Today in History

Oct 14, 2021, 9:00 PM | Updated: 9:19 pm

Today in History

Today is Friday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2021. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 15, 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, 52-48.

On this date:

In 1783, the first manned balloon flight took place in Paris as Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier ascended in a basket attached to a tethered Montgolfier hot-air balloon, rising to about 75 feet.

In 1928, the German dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, N.J., completing its first commercial flight across the Atlantic.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH’-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the Carolina coast as a Category 4 storm; Hazel was blamed for some 1,000 deaths in the Caribbean, 95 in the U.S. and 81 in Canada.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill creating the U.S. Department of Transportation. The revolutionary Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.

In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

In 2001, Bethlehem Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In 2003, eleven people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry’s pilot, who’d blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to eleven counts of manslaughter.)

In 2009, a report of a 6-year-old Colorado boy trapped inside a runaway helium balloon engrossed the nation before the boy, Falcon Heene (HEE’-nee), was found safe at home in what turned out to be a hoax. (Falcon’s parents served up to a month in jail.)

In 2015, President Barack Obama abandoned his pledge to end America’s longest war, announcing plans to keep at least 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term in 2017 and hand the conflict off to his successor.

In 2017, actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted should write “Me too” as a status; within hours, tens of thousands had taken up the #MeToo hashtag (using a phrase that had been introduced 10 years earlier by social activist Tarana Burke.)

Ten years ago: Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed U.S. accusations that Tehran was involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, saying the claims had no “legal logic.” The Texas Rangers finished off the Detroit Tigers to become the American League’s first repeat champion in a decade with a 15-5 win in Game 6 of the ALCS.

Five years ago: Republican Donald Trump sought to undermine the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election, pressing unsubstantiated claims that the contest was “rigged” against him. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Yemen’s Houthi (HOO’-thee) rebels had released two U.S. citizens as part of a complicated diplomatic arrangement.

One year ago: With their debate in Miami canceled following the president’s coronavirus infection, President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden squared off in dueling televised town halls. Biden hedged on whether he would require all Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Responding to a New York Times report citing tax returns showing he had business debts exceeding $400 million, Trump said, “$400 million is a peanut,” and insisted that he didn’t owe money to Russia or to any “sinister people.” YouTube said it was taking more steps to limit QAnon and other baseless conspiracy theories that could lead to violence. The sobering musical “Jagged Little Pill,” which plumbed Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album to tell a story of an American family spiraling out of control, earned 15 Tony Award nominations as Broadway took the first steps to celebrate a pandemic-shortened season.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Barry McGuire is 86. Actor Linda Lavin is 84. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 79. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 76. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 75. Actor Victor Banerjee is 75. Former tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 70. Singer Tito Jackson is 68. Actor-comedian Larry Miller is 68. Actor Jere Burns is 67. Movie director Mira Nair is 64. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 62. Chef Emeril Lagasse (EM’-ur-ul leh-GAH’-see) is 62. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ’-nih-chehk) is 59. Singer Eric Benet (beh-NAY’) is 55. Actor Vanessa Marcil is 53. Singer-actor-TV host Paige Davis is 52. Country singer Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town) is 52. Actor Dominic West is 52. R&B singer Ginuwine (JIHN’-yoo-wyn) is 51. Actor Devon Gummersall is 43. Actor Chris Olivero is 42. Christian singer-actor Jaci (JAK’-ee) Velasquez is 42. Actor Brandon Jay McLaren is 41. R&B singer Keyshia Cole is 40. Actor Vincent Martella is 29. Actor Bailee Madison is 22.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Belgian zoo says its 2 very runny-nosed hippos have COVID-19

BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian zoo said Friday that a pair of hippopotamuses in its care are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, possibly the first time ever such animals have caught the disease. Belgium’s national veterinary lab has confirmed that Antwerp Zoo’s two hippos — Imani, aged 14, and 41-year-old Hermien — contracted […]
12 hours ago
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the November jobs report, in the State Dining Room of the W...
Associated Press

Hoarse Biden says it’s just a cold he caught from grandson

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has at least one thing in common with thousands of parents and grandparents this winter: He’s picked up a cold from his young grandson. The president has had an unusually low, scratchy voice and an occasional cough all week, prompting questions from the press about his health on Friday. […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy is wheeled from the Idaho Statehouse in Boise, Idaho, o...
Associated Press

Bundy: Campaigning counts as court-ordered community service

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Far-right activist Ammon Bundy says time he has spent campaigning to become the next governor of Idaho should count toward the community service he was ordered to perform after being convicted of obstructing police during his trespassing arrest at the state Capitol. Aaron Welling, Bundy’s campaign treasurer, wrote late last month […]
12 hours ago
Czech President Milos Zeman, right, in a transparent cube because he tested positive to COVID-19, a...
Associated Press

Outgoing Czech government to order vaccine mandate for 60+

PRAGUE (AP) — The outgoing Czech government is planning to order a vaccine mandate for people aged 60 and over and for some professional groups, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Friday. But it’s unclear whether the measure will be enforced by his successor. Vojtech said his ministry will issue the order next week making […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Israel confirms 7 cases of omicron, 27 others suspected

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s Health Ministry said Friday it has confirmed seven cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, stoking fears of a pending surge in infections. Four of the confirmed cases are unvaccinated individuals who had recently returned from South Africa. The other three include two people who returned from South Africa […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Graduate student fatally stabbed, 2nd man wounded in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — A Columbia University graduate student from Italy was fatally stabbed and another Italian man was wounded in separate attacks near the university’s upper Manhattan campus, authorities said Friday. The stabbing suspect was arrested in Central Park while menacing a man with a knife, police said in a news release. The attacks […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.