Today in History

·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Friday, Oct. 8, the 281st day of 2021. There are 84 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 8, 1985, the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro (ah-KEE’-leh LOW’-roh) killed American passenger Leon Klinghoffer, who was in a wheelchair, and threw his body overboard.

On this date:

In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire erupted; fires also broke out in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and in several communities in Michigan.

In 1918, U.S. Army Cpl. Alvin C. York led an attack that killed 25 German soldiers and resulted in the capture of 132 others in the Argonne Forest in France.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was indicted by a grand jury in New Jersey for murder in the death of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman told a press conference in Tiptonville, Tennessee, that the secret scientific knowledge behind the atomic bomb would be shared only with Britain and Canada.

In 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series to date as the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5, 2-0.

In 1981, at the White House, President Ronald Reagan greeted former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, who were preparing to travel to Egypt for the funeral of Anwar Sadat.

In 1997, scientists reported the Mars Pathfinder had yielded what could be the strongest evidence yet that Mars might once have been hospitable to life.

In 1998, the House triggered an open-ended impeachment inquiry against President Bill Clinton in a momentous 258-176 vote; 31 Democrats joined majority Republicans in opening the way for nationally televised impeachment hearings.

In 2002, a federal judge approved President George W. Bush’s request to reopen West Coast ports, ending a 10-day labor lockout that was costing the U.S. economy an estimated $1 to $2 billion a day.

In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake flattened villages on the Pakistan-India border, killing an estimated 86,000 people.

In 2010, British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who’d been taken captive in Afghanistan, was killed during a U.S. special forces rescue attempt, apparently by a U.S. grenade.

In 2015, chef Paul Prudhomme, 75, who’d sparked a nationwide interest in Cajun food, died in New Orleans.

Ten years ago: Scott Anderson became the first openly gay ordained Presbyterian minister during a ceremony at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Al Davis, the Hall of Fame owner of the Oakland Raiders, died at age 82. Pianist Roger Williams, 87, died in Los Angeles.

Five years ago: Donald Trump vowed on Twitter to continue his campaign even though he said the “media and establishment” wanted him out of the race “so badly”; many Republicans were calling on Trump to abandon his presidential bid in the wake of the release of a 2005 video in which he made lewd remarks about women and appeared to condone sexual assault.

One year ago: Authorities in Michigan said six men had been charged with conspiring to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power.” (One of the six pleaded guilty and was sentenced to just over six years in prison.) Separately, seven others linked to a paramilitary group were charged in state court for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and seek a “civil war.” Democrat Joe Biden said President Donald Trump’s tweet earlier in the year to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” may have encouraged the alleged kidnapping plot. Trump insisted that he was ready to resume campaign rallies and said he felt “perfect” one week after his diagnosis with the coronavirus. Whitey Ford, a Hall of Fame pitcher for the New York Yankees, died at 91.

Today’s Birthdays: Entertainment reporter Rona Barrett is 85. Actor Paul Hogan is 82. R&B singer Fred Cash (The Impressions) is 81. Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson is 80. Comedian Chevy Chase is 78. Author R.L. Stine is 78. Actor Dale Dye is 77. Country singer Susan Raye is 77. TV personality Sarah Purcell is 73. R&B singer Airrion Love (The Stylistics) is 72. Actor Sigourney Weaver is 72. R&B singer Robert “Kool” Bell (Kool & the Gang) is 71. Producer-director Edward Zwick is 69. Country singer-musician Ricky Lee Phelps is 68. Actor Michael Dudikoff is 67. Comedian Darrell Hammond is 66. Actor Stephanie Zimbalist is 65. Actor Kim Wayans is 60. Rock singer Steve Perry (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) is 58. Actor Ian Hart is 57. Gospel/R&B singer CeCe Winans is 57. Rock musician C.J. Ramone (The Ramones) is 56. Actor-producer Karyn Parsons is 55. Singer-producer Teddy Riley is 55. Actor Emily Procter is 53. Actor Dylan Neal is 52. Actor-screenwriter Matt Damon is 51. Actor-comedian Robert Kelly is 51. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is 51. Actor Martin Henderson is 47. Actor Kristanna Loken is 42. Rock-soul singer-musician Noelle Scaggs (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 42. Actor Nick Cannon is 41. Actor J.R. Ramirez is 41. Actor Max Crumm is 36. Singer-songwriter-producer Bruno Mars is 36. Actor Angus T. Jones is 28. Actor Molly Quinn is 28. Actor/singer Bella Thorne is 24.

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