Singer Teresa Brewer died in New Rochelle, N.Y., at age 76.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actress Marsha Hunt is 91.
  • Actress Beverly Garland is 82.
  • Actress Julie Adams is 82.
  • Country singer Earl Thomas Conley is 67.
  • Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 66.
  • Singer Gary Puckett is 66.
  • Actor Michael McKean is 61.
  • Actress Margot Kidder is 60.
  • Actor George Wendt is 60.
  • Actor Sam Bottoms is 53.
  • Astronaut Mae Jemison is 52.
  • Country singer Alan Jackson is 50.
  • Movie director Rob Marshall is 48.
  • Animator Mike Judge is 46.
  • Rock singer-musician Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth) is 45.
  • Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 45.
  • Singer Rene' Dif is 41.
  • Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 40.
  • Singer Chris Kirkpatrick ('N Sync) is 37.
  • Rapper Eminem is 36.
  • Singer Wyclef Jean is 36.
  • Actress Sharon Leal is 36.
  • Actor Matthew Macfadyen is 34.
  • Rock musician Sergio Andrade is 31.

Thought for Today:
"The thinking of a genius does not proceed logically. It leaps with great ellipses. It pulls knowledge from God knows where."
Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (1894-1961).

"Let's all be careful out there!"