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Today in History

Today is Sunday, Oct. 16, the 290th day of 2016. There are 76 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 16, 1916, Planned Parenthood had its beginnings as Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. (The clinic was raided nine days later by police who arrested Sanger, Byrne and Russian-born interpreter Fania Mindell.)

On this date:

In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.

In 1846, dentist William T. Morton demonstrated the effectiveness of ether as an anesthetic by administering it to a patient undergoing jaw surgery before an audience of doctors in Boston.

In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. (Ten of Brown’s men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.)

In 1934, Chinese Communists, under siege by the Nationalists, began their “long march” lasting a year from southeastern to northwestern China.

In 1946, ten Nazi war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg trials were hanged.

In 1957, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip began a visit to the United States with a stopover at the site of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.

In 1968, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked controversy at the Mexico City Olympics by giving “black power” salutes during a victory ceremony after they’d won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race.

In 1969, the New York Mets capped their miracle season by winning the World Series, defeating the Baltimore Orioles, 5-3, in Game 5 played at Shea Stadium.

In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.

In 1987, a 58-1/2-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well.

In 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as a gunman opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.

In 1995, a vast throng of black men gathered in Washington, D.C. for the “Million Man March” led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush personally assured Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee) by phone that he had set no timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq. Lynne Stewart, a firebrand civil rights lawyer, was sentenced in New York to 28 months in prison for helping an imprisoned terrorist sheik communicate with his followers on the outside. (Stewart had her original sentence increased to 10 years in July 2010 by a judge who concluded she’d lied to a jury and lacked remorse; Stewart was released in Jan. 2014 because she was suffering from terminal cancer.)

Five years ago: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was formally dedicated in Washington, D.C. British race car driver Dan Wheldon, 33, died in a fiery 15-car wreck in the Las Vegas Indy 300. Danell Leyva became the first American male gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Championships since 2003, taking the parallel bars title in Tokyo. The St. Louis Cardinals captured their 18th NL pennant with a 12-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6.

One year ago: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the federal government was canceling federal petroleum lease sales in U.S. Arctic waters that had been scheduled for 2016 and 2017. Four Palestinians, including one assailant, were killed by Israeli fire amid continuing widespread unrest as the U.N. Security Council convened an emergency meeting to discuss the escalation.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Angela Lansbury is 91. Actor-producer Tony Anthony is 79. Actor Barry Corbin is 76. Sportscaster Tim McCarver is 75. Rock musician C.F. Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 73. Actress Suzanne Somers is 70. Rock singer-musician Bob Weir is 69. Producer-director David Zucker is 69. Record company executive Jim Ed Norman is 68. Actor Daniel Gerroll is 65. Actor Morgan Stevens is 65. Actress Martha Smith is 64. Comedian-actor Andy Kindler is 60. Actor-director Tim Robbins is 58. Actor-musician Gary Kemp is 57. Singer-musician Bob Mould is 56. Actor Randy Vasquez is 55. Rock musician Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 54. Actor Christian Stolte is 54. Actor Todd Stashwick is 48. Jazz musician Roy Hargrove is 47. Actress Terri J. Vaughn is 47. Singer Wendy Wilson (Wilson Phillips) is 47. Rapper B-Rock (B-Rock and the Bizz) is 45. Rock singer Chad Gray (Mudvayne) is 45. Actor Paul Sparks is 45. Actress Kellie Martin is 41. Singer John Mayer is 39. Actor Jeremy Jackson is 36. Actress Caterina Scorsone is 36. Actress Brea Grant is 35.

Thought for Today: “To walk into history is to be free at once, to be at large among people.” — Elizabeth Bowen, Irish-born author (1899-1973).