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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!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"