Today in History
Today is Thursday, Oct. 14, the 287th day of 2021. There are 78 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 14, 1947, U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles E. (“Chuck”) Yeager (YAY’-gur) became the first test pilot to break the sound barrier as he flew the experimental Bell XS-1 (later X-1) rocket plane over Muroc Dry Lake in California.
On this date:
In 1066, Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.
In 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots, went on trial in England, accused of committing treason against Queen Elizabeth I. (Mary was beheaded in February 1587.)
In 1933, Nazi Germany announced it was withdrawing from the League of Nations.
In 1939, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the HMS Royal Oak, a British battleship anchored at Scapa Flow in Scotland’s Orkney Islands; 833 of the more than 1,200 men aboard were killed.
In 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took his own life rather than face trial and certain execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.
In 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev was toppled from power; he was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and by Alexei Kosygin as Premier.
In 1968, the first successful live telecast from a manned U.S. spacecraft was transmitted from Apollo 7.
In 1981, the new president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak (HOHS’-nee moo-BAH’-rahk), was sworn in to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat. Mubarak pledged loyalty to Sadat’s policies.
In 2001, as U.S. jets opened a second week of raids in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush sternly rejected a Taliban offer to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a third country.
In 2008, a grand jury in Orlando, Fla. returned charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter against Casey Anthony in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. (She was acquitted in July 2011.)
In 2014, a second nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas came down with Ebola after contracting it from a dying patient. (The nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, was later declared free of the disease.)
In 2017, a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital killed more than 500 people in one of the world’s deadliest attacks in years; officials blamed the attack on the extremist group al-Shabab and said it was meant to target Mogadishu’s international airport, but the bomb detonated in a crowded street after soldiers opened fire.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama cast himself as a savior of the U.S. auto industry as he stood in a once-shuttered Michigan assembly plant with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to boast of a new trade deal and the auto bailout he’d pushed through Congress. In Tokyo, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura (koo-hay oo-chee-mur-uh) gave the home fans what they wanted, becoming the first man to win three titles at the world gymnastics championships.
Five years ago: A judge in Connecticut dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit by Newtown families against the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre, citing a federal law that shielded gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.
One year ago: Facebook and Twitter took steps to limit the spread of an unverified political story about the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that was published by the conservative-leaning New York Post; the moves led to cries of censorship from the right. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to reverse changes that slowed mail service, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock amid a pandemic that was prompting many more people to vote by mail. The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could end census field operations early, in a blow to efforts to make sure minorities were properly counted. First lady Melania Trump said 14-year-old Barron Trump had tested positive at one point for the coronavirus but subsequently tested negative. Post Malone won nine honors at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.
Today’s Birthdays: Classical pianist Gary Graffman is 93. Movie director Carroll Ballard is 84. Country singer Melba Montgomery is 84. Former White House counsel John W. Dean III is 83. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is 82. Singer Sir Cliff Richard is 81. Singer-musician Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) is 75. Actor Greg Evigan is 68. TV personality Arleen Sorkin is 66. World Golf Hall of Famer Beth Daniel is 65. Singer-musician Thomas Dolby is 63. Actor Lori Petty is 58. Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi is 57. Actor Steve Coogan is 56. Singer Karyn White is 56. Actor Edward Kerr is 55. Actor Jon Seda is 51. Country singer Natalie Maines (The Chicks) is 47. Actor-singer Shaznay Lewis (All Saints) is 46. Actor Stephen Hill is 45. Singer Usher is 43. TV personality Stacy Keibler is 42. Actor Ben Whishaw is 41. Actor Jordan Brower is 40. Director Benh Zeitlin is 39. Actor Skyler Shaye is 35. Actor-comedian Jay Pharoah is 34. Actor Max Thieriot is 33.