Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Oct. 29, the 302nd day of 2015. There are 63 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 29, 1940, a blindfolded Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number — 158 — from a glass bowl in America’s first peacetime military draft.

On this date:

In 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh, the English courtier, military adventurer and poet, was executed in London for treason.

In 1787, the opera “Don Giovanni” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had its world premiere in Prague.

In 1901, President William McKinley’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz (CHAWL’-gahsh), was electrocuted.

In 1929, Wall Street crashed on “Black Tuesday,” heralding the start of America’s Great Depression.

In 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, Israel invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” premiered as NBC’s nightly television newscast.

In 1964, thieves made off with the Star of India and other gems from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. (The Star and most of the other gems were recovered; three men were convicted of stealing them.)

In 1966, the National Organization for Women was formally organized during a conference in Washington, D.C.

In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of the great stock market crash, anti-nuclear protesters tried but failed to shut down the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1987, following the confirmation defeat of Robert H. Bork to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Ronald Reagan announced his choice of Douglas H. Ginsburg, a nomination that fell apart over revelations of Ginsburg’s previous marijuana use. Jazz great Woody Herman died in Los Angeles at age 74.

In 1994, Francisco Martin Duran fired more than two dozen shots from a semiautomatic rifle at the White House. (Duran was later convicted of trying to assassinate President Bill Clinton and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.)

In 1998, Sen. John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, retracing the trail he’d blazed for America’s astronauts 36 years earlier.

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy came ashore in New Jersey and slowly marched inland, devastating coastal communities and causing widespread power outages; the storm and its aftermath are blamed for at least 182 deaths in the U.S.

Ten years ago: Three blasts ripped through markets in New Delhi, India, killing 62 people in attacks blamed by the government on Islamic militants. Hundreds of people slowly filed past the body of civil rights icon Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, just miles from the downtown street where she’d made history by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. Saint Liam won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont Park. Actor Lloyd Bochner, 81, died in Santa Monica, California.

Five years ago: Authorities on three continents said they had thwarted multiple terrorist attacks aimed at the United States, seizing two explosive packages addressed to Chicago-area synagogues and packed aboard cargo jets from Yemen.

One year ago: Ordering firm restrictions for U.S. troops returning from West Africa, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the military men and women helping fight Ebola had to undergo 21-day quarantines upon their return — longer than required for many civilian health care workers. The San Francisco Giants succeeded where no team had in 3 1/2 decades, winning Game 7 on the road for their third World Series title in five years as they defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2.

Today’s Birthdays: Bluegrass singer-musician Sonny Osborne (The Osborne Brothers) is 78. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is 77. Country singer Lee Clayton is 73. Rock musician Denny Laine is 71. Singer Melba Moore is 70. Musician Peter Green is 69. Actor Richard Dreyfuss is 68. Actress Kate Jackson is 67. The former president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, is 65. Actor Dan Castellaneta (TV: “The Simpsons”) is 58. Country musician Steve Kellough (Wild Horses) is 58. Comic strip artist Tom Wilson (“Ziggy”) is 58. Actress Finola Hughes is 56. Singer Randy Jackson is 54. Rock musician Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 50. Actress Joely Fisher is 48. Rapper Paris is 48. Actor Rufus Sewell is 48. Actor Grayson McCouch (mih-KOOCH’) is 47. Rock singer SA Martinez (311) is 46. Musician Toby Smith is 45. Actress Winona Ryder is 44. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross is 43. Actor Trevor Lissauer is 42. Actress Gabrielle Union is 42. Olympic gold medal bobsledder Vonetta Flowers is 42. Actress Milena Govich is 39. Actor Jon Abrahams is 38. Actor Brendan Fehr is 38. Actor Ben Foster is 35. Rock musician Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend) is 31. Actress India Eisley is 22.

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