updated 10/7/2006 12:18:32 AM ET 2006-10-07T04:18:32

Today is Saturday, Oct. 7, the 280th day of 2006. There are 85 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 7, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York to draw up colonial grievances against England.

On this date:
In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered 10 days later.)

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

In 1916, in the most lopsided victory in college football history, Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University 222-0 in Atlanta.

In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.

In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first black singer hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York.

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held the second of their broadcast debates.

In 1981, Egypt’s parliament named Vice President Hosni Mubarak to succeed the assassinated Anwar Sadat.

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

In 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him, and urged the Senate to investigate her claims; Thomas denied Hill’s allegations.

In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fence post outside of Laramie, Wyo.; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are serving life sentences for Shepard’s murder.)

Ten years ago: The effects of a Canadian Auto Workers strike against General Motors Corp. spread across the border as 1,850 workers were laid off at two U.S. parts plants. The Irish Republican Army detonated two car bombs inside the British army’s headquarters in Northern Ireland, wounding 31 people. Fox News Channel made its debut.

Five years ago: The United States and Britain launched military strikes in Afghanistan. In a videotaped statement, Osama bin Laden praised God for the Sept. 11 attacks, but did not claim responsibility for them. The Emmy Awards telecast, delayed three weeks by the Sept. 11 attacks, was again postponed. (The awards finally took place on Nov. 4, 2001.) Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants wrapped up his record-breaking season with his 73rd homer. San Diego’s Rickey Henderson became the 25th player with 3,000 hits. Herbert Block, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist known as “herblock,” died in Washington at age 91.

One year ago: The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief, Mohamed ElBaradei.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Al Martino is 79. Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is 75. Former National Security Council aide Oliver North is 63. Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 61. Country singer Kieran Kane is 57. Singer John Mellencamp is 55. Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 55. Actress Mary Badham is 54. Actress Christopher Norris is 53. Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 53. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 51. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 49. Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell (“American Idol”) is 47. Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly) is 47. Country singer Dale Watson is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 39. Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 38. Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 37. Actress Nicole Ari Parker is 36. Singer Taylor Hicks (“American Idol”) is 30.

Thought for Today: “The human mind is like an umbrella — it functions best when open.” — Walter Gropius, German-American architect (1883-1969).

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