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October 7, 2013

Today in History

Today is Monday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2012. There are 85 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Oct. 7, 1929, former Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall, one of the main figures of the Teapot Dome scandal, went on trial in Washington, D.C., charged with accepting a bribe from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny. (Fall was found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000; he ended up serving nine months. Ironically, Doheny was acquitted at trial of offering the bribe that Fall was convicted of taking.)

On this date:

In 1612, Italian poet Giovanni Battista Guarini died in Venice.

In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered ten days later.)

In 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore at age 40.

In 1858, the fifth debate between Illinois senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Galesburg.

In 1910, a major wildfire devastated the northern Minnesota towns of Spooner and Baudette, charring at least 300,000 acres. Some 40 people are believed to have died.

In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held their second televised debate, in Washington, D.C.

In 1982, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Cats” opened on Broadway. (The show closed Sept. 10, 2000, after a record 7,485 performances.)

In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers, who killed Jewish American tourist Leon Klinghoffer, surrendered two days after taking over the ship.)

In 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him; Thomas denied Hill’s allegations.

In 1992, trade representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas.

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