TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Sunday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2013. There are 72 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 20, 1973, in the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.
On this date:
In 1740, Maria Theresa became ruler of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia upon the death of her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.
In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1903, a joint commission ruled in favor of the United States in a boundary dispute between the District of Alaska and Canada.
In 1944, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte in the Philippines, 2ﾽ years after saying, “I shall return.”
In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.
In 1964, the 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, died in New York at age 90.
In 1967, seven men were convicted in Meridian, Miss., of violating the civil rights of three slain civil rights workers.
In 1968, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
In 1977, three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Miss.
In 1979, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in Boston.
In 1987, 10 people were killed when an Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport after the pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing, ejected safely.
In 1990, three members of the rap group 2 Live Crew were acquitted by a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., of violating obscenity laws with an adults-only concert in nearby Hollywood the previous June.
In 2002, with a U.S. invasion looming, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein issued an amnesty decree releasing everyone from pickpockets to political prisoners from prison.
In 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, Libya’s dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush pushed North Korea’s nuclear threat to the forefront of a 21-nation Asia-Pacific summit in Thailand. Israeli warplanes and helicopters pounded Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip, killing 10 people. A judge in Eagle, Colo., ordered Kobe Bryant to stand trial for sexual assault (however, the criminal case was later dropped). Character actor Jack Elam died in Ashland, Ore., at age 84.
Five years ago: A rising wave of optimism lifted Wall Street, propelling the Dow Jones industrials up more than 400 points on more signs of a reviving credit market and hints from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the government would take more steps to help the economy. Arkansas TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly was found severely beaten in her Little Rock home; she died several days later. (A suspect, Curtis Vance, faces trial.) Taliban gunmen in Kabul, Afghan-istan, killed Christian aid worker Gayle Williams, a British-South African national. Sister Emmanuelle, a Belgium-born nun who’d lived for years in Cairo’s slums, died in Callian, France, at age 99.
One year ago: President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney left the campaign trail to spend the weekend preparing for their third and final debate, focusing on foreign policy.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Christopher is 81. Japan’s Empress Michiko is 79. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 76. Former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 75. Singer Tom Petty is 63. Actor William “Rusty” Russ is 63. Actress Melanie Mayron is 61. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 60. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is 58. Movie director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) is 57. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 56. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 55.
Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 49. Rock musician David Ryan is 49. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 46. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 43. Rapper Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) is 42. Singer Dannii Minogue is 42. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country group Little Big Town) is 42. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 37. Actor Sam Witwer is 36. Actor John Krasinski is 34. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 34. Actress Katie Featherston is 31. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 28.