Today is Wednesday, Oct. 28, the 301st day of 2009. There are 64 days left in the year. The UPI Almanac.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.
On this date:
In 312, in a battle that marked the beginning of the Christian era in Europe, Constantine's army, wearing the cross, defeated the forces of Maxentius at Mulvian Bridge in Rome.
In 1636, the General Court of Massachusetts passed a legislative act establishing Harvard College.
In 1776, the Battle of White Plains was fought, resulting in a limited British victory.
In 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent for the cotton gin.
In 1846, the pioneering Donner Party of 90 people set out from Springfield, Ill., for California. [Is dinner ready yet? — Ed.]
In 1858, Rowland Hussey Macy opened his first New York store at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan.
In 1918, the Republic of Czechoslovakia proclaimed its independence. [How that all work out, Czech Republic & Slovakia? — Ed.]
Ninety years ago, in 1919, Congress enacted the Volstead Act, which provided for enforcement of Prohibition, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto.
In 1922, fascism came to Italy as Benito Mussolini took control of the government.
In 1940, Italy invaded Greece.
In 1958, the Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, was elected pope; he took the name John XXIII.
In 1962, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev informed the United States that he had ordered the dismantling of missile bases in Cuba.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI issued a decree absolving Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
In 1976, former Nixon aide John D. Ehrlichman entered a federal prison camp in Safford, Ariz., to begin serving his sentence for Watergate-related convictions.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter and Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan faced off in a nationally broadcast, 90-minute debate in Cleveland.
In 1985, the leader of the so-called Walker family spy ring, John Walker, pleaded guilty to giving U.S. Navy secrets to the Soviet Union.
Twenty years ago, in 1989, the Oakland A's wrapped up an earthquake-delayed sweep of the World Series over the San Francisco Giants.
In 1992, scientists using sonar to map Scotland's Loch Ness made contact with a mysterious object but declined to speculate what that implies about whether legendary monster "Nessie" exists.
In 1999, five Republican presidential hopefuls debated such issues as abortion, health care and taxes in their second meeting in less than a week; once again, front-runner George W. Bush was absent from the gathering in New Hampshire. The House passed, 218-211, the last spending bill of the year, which President Bill Clinton said he would veto.
In 2004, insurgents executed 11 Iraqi soldiers and declared on an Islamic militant Web site that Iraqi fighters would avenge "the blood" of women and children killed in U.S. strikes on the guerrilla stronghold of Fallujah. Boston Red Sox fans turned out by the tens of thousands near historic Fenway Park to celebrate their World Series champion team, the city's first since 1918.
In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney's top adviser, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, resigned after he was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements in the CIA leak investigation. (Libby was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison. President George W. Bush commuted his sentence.)
In 2006, Hall of Fame basketball coach Red Auerbach died at age 89. The deadly fast-moving wildfire near Palm Springs, Calif., was reported 40 percent contained after killing five firefighters, scorching about 40,000 acres and consuming 27 homes and other buildings. Authorities said the fire was caused by arson.
In 2007, Argentina's first lady, Cristina Fernandez, claimed victory in the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman elected to the post.
In 2008, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to four months in jail for his part in a sex-and-text scandal. (Kilpatrick ended up serving 99 days.) Seven in 10 Americans say they expect Democrat Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election next week, a Gallup poll indicated. Meanwhile, Obama had a controlling 52 to 36 percent lead over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Harris Poll gave Obama a 6-percentage-point edge.
Today's Birthdays: Jazz singer Cleo Laine is 82. Actress Joan Plowright is 80. Musician-songwriter Charlie Daniels is 73. Actress Jane Alexander is 70. Singer Curtis Lee is 68. Actor Dennis Franz is 65. Pop singer Wayne Fontana is 64. Actress Telma Hopkins is 61. Olympic track and field gold medalist Bruce Jenner is 60. Actress Annie Potts is 57. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is 54. The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is 53. Rock musician Stephen Morris (New Order) is 52. Country/gospel singer-musician Ron Hemby (The Buffalo Club) is 51. Rock singer-musician William Reid (The Jesus & Mary Chain) is 51. Actor Mark Derwin is 49. Actress Daphne Zuniga is 47. Actress Lauren Holly is 46. Actress Jami Gertz is 44. Actor Chris Bauer is 43. "Tonight Show" sidekick Andy Richter is 43. Actress Julia Roberts is 42. Country singer-musician Caitlin Cary is 41. Actor Jeremy Davies is 40. Singer Ben Harper is 40. Country singer Brad Paisley is 37. Retired NFL player Terrell Davis is 37. Actor Joaquin Phoenix is 35. Singer Justin Guarini ("American Idol") is 31. Pop singer Brett Dennen is 30. Rock musician Dave Tirio (Plain White T's) is 30.
Today In Entertainment History October 28
In 1939, country performer Bill Monroe joined the Grand Ole Opry.
In 1950, "The Jack Benny Program" debuted on CBS.In 1956, Elvis Presley made his second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." He sang several songs, including "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog."
In 1972, the United States Council for World Affairs announced that it had adopted The Who song "Join Together" as its theme.
In 1977, the Sex Pistols released their album "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" in the US It was released in the U.K. four days later. Steve Perry joined Journey for their first public concert together, in San Francisco. [Sums it all up, dunnit? We remember Journey when they were good, pre-Perry. Whatev. — Ed.]
In 1986, Marie Osmond married for the second time, to record producer Brian Blosil. She had divorced Steve Craig a year earlier. [Gawd those Mormons are slutty. And hypocritical. — Ed.]
In 1992, singer Sinead O'Connor was quoted by a British music magazine as saying she was giving up pop music to study opera.
In 1996, actor-comedian Morey Amsterdam died of a heart attack in Los Angeles. He's best known for playing Buddy Sorrell on "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
Thought for Today: "Truth is not introduced into the individual from without, but was within him all the time." — Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813-1855). [Hey, philosophers: Hope you saps took a big lunch w/ you on your search for "truth" & "meaning." — Ed.]