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Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today is Saturday, Oct. 18, the 292nd day of 2008.
There are 74 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 18, 1962, Dr. James D. Watson of the U.S. and Drs. Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins of Britain were named winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for their work in determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.

On this date:

  • In 1685, King Louis XIV signed the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes that had established legal toleration of France's Protestant population, the Huguenots. (The French Parliament recorded the new edict four days later.)
  • In 1858, the play "Our American Cousin" by Tom Taylor premiered at Laura Keene's theater in New York.
  • In 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
  • In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened. (It could handle only one call at a time).
  • In 1898, the American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the U.S.
  • In 1931, inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, N.J., at age 84.
  • In 1944, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.
  • In 1968, the U.S. Olympic Committee suspended Tommie Smith and John Carlos for giving a "black power" salute as a protest during a victory ceremony in Mexico City.
  • In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.
  • In 1982, former first lady Bess Truman died at her home in Independence, Mo., at age 97.

Ten years ago:
  • Pope John Paul II celebrated a Mass at the Vatican marking the 20th anniversary of his election to the papacy.
  • The New York Yankees defeated the San Diego Padres 9-3 to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series.

Five years ago:
  • In a new audiotape, a voice purported to be that of Osama bin Laden vowed suicide attacks "inside and outside" the United States and threatened nations that were helping the American occupation of Iraq.
  • During a visit to the Philippines, President Bush pledged to help the beleaguered nation battle rising terrorism.
  • The Florida Marlins won the first game of the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees 3-2.

One year ago:
  • Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan, ending eight years of self-imposed exile; a suicide bombing in a crowd welcoming her killed more than 140 people, but Bhutto escaped unhurt.
  • Former Joint Chiefs chairman William Crowe died in Bethesda, Md., at age 82.
  • Joe Torre, rejecting a pay cut, left the New York Yankees; he later became manager of Los Angeles Dodgers.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Rock-and-roll performer Chuck Berry is 82.
  • Sportscaster Keith Jackson is 80.
  • Actress Dawn Wells is 70.
  • Football Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka is 69.
  • Actor Joe Morton is 61.
  • Actress Pam Dawber is 57.
  • Author Terry McMillan is 57.
  • Gospel singer Vickie Winans is 55.
  • Tennis player Martina Navratilova is 52.
  • Boxer Thomas Hearns is 50.
  • Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 48.
  • Actress Erin Moran is 48.
  • Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 47.
  • Actor Vincent Spano is 46.
  • Rock musician Tim Cross (Sponge) is 42.
  • Tennis player Michael Stich is 40.
  • Singer Nonchalant is 35.
  • Rock musician Peter Svenson (The Cardigans) is 34.
  • Actor Wesley Jonathan is 30.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Ne-Yo is 29.
  • Country singer Josh Gracin is 28.
  • Country musician Jesse Littleton (Marshall Dyllon) is 27.
  • Actor Zac Efron is 21.
  • Actress Joy Lauren is 19.
  • Actor Tyler Posey is 17.

Thought for Today:
"Matrimony is not a word, it's a sentence."
Eddie Cantor, American comedian-singer (1892-1964).

"Let's all be careful out there!"