Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Wednesday, Oct. 5, the 279th day of 2016. There are 87 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 5, 1986, in an incident that helped expose the Iran-Contra affair, a plane secretly ferrying supplies to Nicaraguan Contra rebels was shot down over southern Nicaragua by Sandinista forces. One of the plane’s occupants, Eugene Hasenfus, parachuted to safety while three other men were killed. Hasenfus was captured, tried and convicted in Nicaragua, but then was pardoned and allowed to return to the United States.

On this date:

In 1829, the 21st president of the United States, Chester Alan Arthur, was born in North Fairfield, Vermont.

In 1931, Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon completed the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean, arriving in Washington state some 41 hours after leaving Japan.

In 1941, former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jewish member of the nation’s highest court, died in Washington at age 84.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised White House address as he spoke on the world food crisis.

In 1953, Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th chief justice of the United States, succeeding Fred M. Vinson.

In 1969, the British TV comedy program “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” made its debut on BBC 1.

In 1970, British trade commissioner James Richard Cross was kidnapped in Canada by militant Quebec separatists; he was released the following December.

In 1974, the Irish Republican Army bombed two pubs in Guildford, Surrey, England, resulting in five deaths and dozens of injuries. (Four men who became known as the Guildford Four were convicted of the bombings, but were ultimately vindicated.)

In 1984, the space shuttle Challenger blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on an 8-day mission; the crew included Kathryn D. Sullivan, who became the first American woman to walk in space, and Marc Garneau, the first Canadian astronaut.

In 1988, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen lambasted Republican Dan Quayle during their vice-presidential debate, telling Quayle, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

In 1990, a jury in Cincinnati acquitted an art gallery and its director of obscenity charges stemming from an exhibit of sexually graphic photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe.

In 1999, two packed commuter trains collided near London’s Paddington Station, killing 31 people.

Ten years ago: The House ethics committee opened an investigation into the unfolding congressional page sex scandal that resulted in the resignation of U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. (The panel later issued a report that was critical of Republican lawmakers and aides, but which also found that no rules had been broken.) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Baghdad, where she warned Iraqi leaders they had limited time to settle their differences. NATO took over eastern Afghanistan from U.S.-led forces, assuming control of 12,000 American troops and extending its military role to the entire country.

Five years ago: Steve Jobs, 56, the Apple founder and former chief executive who’d invented and master-marketed ever sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, died in Palo Alto, California. Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, 89, a civil rights activist who endured arrests, beatings and injuries from fire hoses while fighting for racial equality in the segregated South of the 1960s, died in Birmingham, Alabama.

One year ago: The United States, Japan and 10 other nations in Asia and the Americas reached agreement on the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The Coast Guard concluded that El Faro, a container ship that went missing during Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas, had sunk. Irish-born William Campbell, Satoshi Omura and of Japan and Tu Youyou of China won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that helped doctors fight malaria and infections caused by roundworm parasites.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Glynis Johns is 93. Comedian Bill Dana is 92. College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Arlene Smith (The Chantels) is 75. Singer-musician Steve Miller is 73. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., is 73. Rock singer Brian Johnson (AC/DC) is 69. Actress Karen Allen is 65. Writer-producer-director Clive Barker is 64. Rock musician David Bryson (Counting Crows) is 62. Rock singer and famine-relief organizer Bob Geldof is 62. Designer Maya Lin is 57. Actor Daniel Baldwin is 56. Rock singer-musician Dave Dederer is 52. Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux is 51. Actor Guy Pearce is 49. Actress Josie Bissett is 46. Singer-actress Heather Headley is 42. Pop-rock singer Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) is 42. Rock musician Brian Mashburn (Save Ferris) is 41. Actress Parminder Nagra (pahr-MIHN’-da NAH’-grah) is 41. Actor Scott Weinger is 41. Actress Kate Winslet is 41. Rock musician James Valentine (Maroon 5) is 38. Rock musician Paul Thomas (Good Charlotte) is 36. Actor Jesse Eisenberg is 33. TV personality Nicky Hilton is 33. Actress Azure Parsons is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brooke Valentine is 31. Actor Kevin Bigley is 30. Actor Joshua Logan Moore is 22. Actor Jacob Tremblay (Film: “Room”) is 10.

Thought for Today: “My friends are my ‘estate.’ Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them.” — Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830-1886).

By The Associated Press