The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Oct. 4, the 278th day of 2012. There are 88 days left in the year.
Highlights in History
On Oct. 4, 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. James R. Hoffa was elected president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The family comedy series “Leave It to Beaver” premiered on CBS.
On this date
In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pa., resulting in heavy American casualties.
In 1822, the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, was born in Delaware, Ohio.
In 1861, during the Civil War, the United States Navy authorized construction of the first ironclad ship, the USS Monitor.
In 1887, the International Herald Tribune had its beginnings as the Paris Herald, a European edition of the New York Herald.
In 1931, the comic strip “Dick Tracy,” created by Chester Gould, made its debut.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps.
In 1959, the Soviet Union launched Luna 3, a space probe which transmitted images of the far side of the moon.
In 1960, an Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-188A Electra crashed on takeoff from Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing all but 10 of the 72 people on board.
In 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.
In 1976, agriculture secretary Earl Butz resigned in the wake of a controversy over a joke he’d made about blacks.
In 1980, fire broke out aboard the Dutch cruise vessel Prinsendam in the Gulf of Alaska, forcing the 520 people aboard to abandon ship; no deaths or serious injury resulted. (The ship capsized and sank a week later.)
In 1991, 26 nations, including the United States, signed the Madrid Protocol, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.
Ten years ago
John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban,” received a 20-year sentence after a sobbing, halting plea for forgiveness before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va.. In a federal court in Boston, a laughing Richard Reid pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives hidden in his shoes as he declared his hatred for America and his loyalty to Osama bin Laden.
Five years ago
Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, defiantly vowed to serve out his term in office despite losing a court attempt to rescind his guilty plea in a men’s room sex sting. Former city maintenance worker John Ashley shot five people in a law office in Alexandria, La., killing two of them; Ashley was shot and killed by police following a standoff. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il pledged to pursue a peace treaty and end their countries’ decades-long standoff.
One year ago
Three U.S.-born scientists, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, won the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace. The NBA canceled the entire 114-game preseason schedule because a new collective bargaining agreement had not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association.