TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Thursday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2021. There are 85 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 7, 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.

On this date:

In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York to draw up colonial grievances against England.

In 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore at age 40.

In 1910, a major wildfire devastated the northern Minnesota towns of Spooner and Baudette, charring at least 300,000 acres; some 40 people are believed to have died.

In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.

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 1992, trade representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, in the presence of President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (muhl-ROO’-nee) and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

In 1996, Fox News Channel made its debut.

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

Today’s Birthdays: Retired South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu is 90. Former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) is 78. Singer John Mellencamp is 70. Russian President Vladimir Putin is 69. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 66. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 64. Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell is 62. R&B singer Toni Braxton is 54. MLB outfielder Mookie Betts is 29.