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Oct 20, 12:03 AM EDT

Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Oct. 20, the 294th day of 2016. There are 72 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 20, 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

On this date:

In 1714, the coronation of Britain's King George I took place in Westminster Abbey.

In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1914, "Stay Down Here Where You Belong," an anti-war song by Irving Berlin, was published by Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co. in New York.

In 1936, Helen Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy, died in Forest Hills, New York, at age 70.

In 1944, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stepped ashore at Leyte (LAY'-tee) in the Philippines, 2 1/2 years after saying, "I shall return." A series of gas storage tank explosions and fires in Cleveland killed 130 people.

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.

In 1964, the 31st president of the United States, Herbert C. Hoover, died in New York at age 90.

In 1965, in one of the more colorful moments of his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson, recovering from gall bladder surgery at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, pulled up his shirt and jacket to show off his abdominal scar to reporters and photographers.

In 1968, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

In 1973, in the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre," special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.

In 1981, a bungled armored truck robbery carried out by members of radical groups in Nanuet, New York, left a guard and two police officers dead.

In 1994, actor Burt Lancaster died in Los Angeles at age 80.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush conceded in an Associated Press interview that "right now, it's tough" for American forces in Iraq, but the White House said he would not change U.S. strategy in the face of pre-election polls indicating voters were upset. Actress Jane Wyatt, perhaps best remembered as Margaret Anderson on "Father Knows Best," died in Los Angeles at age 96.

Five years ago: Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya's dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte (SURT) and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell. Greek lawmakers passed a deeply resented new austerity bill, caving in to the demands of international creditors in order to avoid a national bankruptcy as a second day of riots left one protester dead and more than 100 people wounded. The Texas Rangers evened up the World Series at one game apiece, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1.

One year ago: The United States and Russia signed an agreement to minimize risks of air collisions as they separately carried out airstrikes in Syria. Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) began a much anticipated state visit to Britain, where he was welcomed as an honored guest at Buckingham Palace and Parliament. Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said he was dropping out of the Democratic race for president. The Kansas City Royals romped past the Toronto Blue Jays 14-2 for a 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series. The New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 for a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Cory Wells, 74, a founding member of the popular 1970s band Three Dog Night, died in Dunkirk, New York.

Today's Birthdays: Actor William Christopher is 84. Japan's Empress Michiko is 82. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 79. Former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 78. Singer Tom Petty is 66. Actor William "Rusty" Russ is 66. Actress Melanie Mayron is 64. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 63. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is 61. Movie director Danny Boyle is 60. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 59. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 58. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 52. Rock musician David Ryan is 52. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 49. Journalist Sunny Hostin (TV: "The View") is 48. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 46. Actor Kenneth Choi is 45. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 45. Singer Dannii Minogue is 45. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country goup Little Big Town) is 45. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 40. Actor Sam Witwer is 39. Actor John Krasinski is 37. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 37. Actress Katie Featherston is 34. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 31.

Thought for Today: "Next to ingratitude, the most painful thing to bear is gratitude." - Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).

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