Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, October 17, the 290th day of 2015. There are 75 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On October 17, 1915, playwright Arthur Miller, author of “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible,” was born in New York.

On this date:

In 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, New York, in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

In 1814, the London Beer Flood inundated the St. Giles district of the British capital as vats of beer ruptured, sending more than 320,000 gallons of liquid into the streets; up to nine people were reported killed.

In 1919, Radio Corp. of America was chartered.

In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

In 1945, Col. Juan Peron, the future president of Argentina, was released from prison after protests by trade unionists.

In 1956, the all-star movie “Around the World in 80 Days,” produced by Michael Todd, had its world premiere in New York.

In 1965, the musical “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever,” with a score by Burton Lane and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, opened on Broadway. The New York World’s Fair closed.

In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.

In 1990, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) was created.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton told wealthy contributors at a Houston fund-raiser that “you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much, too” — a statement that drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.

Ten years ago: A two-man Chinese space crew landed in China’s northern grasslands after five days in orbit. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (joon-ee-chee-roh koh-ee-zoo-mee) enraged China and South Korea by visiting Tokyo’s Yasukuni war shrine.

Five years ago: Pope Benedict XVI gave Australia its first saint, canonizing Mary MacKillop, a 19th century nun who was briefly excommunicated in part because her religious order had exposed a pedophile priest.

One year ago: The World Health Organization acknowledged it had botched attempts to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff, lack of information and budget cuts. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that had blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city’s main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. Sixteen people watching an outdoor pop concert in Seongnam, South Korea, fell 60 feet to their deaths when a ventilation grate they were standing on collapsed.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Marsha Hunt is 98. Actress Julie Adams is 89. Newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin is 85. Country singer Earl Thomas Conley is 74. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 73. Singer Gary Puckett is 73. Actor Michael McKean is 68. Actress Margot Kidder is 67. Actor George Wendt is 67. Actor-singer Bill Hudson is 66. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 59. Country singer Alan Jackson is 57. Movie critic Richard Roeper is 56. Movie director Rob Marshall is 55. Actor Grant Shaud is 55. Animator Mike Judge is 53. Rock singer-musician Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth) is 52. Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 52. Singer Rene’ Dif is 48. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 47. Actor Wood Harris is 46. Singer Wyclef Jean (zhahn) is 46. World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els is 46. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick (‘N Sync) is 44. Rapper Eminem is 43. Actress Sharon Leal is 43. Actor Matthew Macfadyen is 41. Rock musician Sergio Andrade (an-DRAY’-day) is 38. Actress Felicity Jones (Film: “The Theory of Everything”) is 32. Actor Chris Lowell is 31. Actor Dee Jay Daniels is 27.

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