updated 10/9/2006 12:11:10 AM ET 2006-10-09T04:11:10

Today is Monday, Oct. 9, the 282nd day of 2006. There are 83 days left in the year. This is Columbus Day, as well as Thanksgiving Day in Canada.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 9, 1888, the public was first admitted to the Washington Monument.

On this date:
In 1635, religious dissident Roger Williams was ordered banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1701, the Collegiate School of Connecticut — later Yale University — was chartered.

In 1776, a group of Spanish missionaries settled in present-day San Francisco.

In 1930, Laura Ingalls became the first woman to fly across the United States as she completed a nine-stop journey from Roosevelt Field, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif.

In 1936, the first generator at Boulder (later Hoover) Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.

In 1946, the Eugene O’Neill drama “The Iceman Cometh” opened at the Martin Beck Theater in New York.

In 1958, Pope Pius XII died. (He was succeeded by Pope John XXIII.)

In 1967, Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara was executed while attempting to incite revolution in Bolivia.

In 1975, Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1985, the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise liner surrendered after the ship arrived in Port Said, Egypt.

Ten years ago: Vice President Al Gore and Jack Kemp debated in St. Petersburg, Fla. Two Americans, Robert F. Curl Jr. and Richard E. Smalley, and a Briton, Harold W. Kroto, shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry while three Americans, David M. Lee, Robert C. Richardson and Douglas C. Osheroff, won the physics prize. In the opening game of the American League Championship series, 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier turned a probable fly out into a game-tying home run by reaching over the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium and sweeping the ball into the stands with his baseball glove (the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-4, in 11 innings).

Five years ago: In the first daylight raids since the start of U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan, jets bombed the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. Letters postmarked in Trenton, N.J., were sent to Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy; the letters later tested positive for anthrax. Americans Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman, and German-born U.S. resident Wolfgang Ketterle won the Nobel Prize in physics. Director and choreographer Herbert Ross died in New York at age 74. Dagmar, who parlayed her dumb blonde act into television fame in the early 1950s, died in West Virginia at age 79.

One year ago: Dozens of foreign tourists fled devastated lakeside Mayan towns as Guatemalan officials said they would abandon communities buried by landslides and declare them mass graveyards. A driverless Volkswagen won a $2 million race across the rugged Nevada desert, beating four other robot-guided vehicles that completed a Pentagon-sponsored contest aimed at making warfare safer for humans. Comedian Louis Nye died in Los Angeles at age 92.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Fyvush Finkel is 84. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., is 65. Singer Jackson Browne is 58. Actor Gary Frank is 56. Actor Richard Chaves is 55. Actor Robert Wuhl is 55. Actress-TV personality Sharon Osbourne is 54. Actor Tony Shalhoub is 53. Actor Scott Bakula is 52. Musician James Fearnley (The Pogues) is 52. Actor John O’Hurley is 52. Actor Michael Pare is 47. Rock singer-musician Kurt Neumann (The BoDeans) is 45. Country singer Gary Bennett is 42. Singer P.J. Harvey is 37. Country singer Tommy Shane Steiner is 33. Actor Steve Burns is 33. Sean Lennon is 31. Actor Randy Spelling is 28. Actor Brandon Routh is 27. Actor Zachery Ty Bryan is 25. Actor Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 14.

Thought for Today: “If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.” — Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American author and essayist (1879-1958).

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