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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Today is Thursday, Oct. 23, the 297th day of 2008.
There are 69 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 23, 1983, 241 U.S. service members, mostly Marines, were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.

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 1864, forces led by Union Gen. Samuel R. Curtis repelled Confederate Gen. Sterling Price's army in the Civil War Battle of Westport in Missouri.
  • In 1915, tens of thousands of women marched in New York City, demanding the right to vote.
  • In 1942, during World War II, Britain launched a major offensive against Axis forces at El Alamein in Egypt.
  • In 1946, the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York for the first time, at an auditorium in Flushing Meadow.
  • 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 1958, Boris Pasternak was named winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. (However, Soviet authorities pressured Pasternak into relinquishing the award.)
  • In 1973, President Nixon agreed to turn over White House tape recordings subpoenaed by the Watergate special prosecutor to Judge John J. Sirica.
  • 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.

Ten years ago:
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed a breakthrough land-for-peace agreement at the White House.
  • Barnett Slepian, a doctor who performed abortions, was shot and killed at his home in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. (James Kopp, a militant abortion opponent, was later convicted of murdering Slepian.)
  • Typhoon Babs pummeled the northern Philippines, killing at least 189 people.

Five years ago:
  • As thousands of anti-war demonstrators protested outside, President Bush thanked Australia for sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan as he spoke to the country's Parliament. Later in the day, the president concluded his Pacific trip with a visit to Hawaii, where he dropped flowers into the water at the sunken battleship USS Arizona.
  • Madame Chiang Kai-shek, widow of the Chinese nationalist leader, died in New York at age 105.
  • In Game 5 of the World Series, the Florida Marlins beat the New York Yankees 6-4, bringing the team within one game of winning the baseball championship.

One year ago:
  • Evacuations due to out-of-control wildfires in Southern California topped 500,000; President Bush declared a federal emergency for seven counties.
  • Shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven thundered into orbit for a complex space station construction mission.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Movie director Philip Kaufman is 72.
  • Soccer great Pele is 68.
  • Author Michael Crichton is 66.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Barbara Ann Hawkins (The Dixie Cups) is 65.
  • Actor Michael Rupert is 57.
  • Movie director Ang Lee is 54.
  • Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 52.
  • Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 52.
  • Movie director Sam Raimi is 49.
  • Parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic is 49.
  • Rock musician Robert Trujillo (Metallica) is 44.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer David Thomas (Take 6) is 42.
  • Rock musician Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 42.
  • Country singer-musician Junior Bryant is 40.
  • Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 36.
  • Rock musician Eric Bass (Shinedown) is 34.
  • Actor Ryan Reynolds is 32.
  • Actress Masiela Lusha is 23.
  • Actress Briana Evigan is 22.
  • Actress Jessica Stroup is 22.

Thought for Today:
"Life is easier to take than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable and bear the intolerable."
Kathleen Norris, American author (1880-1960).

"Let's all be careful out there!"