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This day in history

2002 — 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.

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

In 1864, Roger B. Taney (TAH’-nee), the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, died at 87; he was succeeded by Salmon Chase.

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

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 1957, the Dr. Seuss Yuletide tale “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” was first published by Random House.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.

In 1976, it was announced in China that Hua Guofeng had been named to succeed the late Mao Zedong as chairman of the Communist Party; it was also announced that Mao’s widow and three others, known as the “Gang of Four,” had been arrested.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped an attempt on her life when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at a hotel in Brighton, England, killing five people.

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

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

In 2007, 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.

Ten years ago: The Obama administration announced it was lifting the six-month moratorium on deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico imposed after the BP oil spill. General Motors CEO Dan Akerson and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (GYT’-nur) met for the first time in New York to discuss GM’s initial public offering as the automaker waited for approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell the shares. At least 44 people were killed when a train hit a bus at a crossing in eastern Ukraine.

Five years ago: Princeton University’s Angus Deaton won the Nobel prize in economics for work that helped redefine the way poverty was measured around the world, notably in India. Actor Joan Leslie, 90, died in Los Angeles. Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and reporter with ABC News’ medical unit, drowned while on vacation in Hawaii; she was 31.

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