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On October 16th, 1978, the College
of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope; he
took the name John Paul the
On this date:
In 1793, during the French Revolution, Queen
Marie Antoinette was beheaded.
abolitionist John Brown led a group of about 20
men in a raid on Harper's Ferry.
In 1916, Margaret
Sanger opened the first birth control clinic, in
New York City.
In 1943, Chicago
Mayor Edward J. Kelly officially opened the
city's new subway system during a ceremony at the
State and Madison street station.
In 1946, ten Nazi
war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg
trials were hanged.
In 1962, the Cuban
missile crisis began as President Kennedy was
informed that reconnaissance photographs had
revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
In 1964, China
detonated its first atomic bomb.
In 1964, Harold
Wilson of the Labor Party assumed office as prime
minister of Great Britain, succeeding
Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home.
In 1970, Anwar
Sadat was elected president of Egypt, succeeding
the late Gamal Abdel Nasser.
In 1987, a
58-and-a-half-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended
happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an
18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well.
Ten years ago:
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev submitted
to the Soviet legislature a scaled-back plan to
transform the Soviet economy to a free-market
system. Comedian Steve Martin and his wife,
actress Victoria Tennant, visited American GI's
in Saudi Arabia. The Cincinnati Reds beat the
Oakland A's 7-to-0 in game one of the World
Five years ago: A
vast throng of black men gathered in Washington
DC for the "Million Man March" led by
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
One year ago: A
seven-point-one-magnitude earthquake in the
Mojave Desert shook three states and derailed an
Amtrak train, but caused no serious damage or
injuries. Hurricane Irene rumbled up the East
Coast. A New York Air National Guard plane
rescued Dr. Jerri Nielsen from a South Pole
research center after she'd spent five months
isolated by the Antarctic winter, which forced
her to treat herself for a breast lump. Radio
raconteur Jean Shepherd died in Sanibel, Florida,
at age 78.
"To walk into
history is to be free at once, to be at large
Elizabeth Bowen, Irish-born author (1899-1973).