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Today in history: October 17

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 17, the 290th day of 2006. There are 75 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, N.Y., in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

On this date:
In 1919, the Radio Corporation of America was chartered.

In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion (sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

In 1941, the U.S. destroyer Kearny was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Iceland; 11 people died.

In 1945, Col. Juan Peron, the future president of Argentina, was released from prison after protests by trade unionists, ending a crisis that began with his forced resignation from his government posts and his arrest.

In 1956, the all-star movie “Around the World in 80 Days,” produced by Michael Todd, had its world premiere in New York.

In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.

In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.

In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck northern California, killing 67 people and causing $7 billion in damage.

Ten years ago: Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired security chief Alexander Lebed, one day after the former general was accused by a rival of building his own rogue army. The Atlanta Braves won the National League Championship Series, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 15-0 in Game 7.

Five years ago: With the threat of anthrax hovering over Capitol Hill, congressional leaders closed six House and Senate office buildings for decontamination; the U.S. House of Representatives shut down for several days. Israel’s tourism minister, Rehavam Zeevi, was shot to death in the first assassination of a serving Cabinet minister by Palestinians. Oscar-winning songwriter Jay Livingston died in Los Angeles at age 86.

One year ago: A two-man Chinese space crew landed in China’s northern grasslands after five days in orbit. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi enraged China and South Korea by visiting Tokyo’s Yasukuni war shrine.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Marsha Hunt is 89. Actor Tom Poston is 85. Actress Beverly Garland is 80. Actress Julie Adams is 80. Daredevil Evel Knievel is 68. Country singer Earl Thomas Conley is 65. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 64. Singer Gary Puckett is 64. Actor Michael McKean is 59. Actress Margot Kidder is 58. Actor George Wendt is 58. Actor Sam Bottoms is 51. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 50. Country singer Alan Jackson is 48. Movie director Rob Marshall is 46. Animator Mike Judge is 44. Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 43. Singer Rene’ Dif is 39. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 38. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick (’N Sync) is 35. Rapper Eminem is 34. Singer Wyclef Jean is 34. Actress Sharon Leal is 34. Rock musician Sergio Andrade is 29.

Thought for Today: “The philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of tomorrow.” — Sir William Osler, Canadian physician and educator (1849-1919).