Friday Morning: Today in History

Today is Friday, Oct. 12, the 286th day of 2012. There are 80 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 12, 1962, the devastating Columbus Day Storm, also known as the "Big Blow," struck the Pacific Northwest, resulting in some 50 deaths.

On this date:

In 1492 (according to the Old Style calendar), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.

In 1810, the German festival Oktoberfest was first held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63.

In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans in occupied Belgium during World War I.

In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.

In 1942, during World War II, American naval forces defeated the Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance. Attorney General Francis Biddle announced during a Columbus Day celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.

In 1960, Japanese Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma was stabbed to death during a televised debate in Tokyo by an ultranationalist student, Otoya Yamaguchi, who hanged himself in jail.

In 1971, the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway.

In 1986, the superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States.

In 1987, former Gov. Alfred ("Alf") M. Landon, R-Kan., died at his Topeka home at age 100.

In 1997, singer John Denver was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in Monterey Bay, Calif.; he was 53.

In 2000, 17 sailors were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen.

Ten years ago: Bombs blamed on al-Qaida-linked militants destroyed a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians and seven Americans.

Five years ago: Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm over global warming. A fiery, 34-vehicle pileup at a freeway tunnel in Santa Clarita, Calif., left three people dead. A jury in Panama City, Fla., acquitted seven former juvenile boot camp guards and a nurse in the death of Martin Lee Anderson, a black teenager.

One year ago: A Nigerian al-Qaida operative pleaded guilty to trying to bring down a jetliner with a bomb in his underwear; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab defiantly told a federal judge in Detroit that he acted in retaliation for the killing of Muslims worldwide. Eight people were killed in a shooting at a hair salon in Seal Beach, Calif. (Scott Dekraai, whose ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, was among the victims, is awaiting trial.) The Texas Rangers won Game 4 of the AL championship series, defeating the Detroit Tigers 7-3 for a 3-1 lead. The St. Louis Cardinals gained a 2-1 edge in the NL series as they beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Antonia Rey is 85. Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 80. Former Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, is 80. Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 77. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 65. Actress-singer Susan Anton is 62. Rock singer-musician Pat DiNizio is 57. Actor Carlos Bernard is 50. Jazz musician Chris Botti is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Claude McKnight (Take 6) is 50. Rock singer Bob Schneider is 47. Actor Hugh Jackman is 44. Actor Adam Rich is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Garfield Bright (Shai) is 43. Country musician Martie Maguire (The Dixie Chicks) is 43. Actor Kirk Cameron is 42. Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller is 35. Actor Marcus T. Paulk ("Moesha") is 26. Actor Josh Hutcherson is 20.

Thought for Today: "To know one's self is wisdom, but not to know one's neighbors is genius." -- Minna Antrim, American writer (1861-1950).

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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