Today In History

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Oct. 23, the 296th day of 2021. There are 69 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 23, 1973, President Richard Nixon agreed to turn over White House tape recordings subpoenaed by the Watergate special prosecutor to Judge John J. Sirica.

On this date:

In 1707, the first Parliament of Great Britain, created by the Acts of Union between England and Scotland, held its first meeting.

In 1864, forces led by Union Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis repelled Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s army in the Civil War Battle of Westport in Missouri.

In 1915, tens of thousands of women paraded up Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding the right to vote.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte (LAY’-tee) Gulf began, resulting in a major Allied victory against Japanese forces.

In 1956, a student-sparked revolt against Hungary’s Communist rule began; as the revolution spread, Soviet forces started entering the country, and the uprising was put down within weeks.

In 1983, 241 U.S. service members, most of them Marines, were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.

In 1987, the U.S. Senate rejected, 58-42, the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.

In 1989, 23 people were killed in an explosion at Phillips Petroleum Co.‘s chemical complex in Pasadena, Texas.

In 2001, the nation’s anthrax scare hit the White House with the discovery of a small concentration of spores at an offsite mail processing center.

In 2009, President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect non-infected patients.

In 2012, during a debate with Democratic rival Joe Donnelly, Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that when a woman becomes pregnant during rape, “it is something that God intended to happen.” (Other Republican candidates moved to distance themselves from Mourdock, who went on to lose the November election to Donnelly.)

In 2014, officials announced that an emergency room doctor who’d recently returned to New York City after treating Ebola patients in West Africa tested positive for the virus, becoming the first case in the city and the fourth in the nation. (Dr. Craig Spencer later recovered.)

Ten years ago: Libya’s interim rulers declared the country liberated, formally marking the end of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year tyranny. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing some 600 people.

Five years ago: A tour bus returning home to Los Angeles from a casino trip plowed into the back of a slow-moving semi-truck on a California highway, killing 13 people. Bill Murray received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Former student radical turned California lawmaker Tom Hayden, 76, died in Santa Monica, California.

One year ago: Drugmakers AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson announced the resumption of U.S. testing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidates; each had stopped its testing after a study volunteer developed a serious health issue, requiring a review of safety data. France surpassed 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, becoming the second country in Western Europe (after Spain) to reach the mark. President Donald Trump announced that Sudan would start to normalize ties with Israel, making it the third Arab state to do so as part of U.S.-brokered deals in the run-up to Election Day. Texas country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, who wrote the pop song “Mr. Bojangles,” died of cancer at age 78.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Philip Kaufman is 85. Soccer great Pele (pay-lay) is 81. R&B singer Barbara Ann Hawkins (The Dixie Cups) is 78. Former ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross is 73. Actor Michael Rupert is 70. Movie director Ang Lee is 67. Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 65. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 65. Community activist Martin Luther King III is 64. Movie director Sam Raimi is 62. Parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic is 62. Rock musician Robert Trujillo (Metallica) is 57. Christian/jazz singer David Thomas (Take 6) is 55. Rock musician Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 55. Actor Jon Huertas is 52. Movie director Chris Weitz is 52. CNN medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta is 52. Bluegrass musician Eric Gibson (The Gibson Brothers) is 51. Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 49. Actor Vivian Bang is 48. Rock musician Eric Bass (Shinedown) is 47. TV personality and host Cat Deeley is 45. Actor Ryan Reynolds is 45. Actor Saycon Sengbloh is 44. Rock singer Matthew Shultz (Cage the Elephant) is 38. TV personality Meghan McCain is 37. R&B singer Miguel is 36. Actor Masiela Lusha (MAH’-see-el-la loo-SHA’) is 36. Actor Emilia Clarke is 35. Actor Briana Evigan is 35. Actor Inbar Lavi is 35. Actor Jessica Stroup is 35. Neo-soul musician Allen Branstetter (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 31. Actor Taylor Spreitler is 28. Actor Margaret Qualley is 27. Actor Amandla Stenberg is 23.