updated 10/19/2006 12:01:22 AM ET 2006-10-19T04:01:22

Today is Thursday, Oct. 19, the 292nd day of 2006. There are 73 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 19, 1781, British troops under Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Va., as the American Revolution neared its end.

On this date:

In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.

In 1812, French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte began their retreat from Moscow.

In 1864, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Va.; the Union troops were able to rally and defeat the Confederates.

In 1936, H.R. Ekins of the New York World-Telegram beat out Dorothy Kilgallen of the New York Journal and Leo Kieran of The New York Times in a round-the-world race on commercial flights that lasted 18 1/2 days.

In 1944, the Navy announced that black women would be allowed into Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (the WAVES).

In 1950, during the Korean Conflict, United Nations forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

In 1953, singer Julius LaRosa, a regular on the CBS television program “Arthur Godfrey Time,” was fired on the air by Godfrey, who accused him of lacking humility.

In 1960, President Eisenhower imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.

In 1977, the body of West German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, who had been kidnapped by left-wing extremists, was found in Mulhouse, France.

In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value.

Ten years ago: President Clinton said in his radio address that states would lose a percentage of federal highway aid if they did not bar young people from drinking and driving. In the Republican radio address, Bob Dole claimed credit for putting Democrats on the defensive over their acceptance of foreign political contributions.

Five years ago: U.S. special forces began operations on the ground in Afghanistan, opening a significant new phase of the assault against the Taliban and al-Qaida. Some 374 people died when their ferry sank off Indonesia while en route to Australia; most of the victims were believed to be asylum-seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq.

One year ago: A defiant Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of premeditated murder and torture as his trial opened under heavy security in the former headquarters of his Baath Party in Baghdad. The Houston Astros clinched their first World Series berth with a 5-1 win over St. Louis in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

Today’s Birthdays: Former ambassador to Russia Robert S. Strauss is 88. Author John le Carre is 75. Artist Peter Max is 69. Actor Michael Gambon is 66. Actor John Lithgow is 61. Former National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland is 61. Singer Jeannie C. Riley is 61. Talk show host Charlie Chase is 54. Rock singer-musician Karl Wallinger (World Party) is 49. Singer Jennifer Holliday is 46. TV host Ty Pennington (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) is 42. Rock singer-musician Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 41. Actor Jon Favreau is 40. Amy Carter is 39. “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker is 37. Comedian Chris Kattan is 36. Rock singer Pras Michel (The Fugees) is 34. Actor Omar Gooding is 30. Country singer Cyndi Thomson is 30. Actor Benjamin Salisbury is 26.

Thought for Today: “Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact — it is silence which isolates.” — Thomas Mann, German author (1875-1955).

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