Today in history

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 18, the 292nd day of 2016. There are 74 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 18, 1962, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were honored with the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.

On this date:

In 1685, King Louis XIV signed the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes that had established legal toleration of France’s Protestant population, the Huguenots.

In 1767, the Mason-Dixon line, the boundary between colonial Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, was set as astronomers Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey.

In 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.

In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).

In 1922, the British Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (later the British Broadcasting Corp.) was founded.

In 1931, inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 84.

In 1944, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.

In 1954, Texas Instruments unveiled the Regency TR-1, the first commercially produced transistor radio.

In 1969, the federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates (SY’-kluh-maytz) because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.

In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.

In 1982, former first lady Bess Truman died at her home in Independence, Missouri, at age 97.

In 1997, a monument honoring American servicewomen, past and present, was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.

Ten years ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting Tokyo, said the United States was willing to use its full military might to defend Japan in light of North Korea’s nuclear test. The Dow Jones industrial average passed 12,000 for the first time before pulling back to close at 11,992.68.

Five years ago: Fifty wild animals were released by the owner of a Zanesville, Ohio, farm, Terry Thompson, who then committed suicide; authorities killed 48 of the creatures, while the remaining two were presumed eaten by other animals. The Republican presidential candidates laced into each other in their latest debate, held in Las Vegas; Mitt Romney emerged as still the person to beat, even as he was called out on the issues of illegal immigration, health care and jobs. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (gee-LAHD’ shah-LEET’) emerged from five years in captivity as Hamas militants handed him over to Egyptian mediators in an exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

One year ago: Habtom Zerhom, an Eritrean migrant, died after he was shot by an Israeli security guard and then attacked by bystanders who’d mistaken him for a Palestinian assailant in a deadly bus station attack in the southern city of Beersheba. The Mets breezed past the Chicago Cubs 4-1 for a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Actor-comedian Eddie Murphy was honored with the Mark Twain Prize, the nation’s top prize for humor, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Today’s Birthdays: Rock-and-roll performer Chuck Berry is 90. Sportscaster Keith Jackson is 88. Actress Dawn Wells is 78. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is 77. Singer-musician Russ Giguere is 73. Actor Joe Morton is 69. Actress Pam Dawber is 66. Author Terry McMillan is 65. Writer-producer Chuck Lorre is 64. Gospel singer Vickie Winans is 63. Director-screenwriter David Twohy (TOO’-ee) is 61. International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova is 60. Boxer Thomas Hearns is 58. Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 56. Actress Erin Moran is 56. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 55. Actor Vincent Spano is 54. Rock musician Tim Cross is 50. Tennis player Michael Stich (shteek) is 48. Singer Nonchalant is 43. Actress Joy Bryant is 42. Rock musician Peter Svenson (The Cardigans) is 42. Actor Wesley Jonathan is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Ne-Yo is 37. Country singer Josh Gracin is 36. Country musician Jesse Littleton (Marshall Dyllon) is 35. Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn is 32. Jazz singer-musician Esperanza Spalding is 32. Actress-model Freida Pinto is 32. Actor Zac Efron is 29. Actress Joy Lauren is 27. TV personality Bristol Palin is 26. Actor Tyler Posey is 25. Actor Toby Regbo is 25.

Thought for Today: “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Eddie Cantor, American comedian-singer (1892-1964).

By The Associated Press

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