Today in History
Today is Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2019. There are 72 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 20, 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, 69, 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.
On this date:
In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1944, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte in the Philippines, 2 1/2 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 1967, a jury in Meridian, Miss., convicted seven men of violating the civil rights of slain civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner; the seven received prison terms ranging from three to 10 years.
In 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.
In 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.
In 1977, three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, were killed along with three others in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Miss.
In 1986, the government of Nicaragua formally charged captured American mercenary Eugene Hasenfus with several crimes, including terrorism. (Although convicted and sentenced to prison, Hasenfus was pardoned and released by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.)
In 1999, the government laid out new rules to protect children’s privacy on the Internet and to shield them from commercial e-mail. Elizabeth Dole abandoned her Republican bid to be America’s first woman president.
In 2001, officials announced that anthrax had been discovered in a House postal facility on Capitol Hill.
In 2004, A U.S. Army staff sergeant, Ivan “Chip” Frederick, pleaded guilty to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. (Frederick was sentenced to eight years in prison; he was paroled in 2007.)
Ten years ago: Ignoring appeals by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and even rock star Sting, Iran sentenced an Iranian-American academic, Kian Tajbakhsh to 12 years in prison for his alleged role in anti-government protests. Afghanistan’s election commission ordered a runoff in the disputed presidential poll. (The runoff was later canceled, and President Hamid Karzai proclaimed the winner.)
Five years ago: The White House said former Nazis should not have been collecting Social Security benefits as they aged overseas; an Associated Press investigation had revealed that millions of dollars had been paid to war-crimes suspects and former SS guards who’d been forced out of the United States.
One year ago: Saudi Arabia announced that journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul; there was immediate international skepticism over the Saudi account that Khashoggi had died during a “fistfight.”
Today’s Birthdays: Japan’s Empress Michiko is 85. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 82. Former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 81. Actor William “Rusty” Russ is 69. Actress Melanie Mayron is 67. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 66. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 62. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 61. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 55. Rock musician David Ryan is 55. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 49. Actor Kenneth Choi is 48. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 48. Singer Dannii Minogue is 48. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country group Little Big Town) is 48. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 43. Actor/comedian Dan Fogler is 43. Rock musician Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs) is 43. Actor Sam Witwer is 42. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 40. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 34.
Thought for Today: “Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” — Conrad Hilton, American hotelier (1887-1979).