Today is Thursday, Oct. 14, the 287th day of 2021. There are 78 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 14, 1947, U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles E. (“Chuck”) Yeager (YAY’-gur) became the first test pilot to break the sound barrier as he flew the experimental Bell XS-1 (later X-1) rocket plane over Muroc Dry Lake in California.

On this date:

In 1066, Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.

In 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots, went on trial in England, accused of committing treason against Queen Elizabeth I. (Mary was beheaded in February 1587.)

In 1933, Nazi Germany announced it was withdrawing from the League of Nations.

In 1939, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the HMS Royal Oak, a British battleship anchored at Scapa Flow in Scotland’s Orkney Islands; 833 of the more than 1,200 men aboard were killed.

In 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took his own life rather than face trial and certain execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.

In 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev was toppled from power; he was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and by Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

In 1968, the first successful live telecast from a manned U.S. spacecraft was transmitted from Apollo 7.

In 1981, the new president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak (HOHS’-nee moo-BAH’-rahk), was sworn in to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat. Mubarak pledged loyalty to Sadat’s policies.

In 2001, as U.S. jets opened a second week of raids in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush sternly rejected a Taliban offer to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a third country.

In 2008, a grand jury in Orlando, Fla. returned charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter against Casey Anthony in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. (She was acquitted in July 2011.)

In 2014, a second nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas came down with Ebola after contracting it from a dying patient. (The nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, was later declared free of the disease.)

In 2017, a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital killed more than 500 people in one of the world’s deadliest attacks in years; officials blamed the attack on the extremist group al-Shabab and said it was meant to target Mogadishu’s international airport, but the bomb detonated in a crowded street after soldiers opened fire.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama cast himself as a savior of the U.S. auto industry as he stood in a once-shuttered Michigan assembly plant with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to boast of a new trade deal and the auto bailout he’d pushed through Congress. In Tokyo, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura (koo-hay oo-chee-mur-uh) gave the home fans what they wanted, becoming the first man to win three titles at the world gymnastics championships.

Five years ago: A judge in Connecticut dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit by Newtown families against the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre, citing a federal law that shielded gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

One year ago: Facebook and Twitter took steps to limit the spread of an unverified political story about the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that was published by the conservative-leaning New York Post; the moves led to cries of censorship from the right. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to reverse changes that slowed mail service, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock amid a pandemic that was prompting many more people to vote by mail. The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could end census field operations early, in a blow to efforts to make sure minorities were properly counted. First lady Melania Trump said 14-year-old Barron Trump had tested positive at one point for the coronavirus but subsequently tested negative. Post Malone won nine honors at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

Today’s Birthdays: Classical pianist Gary Graffman is 93. Movie director Carroll Ballard is 84. Country singer Melba Montgomery is 84. Former White House counsel John W. Dean III is 83. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is 82. Singer Sir Cliff Richard is 81. Singer-musician Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) is 75. Actor Greg Evigan is 68. TV personality Arleen Sorkin is 66. World Golf Hall of Famer Beth Daniel is 65. Singer-musician Thomas Dolby is 63. Actor Lori Petty is 58. Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi is 57. Actor Steve Coogan is 56. Singer Karyn White is 56. Actor Edward Kerr is 55. Actor Jon Seda is 51. Country singer Natalie Maines (The Chicks) is 47. Actor-singer Shaznay Lewis (All Saints) is 46. Actor Stephen Hill is 45. Singer Usher is 43. TV personality Stacy Keibler is 42. Actor Ben Whishaw is 41. Actor Jordan Brower is 40. Director Benh Zeitlin is 39. Actor Skyler Shaye is 35. Actor-comedian Jay Pharoah is 34. Actor Max Thieriot is 33.

Wednesday, Oct. 13, the 286th day of 2021. There are 79 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 13, 1792, the cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid by President George Washington during a ceremony in the District of Columbia.

On this date:

In 1775, the United States Navy had its origins as the Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet.

In 1845, Texas voters ratified a state constitution.

In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.

In 1944, during World War II, American troops entered Aachen (AH’-kehn), Germany.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon held the third televised debate of their presidential campaign (Nixon was in Los Angeles, Kennedy in New York).

In 1972, a Uruguayan chartered flight carrying 45 people crashed in the Andes; survivors resorted to feeding off the remains of some of the dead in order to stay alive until they were rescued more than two months later.

In 1974, longtime television host Ed Sullivan died in New York City at age 73.

In 1999, the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, with 48 senators voting in favor and 51 against, far short of the 67 needed for ratification.

In 2000, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Longtime American communist Gus Hall died in New York at age 90.

In 2003, the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution expanding the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

In 2006, The United Nations General Assembly appointed South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon the next U.N. secretary-general. Banker Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh won the Nobel Peace Prize for using microcredit to lift people out of poverty.

In 2010, rescuers in Chile using a missile-like escape capsule pulled 33 men one by one to fresh air and freedom 69 days after they were trapped in a collapsed mine a half-mile underground.

Ten years ago: Raj Rajaratnam (rahj rah-juh-RUHT’-nuhm), the hedge fund billionaire at the center of one of the biggest insider-trading cases in U.S. history, was sentenced by a federal judge in New York to 11 years behind bars.

Five years ago: Donald Trump heatedly rejected the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction,” hammering his female accusers as “horrible, horrible liars.” Bob Dylan was named winner of the Nobel prize in literature. Death claimed Thailand’s longtime monarch, King Bhumibol, at age 88 and Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo at age 90.

One year ago: In the first of two days of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett deflected Democrats’ questions on abortion, health care and a possible disputed-election fight; she declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Donald Trump. Early voting began with long lines in Texas, one of the few places in the U.S. not allowing widespread mail balloting during the pandemic.

Today’s Birthdays: Gospel singer Shirley Caesar is 84. Actor Melinda Dillon is 82. Singer-musician Paul Simon is 80. Musician Robert Lamm (Chicago) is 77. Country singer Lacy J. Dalton is 75. Actor Demond Wilson is 75. Singer-musician Sammy Hagar is 74. Pop singer John Ford Coley is 73. Actor John Lone is 69. Model Beverly Johnson is 69. Producer-writer Chris Carter is 65. Actor and former NBA star Reggie Theus (THEE’-us) is 64. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., is 63. R&B singer Cherrelle is 62. Singer/TV personality Marie Osmond is 62. Rock singer Joey Belladonna is 61. Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is 61. NBA coach Doc Rivers is 60. Actor T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (tuh-KEE’-ah KRYS’-tal kee-MAH’) is 59. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice is 59. Actor Christopher Judge is 57. Actor Matt Walsh is 57. Actor Reginald Ballard is 56. Actor Kate Walsh is 54. R&B musician Jeff Allen (Mint Condition) is 53. Actor Tisha Campbell-Martin is 53. Classical singer Carlos Marin (Il Divo) is 53. Olympic silver medal figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is 52. Country singer Rhett Akins is 52. Classical crossover singer Paul Potts is 51. TV personality Billy Bush is 50. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is 50. R&B singers Brandon and Brian Casey (Jagged Edge) are 46. Actor Kiele Sanchez is 45. Former NBA All-Star Paul Pierce is 44. DJ Vice is 43. Singer Ashanti (ah-SHAHN’-tee) is 41. R&B singer Lumidee is 41. Christian rock singer Jon Micah Sumrall (Kutless) is 41. Olympic gold medal swimmer Ian Thorpe is 39. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is 32. Actor Caleb McLaughlin (TV: “Stranger Things”) is 20.

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