updated 10/15/2006 12:01:36 AM ET 2006-10-15T04:01:36

Today is Sunday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2006. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 15, 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev had been removed from office. He was succeeded as premier by Alexei N. Kosygin and as Communist Party secretary by Leonid I. Brezhnev.

On this date:

In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act was passed by Congress.

In 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.

In 1928, the German dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, N.J., completing its first commercial flight across the Atlantic.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1966, President Johnson signed a bill creating the Department of Transportation.

In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country, including a candlelight march around the White House, as part of a moratorium against the Vietnam War.

In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

In 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, 52-48.

In 2003, 11 people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry’s pilot, who’d blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.)

Ten years ago: CSX Corp. announced plans to buy Conrail Inc. for $8.4 billion to create the nation’s third largest railroad.

Five years ago: Officials announced that a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle had tested positive for anthrax, and that the infant son of an ABC News producer in New York had developed skin anthrax. Bethlehem Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

One year ago: Iraqis voted to approve a constitution. A crowd that had gathered to protest a neo-Nazi march in Toledo, Ohio, turned violent, prompted the mayor to declare a state of emergency.

Today’s Birthdays: Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. is 89. Singer Barry McGuire is 71. Actress Linda Lavin is 69. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 64. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 64. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 60. Actor Victor Banerjee is 60. Tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 55. Singer Tito Jackson is 53. Actor Jere Burns is 52. Actress Tanya Roberts is 51. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 47. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 47. Rock musician Mark Reznicek is 44. Actor Dominic West is 37. Singer Eric Benet is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Keyshia Cole is 25. Actor Vincent Martella (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 14.

Thought for Today: “I would rather believe that God did not exist than believe that He was indifferent.” — George Sand, French author (1804-1876).

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