Today in History


Today in History

Today is Sunday, Oct. 30, the 304th day of 2016. There are 62 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 30, 1938, the radio play “The War of the Worlds,” starring Orson Welles, aired as part of “The Mercury Theater on the Air” on CBS. (The broadcast, which employed a series of fake news reports about a Martian invasion, was said to have panicked some listeners, although how many has never been definitively established.)

On this date:

In 1735, the second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts.

In 1766, St. Paul’s Chapel, Manhattan’s oldest surviving house of worship, was consecrated in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

In 1864, Helena, Montana, was founded.

In 1921, the silent film classic “The Sheik,” starring Rudolph Valentino, premiered in Los Angeles.

In 1945, the U.S. government announced the end of shoe rationing, effective at midnight.

In 1953, Gen. George C. Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Albert Schweitzer received the Peace Prize for 1952.

In 1961, the Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb, the “Tsar Bomba,” with a force estimated at about 50 megatons. The Soviet Party Congress unanimously approved a resolution ordering the removal of Josef Stalin’s body from Lenin’s tomb.

In 1965, British model Jean Shrimpton scandalized onlookers by showing up for Victoria Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, in a white, sleeveless shift mini-dress that was hemmed four inches above her knees.

In 1974, Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in the eighth round of a 15-round bout in Kinshasa, Zaire (zah-EER’), known as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” to regain his world heavyweight title.

In 1975, the New York Daily News ran the headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead” a day after President Gerald R. Ford said he would veto any proposed federal bailout of New York City.

In 1985, schoolteacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe witnessed the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, the same craft that carried her and six other crew members to their deaths in Jan. 1986.

In 1996, after a four-hour trial, a Chinese court sentenced pro-democracy activist Wang Dan to eleven years in prison for “conspiring to subvert the Chinese government.” (Wang was freed in April 1998 and sent into exile in the United States.)

Ten years ago: Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, addressing a campaign rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, told a college audience that young people who didn’t study hard might “get stuck in Iraq,” prompting harsh Republican criticism; Kerry later said it was a botched joke directed at President George W. Bush’s handling of the war. Larry Nelson and Vijay Singh were among five people inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: Britain’s Sunday Telegraph published an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who warned that a western intervention in Syria would lead to an “earthquake” that “would burn the whole region.” Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign denied a Politico report that he’d been twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. (This and other allegations, all denied by Cain, prompted his withdrawal from the White House race.)

One year ago: The United States escalated its fight against the Islamic State in Syria, pledging the first open deployment of military boots on the ground. A fire broke out at a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, killing 64 people. Character actor Al Molinaro, 96, died in Glendale, California. The New York Mets defeated the Kansas City Royals, 9-3, in Game 3 of the World Series, cutting the Royals’ lead to 2-1.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dick Gautier is 85. Movie director Claude Lelouch is 79. Rock singer Grace Slick is 77. Songwriter Eddie Holland is 77. Rhythm-and-blues singer Otis Williams (The Temptations) is 75. Actress Joanna Shimkus is 73. Actor Henry Winkler is 71. Broadcast journalist Andrea Mitchell is 70. Rock musician Chris Slade (Asia) is 70. Country/rock musician Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles) is 69. Actor Leon Rippy is 67. Actor Harry Hamlin is 65. Actor Charles Martin Smith is 63. Country singer T. Graham Brown is 62. Actor Kevin Pollak is 59. Actor Michael Beach is 53. Rock singer-musician Gavin Rossdale (Bush) is 51. Actor Jack Plotnick is 48. Comedian Ben Bailey is 46. Actor Billy Brown (TV: “How to Get Away With Murder”) is 46. Actress Nia Long is 46. Country singer Kassidy Osborn (SHeDAISY) (sh-DAY’-zee) is 40. Actor Gael Garcia Bernal is 38. Actor Matthew Morrison is 38. Business executive Ivanka Trump is 35. Actress Fiona Dourif is 35. Actor Shaun Sipos (SEE’-pohs) is 35. Actress Janel (juh-NEHL’) Parrish is 28. Actor Tequan Richmond is 24.

Thought for Today: “You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.” — Marie Curie, Polish Nobel Prize-winning chemist (1867-1934).

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