Highlight in History
On Oct. 15, 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.
On this date
In 1937, the Ernest Hemingway novel “To Have and Have Not” was first published by Charles Scribner’s Sons.
In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.
In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.
In 1951, the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy” premiered on CBS with the episode “The Girls Want to Go to the Nightclub.”
In 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev had been removed from office.
In 1997, British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green twice drove a jet-powered car in the Nevada desert faster than the speed of sound, officially shattering the world’s land-speed record. NASA’s plutonium-powered Cassini spacecraft rocketed flawlessly toward Saturn.
Ten years ago
Eleven people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry’s pilot, who’d blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter.) Doctors in Florida removed the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged woman at the center of a right-to-die battle. (The tube was reinserted, then removed again, as the legal battle played out, ending with Schiavo’s death in March 2005.) An explosion ripped apart a U.S. diplomatic vehicle in the Gaza Strip, killing three Americans. China launched its first manned space mission. The Florida Marlins won the National League championship with a 9-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 7.
Five years ago
Republican John McCain repeatedly assailed Democrat Barack Obama’s character and campaign positions on taxes, abortion and more in a debate at Hofstra University; Obama parried each accusation, and leveled a few of his own, saying “100 percent” of McCain’s campaign ads were negative. The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 to win the NL championship series 4-1 for its first pennant since 1993. Pop star Madonna and movie director Guy Ritchie announced they were divorcing after nearly eight years of marriage. Actress-singer Edie Adams died in Los Angeles at age 81. Longtime game show host Jack Narz died in Los Angeles at age 85.
One year ago
In interviews with CNN and Fox News, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took responsibility for security at the U.S. consulate in Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a Sept. 11, 2012, attack.