TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, Oct. 7, the 281st day of 2020. There are 85 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 7, 1996, Fox News Channel made its debut.

On this date:

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard Nixon held their second televised debate, this one in Washington, D.C.

In 1982, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Cats” opened on Broadway. (The show closed Sept. 10, 2000, after a record 7,485 performances.)

In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish-American tourist in a wheelchair, and pushed him overboard, before surrendering on Oct. 9.)

In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fencepost outside of Laramie, Wyoming; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are serving life sentences for Shepard’s murder.)

In 2001, the war in Afghanistan started as the United States and Britain launched air attacks against military targets and Osama bin Laden’s training camps in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

In 2003, California voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger their new governor.

In 2004, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney conceded that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction as they tried to shift the Iraq war debate to a new issue, arguing that Saddam was abusing a U.N. oil-for-food program.

Today’s Birthdays: Retired South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu is 89. Author Thomas Keneally is 85. Comedian Joy Behar is 78. Former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) is 77. Singer John Mellencamp is 69. Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 69. Russian President Vladimir Putin is 68. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 65. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 63. Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 53. Singer Taylor Hicks is 44. MLB outfielder Mookie Betts is 28.