Today In History

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 6, the 279th day of 2021. There are 86 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 6, 2014, the Supreme Court unexpectedly cleared the way for a dramatic expansion of gay marriage in the United States as it rejected appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans, effectively making such marriages legal in 30 states.

On this date:

In 1683, thirteen families from Krefeld, Germany, arrived in Philadelphia to begin Germantown, one of America’s oldest settlements.

In 1889, the Moulin Rouge in Paris first opened its doors to the public.

In 1927, the era of talking pictures arrived with the opening of “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson, a feature containing both silent and sound-synchronized sequences.

In 1928, Chiang Kai-shek became president of China.

In 1939, in a speech to the Reichstag, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler spoke of his plans to reorder the ethnic layout of Europe — a plan which would entail settling the “Jewish problem.”

In 1969, the New York Mets won the first-ever National League Championship Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves, 7-4, in Game 3; the Baltimore Orioles won the first-ever American League Championship Series, defeating the Minnesota Twins 11-2 in Game 3.

In 1973, war erupted in the Middle East as Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel during the Yom Kippur holiday. (Israel, initially caught off guard, managed to push back the Arab forces before a cease-fire finally took hold in the nearly three-week conflict.)

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford, in his second presidential debate with Democrat Jimmy Carter, asserted that there was “no Soviet domination of eastern Europe.” (Ford later conceded such was not the case.)

In 1979, Pope John Paul II, on a week-long U.S. tour, became the first pontiff to visit the White House, where he was received by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot to death by extremists while reviewing a military parade.

In 2010, social networking app Instagram was launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

In 2018, in the narrowest Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court justice in nearly a century and a half, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote; he was sworn in hours later.

Ten years ago: In a poor quality audio recording, a voice identified as that of Moammar Gadhafi called on Libyans to take to the streets and wage a campaign of civil disobedience against the country’s new leader.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama offered 102 federal inmates the chance to leave prison early, bringing to 774 the number of sentences Obama had shortened. A jury in Norfolk, Virginia, acquitted a white police officer charged in the shooting death of a mentally ill Black man holding a knife.

One year ago: President Donald Trump, recovering from COVID-19, tweeted his eagerness to return to the campaign trail and said he still planned to attend an upcoming debate with Democrat Joe Biden in Miami; Biden said there should be no debate as long as Trump remained COVID positive. (The debate would be canceled.) Four weeks ahead of Election Day, senior national security officials provided assurances about the integrity of the elections in a video message, putting them at odds with Trump’s effort to discredit the vote. The Food and Drug Administration released updated safety standards for makers of COVID-19 vaccines despite efforts by the White House to block them; the White House said the requirements could delay the availability of vaccines. A grand jury indicted the St. Louis couple who displayed guns while hundreds of racial injustice protesters marched on their private street. (Mark and Patricia McCloskey would plead guilty to misdemeanors; they were pardoned by Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson.) Eddie Van Halen, the guitar virtuoso whose speed, control and innovation propelled his band Van Halen into one of hard rock’s biggest groups, died of cancer at 65.

Today’s Birthdays: Broadcaster and writer Melvyn Bragg is 82. Actor Britt Ekland is 79. The former leader of Sinn Fein (shin fayn), Gerry Adams, is 73. Singer-musician Thomas McClary is 72. Musician Sid McGinnis is 72. Rock singer Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) is 70. Rock singer-musician David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) is 67. Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy is 66. Actor Elisabeth Shue is 58. Singer Matthew Sweet is 57. Actor Jacqueline Obradors is 55. Country singer Tim Rushlow is 55. Rock musician Tommy Stinson is 55. Actor Amy Jo Johnson is 51. Actor Emily Mortimer is 50. Actor Lamman (la-MAHN’) Rucker is 50. Actor Ioan Gruffudd (YOH’-ihn GRIH’-fihth) is 48. Actor Jeremy Sisto is 47. Actor Brett Gelman is 45. R&B singer Melinda Doolittle is 44. Actor Wes Ramsey is 44. Actor Karimah Westbook is 43. Singer-musician Will Butler is 39. Actor Stefanie Martini is 31. U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist Bobby Finke is 22.