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October 12, 2013

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2013. There are 80 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Oct. 12, 1962, the devastating Columbus Day Storm, also known as the “Big Blow,” struck the Pacific Northwest, resulting in some 50 deaths.

On this date:

In 1492 (according to the Old Style calendar), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.

In 1810, the German festival Oktoberfest was first held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63.

In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans in occupied Belgium during World War I.

In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.

In 1942, during World War II, American naval forces defeated the Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance. Attorney General Francis Biddle announced during a Columbus Day celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.

In 1960, Japanese Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma was stabbed to death during a televised debate in Tokyo by an ultranationalist student, Otoya Yamaguchi, who hanged himself in jail.

In 1971, the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway.

In 1986, the superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States.

In 1987, former Gov. Alfred “Alf” M. Landon, R-Kan., died at his Topeka home at age 100.

In 1997, singer John Denver was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in Monterey Bay, Calif.; he was 53.

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