Today in History
Today is Thursday, Oct. 29, the 303rd day of 2020. There are 63 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 29, 1929, “Black Tuesday” descended upon the New York Stock Exchange. Prices collapsed amid panic selling and thousands of investors were wiped out as America’s “Great Depression” began.
On this date:
In 1901, President William McKinley’s assassin, Leon Czolgosz, was electrocuted.
In 1940, a blindfolded Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number — 158 — from a glass bowl in America’s first peacetime military draft.
In 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, Israel invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” premiered as NBC’s nightly television newscast.
In 1960, a chartered plane carrying the California Polytechnic State University football team crashed on takeoff from Toledo, Ohio, killing 22 of the 48 people on board.
In 1967, Expo 67 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, closed after six months.
In 1987, following the confirmation defeat of Robert H. Bork to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, President Ronald Reagan announced his choice of Douglas H. Ginsburg, a nomination that fell apart over revelations of Ginsburg’s previous marijuana use. Jazz great Woody Herman died in Los Angeles at age 74.
In 1994, gunman Francisco Martin Duran fired more than two dozen shots from a semiautomatic rifle at the White House. (Duran was later convicted of trying to assassinate President Bill Clinton and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.)
In 1998, Sen. John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, retracing the trail he’d blazed for America’s astronauts 36 years earlier.
In 2004, four days before Election Day in the U.S., Osama bin Laden, in a videotaped statement, directly admitted for the first time that he’d ordered the September 11 attacks and told Americans “the best way to avoid another Manhattan” was to stop threatening Muslims’ security.
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore in New Jersey and slowly marched inland, devastating coastal communities and causing widespread power outages; the storm and its aftermath were blamed for at least 182 deaths in the U.S.
In 2017, all but 10 members of the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem, reacting to a remark from team owner Bob McNair to other NFL owners that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
In 2018, a new-generation Boeing jet operated by the Indonesian budget airline Lion Air crashed in the Java Sea minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board; it was the first of two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max, causing the plane to be grounded around the world as Boeing worked on software changes to a flight-control system.
Ten years ago: Authorities on three continents said they had thwarted multiple terrorist attacks aimed at the United States, seizing two explosive packages addressed to Chicago-area synagogues and packed aboard cargo jets from Yemen.
Five years ago: Paul Ryan was elected the 54th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Owen Labrie, a graduate of the exclusive St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman girl as part of a competition among upperclassmen to rack up sexual conquests. Florida executed Jerry Correll nearly three decades after he was convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-wife, young daughter and two in-laws. China said it would allow all married couples to have two children, signaling the end after 35 years to its drastic and unpopular “one-child” policy. American Simone Biles won her third straight world gymnastics title at the competition in Glasgow, Scotland.
One year ago: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer serving with President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, defied White House orders and testified to impeachment investigators that he had twice raised concerns over the administration’s push to have Ukraine investigate Democrats and Joe Biden. (Following the Senate’s acquittal vote, Vindman was reassigned from the NSC; his twin brother, an NSC lawyer, was pushed out with him.) Masked gunmen opened fire at Iraqi protesters in the Shiite holy city of Karbala; security officials said 18 people were killed and hundreds wounded. The NCAA took a major step toward letting college athletes cash in on their fame, voting to permit them to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness.”
Today’s Birthdays: Bluegrass singer-musician Sonny Osborne (The Osborne Brothers) is 83. Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is 82. Country singer Lee Clayton is 78. Rock musician Denny Laine is 76. Singer Melba Moore is 75. Actor Richard Dreyfuss is 73. Actor Kate Jackson is 72. Country musician Steve Kellough (Wild Horses) is 64. Actor Dan Castellaneta (TV: “The Simpsons”) is 63. Comic strip artist Tom Wilson (“Ziggy”) is 63. Actor Finola Hughes is 61. Singer Randy Jackson is 59. Rock musician Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 55. Actor Joely Fisher is 53. Rapper Paris is 53. Actor Rufus Sewell is 53. Actor Grayson McCouch (mih-KOOCH’) is 52. Rock singer SA Martinez (311) is 51. Actor Winona Ryder is 49. Actor Tracee Ellis Ross is 48. Actor Gabrielle Union is 48. Actor Trevor Lissauer is 47. Olympic gold medal bobsledder Vonetta Flowers is 47. Actor Milena Govich is 44. Actor Jon Abrahams is 43. Actor Brendan Fehr is 43. Actor Ben Foster is 40. Rock musician Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend) is 36. Actor Janet Montgomery is 35. Actor India Eisley is 27.