Today is Thursday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2018. There are 88 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Oct. 4, 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit.
On this date:
In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pennsylvania, resulting in heavy American casualties.
In 1861, during the Civil War, the United States Navy authorized construction of the first ironclad ship, the USS Monitor.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini conferred at Brenner Pass in the Alps.
In 1957, Jimmy Hoffa was elected president of the Teamsters Union.
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 1989, Triple Crown-winning racehorse Secretariat, suffering a hoof ailment, was humanely destroyed at age 19.
In 1990, for the first time in nearly six decades, German lawmakers met in the Reichstag for the first meeting of reunified Germany’s parliament.
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.
In 2002, "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh received a 20-year sentence after a sobbing plea for forgiveness before a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. In a federal court in Boston, a laughing Richard Reid pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives in his shoes (the British citizen was later sentenced to life in prison).
In 2004, the SpaceShipOne rocket plane broke through Earth’s atmosphere to the edge of space for the second time in five days, capturing the $10 million Ansari X prize aimed at opening the final frontier to tourists. Pioneering astronaut Gordon Cooper died in Ventura, California, at age 77.
Ten years ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with her Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in New Delhi, where they lauded but did not sign a new agreement opening up U.S. nuclear trade with India. The U.S. military said it had killed an al-Qaida in Iraq leader (Mahir Ahmad Mahmud al-Zubaydi) suspected of masterminding one of the deadliest attacks in Baghdad, several other recent bombings and the 2006 videotaped killing of a Russian official. A North Korean news agency reported on leader Kim Jong Il’s first public appearance in nearly two months.
Five years ago: Vo Nguyen Giap, the military commander who’d led Vietnamese Communist forces against the French and then the Americans, died in Hanoi at age 102.
One year ago: Four U.S. soldiers were killed in the African country of Niger when a joint patrol of U.S. and Niger forces was ambushed by militants who were believed linked to the Islamic State group. President Donald Trump visited hospital bedsides and a police base in Las Vegas in the aftermath of the shooting rampage three nights earlier that left 58 people dead.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Leroy Van Dyke is 89. Actress Felicia Farr is 86. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Sam Huff is 84. Author Roy Blount Jr. is 77. Author Anne Rice is 77. Actress Lori Saunders (TV: "Petticoat Junction") is 77. Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa is 74. Actor Clifton Davis is 73. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, is 72. Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is 72. Actress Susan Sarandon is 72. Blues musician Duke Robillard is 70. Playwright Lee Blessing is 69. Actor Armand Assante is 69. Actor Alan Rosenberg is 68. Actor Christoph Waltz is 62. Actor Bill Fagerbakke is 61. Music producer Russell Simmons is 61. Actress Kyra Schon (Film: "Night of the Living Dead") is 61. Actress-singer Wendy Makkena is 60. Musician Chris Lowe (The Pet Shop Boys) is 59. Country musician Gregg "Hobie" Hubbard (Sawyer Brown) is 58. Actor David W. Harper is 57. Singer Jon Secada is 57. TV personality John Melendez is 53. Actor-comedian Jerry Minor is 51. Actor Liev Schreiber is 51. Actor Abraham Benrubi is 49. Country singer-musician Heidi Newfield is 48. Singer-guitarist M. Ward (She & Him) is 45. Actress Alicia Silverstone is 42. Actress Dana Davis is 40. Rock musician Robbie Bennett (The War on Drugs) is 40. Actor Phillip Glasser is 40. Rock singer-musician Marc Roberge (O.A.R.) is 40. Actor Brandon Barash is 39. Actress Rachael Leigh Cook is 39. Actor Tim Peper is 38. Actor Jimmy Workman is 38. Bassist Cubbie Fink is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jessica Benson (3lw) is 31. Actor Michael Charles Roman is 31. Actress Melissa Benoist is 30. NBA All-Star Derrick Rose is 30. Actress Dakota Johnson is 29. Figure skater Kimmie Meisner is 29. Actress Leigh-Anne Pinnock (Little Mix) is 27. Actor Ryan Scott Lee is 22.
Thought for Today: "Sometimes even to live is an act of courage." — Seneca the Younger, Roman statesman and philosopher (3 B.C.-A.D 65).