Today in History
Today is Sunday, Oct. 17, the 290th day of 2021. There are 75 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, New York, in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.
On this date:
In 1919, Radio Corp. of America was chartered.
In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted in Chicago of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)
In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
In 1957, the movie “Jailhouse Rock,” starring Elvis Presley, had its world premiere in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1966, 12 New York City firefighters were killed while battling a blaze in lower Manhattan. The TV game show “The Hollywood Squares” premiered on NBC.
In 1967, Puyi (poo-yee), the last emperor of China, died in Beijing at age 61.
In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.
In 1978, President Carter signed a bill restoring U.S. citizenship to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1989, an earthquake measuring 6.9 in magnitude struck northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.
In 2014, the World Health Organization acknowledged it had botched attempts to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff, lack of information and budget cuts.
In 2018, residents of the Florida Panhandle community of Mexico Beach who had fled Hurricane Michael a week earlier returned home to find homes, businesses and campers ripped to shreds; the storm had killed at least 59 people and caused more than $25 billion in damage in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
Ten years ago: Rolling through small Southern towns in a campaign-style bus, President Barack Obama pressed lawmakers back in Washington to start taking up pieces of his rejected jobs bill and mocked the Republicans who had shot it down in toto. Financier Carl Lindner Jr., who used his experience running the family dairy store to build a business empire whose reach included baseball, banks and bananas, died at age 92.
Five years ago: A long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city Mosul (MOH’-sul) from the Islamic State group began with a volley of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and heavy artillery bombardments on a cluster of villages east of the militant-held city. Orbital ATK’s unmanned Antares rocket blasted off from Wallops Island in Virginia on a supply mission to the International Space Station; it was the first flight of an Antares since a launch explosion in 2014.
One year ago: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said movie theaters in the state could reopen the following week, with restrictions on audience size and other coronavirus precautions in place; theaters in New York City weren’t included. Iran said its death toll from the coronavirus had passed 30,000, in what had been the Mideast’s worst outbreak. The Tampa Bay Rays reached the World Series for the second time by beating the Houston Astros 4-2 in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series. (The Rays would lose the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Marsha Hunt is 104. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 79. Singer Gary Puckett is 79. Actor Michael McKean is 74. Actor George Wendt is 73. Actor-singer Bill Hudson is 72. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 65. Country singer Alan Jackson is 63. Movie critic Richard Roeper is 62. Movie director Rob Marshall is 61. Actor Grant Shaud is 61. Animator Mike Judge is 59. Rock singer-musician Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth) is 58. Singer Rene’ Dif is 54. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 53. Actor Wood Harris is 52. Singer Wyclef Jean (zhahn) is 52. World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els is 52. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick (’N Sync) is 50. Rapper Eminem is 49. Actor Sharon Leal is 49. Actor Matthew Macfadyen is 47. Actor Felicity Jones is 38. Actor Chris Lowell is 37.