Today In History – October 16

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 16, 1987, a 58-1/2-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in a narrow, abandoned well.

On this date:

In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.

In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. (Ten of Brown’s men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.)

In 1916, Planned Parenthood had its beginnings as Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1934, Chinese Communists, under siege by the Nationalists, began their “long march” lasting a year from southeastern to northwestern China.

In 1942, the ballet “Rodeo” (roh-DAY’-oh), with music by Aaron Copland and choreography by Agnes de Mille, premiered at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1946, ten Nazi war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg trials were hanged.

In 1957, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip began a visit to the United States with a stopover at the site of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.

In 1968, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked controversy at the Mexico City Olympics by giving “black power” salutes during a victory ceremony after they’d won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race.

In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.

In 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as a gunman opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.

In 1995, a vast throng of black men gathered in Washington, D.C. for the “Million Man March” led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

In 1997, author James Michener died in Austin, Texas, at age 90.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush welcomed the Dalai Lama to the White House for a half-hour meeting. Libya won a seat on the U.N. Security Council. Actress Deborah Kerr (kahr) died in Suffolk, England, at age 86. Barbara West Dainton, believed to be the next-to-last survivor from the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, died in Camborne, England, at age 96.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney met for their second debate; during the town-hall-style encounter in suburban Hempstead, New York, Obama accused Romney of favoring a “one-point plan” to help the rich at the expense of the middle class while Romney countered by saying “the middle class has been crushed over the last four years.” The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 2-1 to go up 3-0 in the American League Championship Series.

One year ago: Joy, jubilation and dancing erupted when a group of Nigerian parents were reunited with 21 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram 2 ½ years earlier and freed in the first negotiated release organized by the government and the Islamic extremist group. The 15-year-old daughter of Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay, Trinity Gay, was fatally shot outside a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky. The Los Angeles Dodgers evened the National League Championship Series with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Singer Randy Travis, fiddler Charlie Daniels and producer Fred Foster were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.