Tuesday Morning: Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 2, the 276th day of 2012. There are 90 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 2, 2002, the Washington, D.C. area sniper attacks began as a resident of Silver Spring, Md., was shot and killed in a store parking lot in Wheaton; the next day, five people were shot dead, setting off a frantic manhunt lasting three weeks. (John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were finally arrested for 10 killings and three woundings; Muhammad was executed in 2009; Malvo was sentenced to life in prison.)

On this date:

In 1780, British spy John Andre was hanged in Tappan, N.Y., during the Revolutionary War.

In 1835, the first battle of the Texas Revolution took place as American settlers fought Mexican soldiers near the Guadalupe River; the Mexicans ended up withdrawing.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a serious stroke at the White House that left him paralyzed on his left side.

In 1941, during World War II, German armies launched an all-out drive against Moscow.

In 1944, Nazi troops crushed the two-month-old Warsaw Uprising, during which a quarter of a million people were killed.

In 1950, the comic strip "Peanuts," created by Charles M. Schulz, was syndicated to seven newspapers.

In 1958, the former French colony of Guinea in West Africa proclaimed its independence.

In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court as the court opened its new term.

In 1970, one of two chartered twin-engine planes flying the Wichita State University football team to Utah crashed into a mountain near Silver Plume, Colo., killing 31 of the 40 people on board.

In 1971, the music program "Soul Train" made its debut in national syndication.

In 1985, actor Rock Hudson died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 59 after battling AIDS.

In 2006, an armed milk truck driver took a group of girls hostage in an Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., killing five of them and wounding five others before committing suicide.

Ten years ago: The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled unanimously the Democratic Party could replace Sen. Robert Torricelli on the November ballot with former Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Five years ago: Blackwater chairman Erik Prince, testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, vigorously rejected charges that guards from his private security firm had acted recklessly while protecting State Department personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five workers were found dead 1,000 feet inside an empty underground water tunnel following a chemical fire at a Colorado hydroelectric plant. A federal jury in New York ordered the owners of the New York Knicks to pay $11.6 million to former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders, concluding she'd been sexually harassed and fired out of spite. Tony Award-winning actor George Grizzard died in New York at age 79.

One year ago: Syrian dissidents formally established a broad-based national council designed to overthrow President Bashar Assad's regime, which they accused of pushing the country to the brink of civil war.

Today's Birthdays: Country singer-musician Leon Rausch (Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) is 85. Retired MLB All-Star Maury Wills is 80. Movie critic Rex Reed is 74. Singer-songwriter Don McLean is 67. Cajun/country singer Jo-el Sonnier is 66. Actor Avery Brooks is 64. Fashion designer Donna Karan is 64. Photographer Annie Leibovitz is 63. Rock musician Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike & the Mechanics) is 62. Singer-actor Sting is 61. Actress Lorraine Bracco is 58. Country musician Greg Jennings (Restless Heart) is 58. Rock singer Phil Oakey (The Human League) is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Freddie Jackson is 54. Singer-producer Robbie Nevil is 54. Retro-soul singer James Hunter is 50. Rock musician Bud Gaugh (Sublime, Eyes Adrift) is 45. Folk-country singer Gillian Welch is 45. Country singer Kelly Willis is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Dion Allen (Az Yet) is 42. Actress-talk show host Kelly Ripa (TV: "Live with Kelly and Michael") is 42. Singer Tiffany is 41. Rock singer Lene Nystrom is 39. Actor Efren Ramirez is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer LaTocha Scott (Xscape) is 39. Gospel singer Mandisa (TV: "American Idol") is 36. Rock musician Mike Rodden (Hinder) is 30. Rock singer Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) is 24.

Thought for Today: "Heresy is another word for freedom of thought." -- Graham Greene, English writer (1904-1991).

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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