October 19, 2019, 4:01 AM
5 min read
Today in History
Today is Saturday, Oct. 19, the 292nd day of 2019. There are 73 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value (its biggest daily percentage loss), to close at 1,738.74 in what came to be known as “Black Monday.”
On this date:
In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, adopted a declaration of rights and liberties which the British Parliament ignored.
In 1781, British troops under Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, as the American Revolution neared its end.
In 1814, the first documented public performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” took place at the Holliday Street Theater in Baltimore.
In 1944, the U.S. Navy began accepting black women into WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
In 1960, the United States began a limited embargo against Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.
In 1977, the supersonic Concorde made its first landing in New York City.
In 1982, automaker John Z. DeLorean was arrested by federal agents in Los Angeles, accused of conspiring to sell $24 million of cocaine to salvage his business. (DeLorean was acquitted at trial on grounds of entrapment.)
In 1994, 22 people were killed as a terrorist bomb shattered a bus in the heart of Tel Aviv’s shopping district.
In 2001, U.S. special forces began operations on the ground in Afghanistan, opening a significant new phase of the assault against the Taliban and al-Qaida.
In 2005, a defiant Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of premeditated murder and torture as his trial opened under heavy security in the former headquarters of his Baath Party in Baghdad.
In 2008, retired Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican who was President George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, broke with the party and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, calling him a “transformational figure” during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
In 2017, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House about a month after Hurricane Maria, described the situation in the island territory as “catastrophic”; Trump rated the White House response to the disaster as a “10.”
Ten years ago: The Justice Department issued a new policy memo, telling prosecutors that pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allowed medical marijuana. Actor Joseph Wiseman, 91, who played the sinister Dr. No in the first James Bond feature film, died in New York City. Mass killer Howard Unruh, who took 13 lives during a 1949 rampage in Camden, New Jersey, died in a Trenton nursing facility at age 88.
Five years ago: Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI, concluding a remarkable meeting of bishops debating family issues that drew parallels to the tumultuous reforms of the Second Vatican Council which Paul oversaw and implemented. An Associated Press investigation found that dozens of Nazis war criminals and SS guards had collected millions in U.S. Social Security pension payments after being forced out of the United States. Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s NFL record of 508 touchdown career passes as he threw four TD passes in Denver’s 42-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
One year ago: In the first federal case alleging foreign interference in the 2018 midterm elections, U.S. authorities accused a Russian woman of helping oversee the finances of a sweeping effort to sway American public opinion through social media. On the same day, U.S. intelligence agencies asserted that Russia, China, Iran and other countries were engaged in continuous efforts to influence American policy and voters in the upcoming elections and beyond. A speeding train ran over a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in northern India, killing at least 60 people. No ticket matched all six numbers for an estimated $1 billion prize in the Mega Millions lottery drawing, sending the jackpot toward a record $1.6 billion for the next drawing four days later.
Today’s Birthdays: Author John le Carre (luh kah-RAY’) is 88. Actor Tony Lo Bianco is 83. Artist Peter Max is 82. Author and critic Renata Adler is 82. Actor Michael Gambon is 79. Actor John Lithgow (LIHTH’-goh) is 74. Feminist activist Patricia Ireland is 74. Singer Jeannie C. Riley is 74. Rock singer-musician Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) is 71. Actress Annie Golden is 68. Talk show host Charlie Chase is 67. Rock singer-musician Karl Wallinger (World Party) is 62. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is 61. Singer Jennifer Holliday is 59. Retired boxer Evander Holyfield is 57. Host Ty Pennington (TV: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) is 55. Rock singer-musician Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 54. Actor Jon Favreau is 53. Amy Carter is 52. “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker is 50. Comedian Chris Kattan is 49. Rock singer Pras Michel (The Fugees) is 47. Actor Omar Gooding is 43. Country singer Cyndi Thomson is 43. Writer-director Jason Reitman is 42. Actor Benjamin Salisbury is 39. Actress Gillian Jacobs is 37. Actress Rebecca Ferguson is 36. Rock singer Zac Barnett (American Authors) is 33. Singer-actress Ciara Renee (TV: “Legends of Tomorrow”) is 29. Actress Hunter King is 26.
Thought for Today: “Dream in a pragmatic way.” — Aldous Huxley, English author (1894-1963).
Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.