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Today in History

Today is Friday, Oct. 9, the 283rd day of 2020. There are 83 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 9, 1936, the first generator at Boulder (later Hoover) Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.

On this date:

In 1888, the public was first admitted to the Washington Monument.

In 1910, a coal dust explosion at the Starkville Mine in Colorado left 56 miners dead.

In 1914, the Belgian city of Antwerp fell to German forces during World War I.

In 1967, Marxist revolutionary guerrilla leader Che Guevara, 39, was summarily executed by the Bolivian army a day after his capture.

In 1974, businessman Oskar Schindler, credited with saving about 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, died in Frankfurt, West Germany (at his request, he was buried in Jerusalem).

In 1985, the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise liner surrendered two days after seizing the vessel in the Mediterranean. (Passenger Leon Klinghoffer was killed by the hijackers during the standoff.)

In 2001, in the first daylight raids since the start of U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan, jets bombed the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. Letters postmarked in Trenton, N.J., were sent to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy; the letters later tested positive for anthrax.

In 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee called “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

In 2012, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison following his conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse of boys.

In 2014, six U.S. military planes arrived in the Ebola hot zone with more Marines as West African leaders pleaded for the world’s help in dealing with what Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma described as “a tragedy unforeseen in modern times.”

In 2016, During a bitter debate in St. Louis, Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about women revealed “exactly who he is” and proved his unsuitability to be president; firing back, Trump accused Clinton of attacking women involved in Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs and promised she would “be in jail” if he were president.

In 2018, Brett Kavanaugh took the bench for the first time as a Supreme Court justice in a jovial atmosphere that was at odds with the rancor that surrounded his confirmation.

Ten years ago: Chile’s 33 trapped miners cheered and embraced each other as a drill punched into their underground chamber where they had been stuck for an agonizing 66 days. The International Monetary Fund wrapped up two days of talks in Washington without resolving deep differences over currency movements. A crush of fans circled a flower-graced mosaic in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields and sang lyrics from “Imagine” to honor John Lennon on his 70th birthday.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama visited Roseburg, Oregon, the scene of a community college shooting that had claimed the lives of nine victims as well as the gunman; the president met with victims’ relatives, but also faced protests from legal gun owners. A democracy group, the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, won the Nobel Peace Prize for its contributions to the first and most successful Arab Spring movement. Former British Treasury chief and foreign secretary Geoffrey Howe, 88, died in Warwickshire, England.

One year ago: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said for the first time that President Donald Trump must be impeached for abusing the powers of his office to help his own reelection. Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria after U.S. troops pulled back from the area. A heavily-armed man tried to force his way into a synagogue in Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, then shot two people to death nearby in an attack that was livestreamed on a gaming site. (The suspect was arrested about 1 ½ hours after the attack and is charged with murder and attempted murder.) The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists, including American John Goodenough, for their work on lithium-ion batteries.

Today’s Birthdays: Retired MLB All-Star Joe Pepitone is 80. Former Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., is 79. C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nona Hendryx is 76. Singer Jackson Browne is 72. Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams is 70. Actor Gary Frank is 70. Actor Richard Chaves is 69. Actor Robert Wuhl is 69. Actor-TV personality Sharon Osbourne is 68. Actor Tony Shalhoub is 67. Actor Scott Bakula is 66. Musician James Fearnley (The Pogues) is 66. Actor John O’Hurley is 66. Writer-producer-director-actor Linwood Boomer is 65. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Mike Singletary is 62. Actor Michael Paré is 62. Jazz musician Kenny Garrett is 60. Rock singer-musician Kurt Neumann (The BoDeans) is 59. Country singer Gary Bennett is 56. Movie director Guillermo del Toro is 56. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron is 54. Singer P.J. Harvey is 51. Movie director Steve McQueen (Film: “12 Years a Slave”) is 51. World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam is 50. Actor Cocoa Brown is 48. Country singer Tommy Shane Steiner is 47. Actor Steve Burns is 47. Rock singer Sean Lennon is 45. Actor Randy Spelling is 42. Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae is 41. Actor Brandon Routh is 41. Actor Zachery Ty Bryan is 39. Actor Spencer Grammer is 37. Comedian Melissa Villasenor (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 33. Actor Tyler James Williams is 28. Country singer Scotty McCreery (TV: “American Idol”) is 27. Actor Jharrel Jerome is 23.

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