Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Oct. 24, the 297th day of 2018. There are 68 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 24, 1972, Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who’d broken Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, died in Stamford, Connecticut, at age 53.
On this date:
In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and effectively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire.
Westphalia is also a town south of Waco with a strong German and Catholic influence.
The Westphalia Waltz is a tune by Cotton Collins, a fiddler with the Lone Star Playboys, named after the town. It was popularized by Western Swing star Hank Thompson.
To hear the Westphelia Waltz by the Texas Playboys:
In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent by Chief Justice Stephen J. Field of California from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., over a line built by the Western Union Telegraph Co.
In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, was officially dedicated (it opened to traffic the next day).
In 1939, nylon stockings were sold publicly for the first time, in Wilmington, Delaware.
In 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
In 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.
In 1952, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower declared in Detroit, “I shall go to Korea” as he promised to end the conflict. (He made the visit over a month later.)
In 1962, a naval quarantine of Cuba ordered by President John F. Kennedy went into effect during the missile crisis.
In 1980, the merchant freighter SS Poet departed Philadelphia, bound for Port Said (sah-EED’), Egypt, with a crew of 34 and a cargo of grain; it disappeared en route and has not been heard from since.
In 1989, former television evangelist Jim Bakker (BAY’-kur) was sentenced by a judge in Charlotte, N.C., to 45 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy. (The sentence was later reduced to eight years; it was further reduced to four for good behavior.)
In 2002, authorities apprehended Army veteran John Allen Muhammad and teenager Lee Boyd Malvo near Myersville, Maryland, in the Washington-area sniper attacks. (Malvo was later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in 2009.)
In 2005, civil rights icon Rosa Parks died in Detroit at age 92.
Ten years ago: Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were found slain in their Chicago home; the body of her 7-year-old nephew was found three days later. (Hudson’s estranged brother-in-law was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.) A Russian Soyuz capsule touched down in Kazakhstan after delivering the first two men to follow their fathers into space, a Russian and an American, to the international space station.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama made a plea for Republican cooperation on immigration, telling a White House event, “Rather than create problems, let’s prove to the American people that Washington can actually solve some problems.” In an apparent first, a majority-female officiating crew worked an NCAA college football game; head linesman Yvonda Lewis, line judge Tangela Mitchell, field judge Sebrina Brunson and back judge Krystle Apellaniz were part of the seven-person crew for the Division II game between Miles and Lane, which Miles won, 38-26. Former World Bank economist Augusto Odone, 80, who defied skeptical scientists to invent a treatment to try to save the life of his little boy wasting away from a neurological disease (and who was portrayed by Nick Nolte in the 1992 film “Lorenzo’s Oil”), died in Aqui Terme, Italy.
One year ago: Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona announced that he would not seek re-election in 2018; he’d been critical of the path the GOP had taken under President Donald Trump. Fats Domino, the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose hits included “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame,” died in Louisiana at the age of 89. Actor Robert Guillaume, who won Emmy awards for his portrayal of the sharp-tongued butler in the sitcoms “Soap” and “Benson,” died in Los Angeles at 89. In a game that began in 103-degree heat, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the World Series with a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros in Los Angeles; Clayton Kershaw was the winning pitcher in his World Series debut.
Today’s Birthdays: Rock musician Bill Wyman is 82. Actor F. Murray Abraham is 79. Movie director-screenwriter David S. Ward is 73. Actor Kevin Kline is 71. Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume (kwah-EE’-see oom-FOO’-may) is 70. Country musician Billy Thomas (Terry McBride and the Ride) is 65. Actor Doug Davidson is 64. Actor B.D. Wong is 58. Actor Zahn McClarnon is 52. Singer Michael Trent (Americana duo Shovels & Rope) is 41. Rock musician Ben Gillies (Silverchair) is 39. Singer-actress Monica Arnold is 38. Actress-comedian Casey Wilson is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Adrienne Bailon (3lw) is 35. Actor Tim Pocock is 33. R&B singer-rapper-actor Drake is 32. Actress Shenae Grimes is 29. Actress Eliza Taylor is 29. Actor Ashton Sanders (Film: “Moonlight”) is 23. Olympic gold medal gymnast Kyla Ross is 22. Actor Hudson Yang is 15.
Thought for Today: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” — Bertrand Russell, English philosopher (1872-1970).