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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Oct. 7, the 281st day of 2008.
There are 85 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 7, 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered 10 days later.)

On this date:

  • In 1571, allied Christian forces defeated an Ottoman fleet in the naval Battle of Lepanto.
  • In 1858, the fifth debate between Illinois senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Galesburg.
  • In 1868, Cornell University was inaugurated in Ithaca, N.Y.
  • In 1916, in the most lopsided victory in college football history, Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University 222-0 in Atlanta.
  • In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.
  • In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York.
  • In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held their second televised debate, in Washington, D.C.
  • In 1979, Pope John Paul II concluded his weeklong tour of the United States with a Mass on the Washington Mall.
  • In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers, who killed an elderly Jewish American tourist, surrendered two days after taking the ship.)
  • In 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him; Thomas denied Hill's allegations.

Ten years ago:
  • Matthew Shepard, a gay college student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, robbed and left tied to a wooden fence post outside of Laramie; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are serving life sentences for Shepard's murder.)
  • The Justice Department sued Visa and MasterCard, the nation's largest credit card networks, on grounds they were restraining competition and limiting consumers' choices. (A judge later ruled that the Visa and MasterCard associations had to allow their member banks to issue other credit cards.)

Five years ago:
  • California voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger their new governor.
  • Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly to allow Turkish troops to be sent to Iraq.
  • Ten Southeast Asian nations signed an accord establishing a Europe-like economic community by 2020.
  • American scientists Alexei Abrikosov and Anthony Leggett and Russian Vitaly Ginzburg won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in how matter can behave at extremely low temperatures.

One year ago:
  • Tyler Peterson, a 20-year-old sheriff's deputy, went on a shooting rampage in Crandon, Wis., killing six people, including his ex-girlfriend, before taking his own life as police closed in.
  • Nine skydivers and a pilot were killed when their Cessna Caravan 208 crashed in Washington's Cascade Range.
  • In a race run in scorching heat that left one man dead, Kenya's Patrick Ivuti won the Chicago Marathon by a fraction of a second; an additional 250 runners were taken to hospitals because of heat-related ailments.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Singer Al Martino is 81.
  • Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is 77.
  • Comedian Joy Behar (TV: "The View") is 66.
  • Former National Security Council aide Oliver North is 65.
  • Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 63.
  • Actress Jill Larson (TV: "All My Children") is 61.
  • Country singer Kieran Kane is 59.
  • Singer John Mellencamp is 57.
  • Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 57.
  • Actress Mary Badham is 56.
  • Actress Christopher Norris is 55.
  • Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 55.
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 53.
  • Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 51.
  • Actor Dylan Baker is 50.
  • Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell ("American Idol") is 49.
  • Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly) is 49.
  • Country singer Dale Watson is 46.
  • Pop singer Ann Curless (Expose) is 45.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 41.
  • Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 40.
  • Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 39.
  • Actress Nicole Ari Parker is 38.
  • Rock singer-musician Damian Kulash is 33.
  • Singer Taylor Hicks ("American Idol") is 32.
  • Actor Omar Benson Miller is 30.

Thought for Today:
"Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries."
James Michener, American novelist (1907-1997).

"Let's all be careful out there!"