Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, October 20, 2017

Today is Friday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2017. There are 72 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 20, 1967, a jury in Meridian, Mississippi, convicted seven men of violating the civil rights of slain civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner; the seven received prison terms ranging from 3 to 10 years.

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On this date:

In 1714, the coronation of Britain’s King George I took place in Westminster Abbey.

In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1936, Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy, died in Forest Hills, New York, at age 70.

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.

In 1964, the 31st president of the United States, Herbert C. Hoover, died in New York at age 90.

In 1968, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

In 1973, in the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.

In 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

In 1977, three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, were killed along with three others in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Mississippi.

In 1987, 10 people were killed when an Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport after the pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing, ejected safely.

In 1994, actor Burt Lancaster died in Los Angeles at age 80.

In 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya’s dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte (SURT) and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

Ten years ago: Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal, the U.S.-born son of Indian immigrants, was elected governor of Louisiana; he became the first non-white to hold the job since Reconstruction. Former Green Bay Packers receiver Max McGee died in Deephaven, Minnesota, at age 75. Peg Bracken, author of the “I Hate to Cook Book,” died in Portland, Oregon, at age 89.

Five years ago: Heading into the campaign’s final weeks, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney upped his criticism of President Barack Obama’s plans for a second term, accusing the Democrat of failing to tell Americans what he would do with four more years; the Obama campaign aggressively disputed the notion, claiming it was Romney who hadn’t provided specific details to voters.

One year ago: President Barack Obama defended his health care program, long a target of Republicans and recently criticized by some Democrats, saying millions of Americans “now know the financial security of health insurance” because of the Affordable Care Act. The Chicago Cubs moved to within one win from their first World Series trip in 71 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5 of the NLCS. The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the defending champion Minnesota Lynx for their first title in 14 years in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals.

Today’s Birthdays: Japan’s Empress Michiko is 83. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 80. Former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 79. Actor William “Rusty” Russ is 67. Actress Melanie Mayron is 65. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 64. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is 62. Movie director Danny Boyle is 61. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 60. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 59. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 53. Rock musician David Ryan is 53. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 50. Journalist Sunny Hostin (TV: “The View”) is 49. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 47. Actor Kenneth Choi is 46. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 46. Singer Dannii Minogue is 46. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country goup Little Big Town) is 46. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 41. Actor Sam Witwer is 40. Actor John Krasinski is 38. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 38. Actress Katie Featherston is 35. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 32.