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Today in history: October 1

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2005. There are 91 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 1, 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T automobile to the market.

On this date:
In 1800, Spain ceded Louisiana to France in a secret treaty.

In 1885, special delivery mail service began in the United States.

In 1896, the U.S. Post Office established Rural Free Delivery.

In 1943, Allied forces captured Naples during World War II.

In 1949, Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong raised the first flag of the People’s Republic of China during a ceremony in Beijing.

In 1961, Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run during a 162-game season, compared to Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs during a 154-game season.

In 1962, Johnny Carson debuted as the regular host of NBC’s “Tonight” show.

In 1964, the Free Speech Movement was launched at the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1971, Walt Disney World opened in Orlando, Fla.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II arrived in Boston for the start of a tour of the United States.

Ten years ago: Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine other defendants were convicted in New York of conspiring to attack the United States through bombings, assassinations and kidnappings. An earthquake in southwestern Turkey killed about 90 people.

Five years ago: Pope John Paul II declared sainthood for 120 Chinese and foreign missionaries killed in the church’s five-century struggle in China; John Paul named three other new saints as well, including former American socialite Katharine Drexel. Israeli troops battled Palestinians as riots continued to rage through the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On the last day of the Sydney Olympics, the U.S. men’s basketball team beat France for the gold medal. The United States led the way in the final medal tally, collecting 97 (39 gold, 25 silver and 33 bronze); Russia was second with 88 (32, 28 and 28), China third with 59 (28, 16, 15) and host Australia was fourth, with 58.

One year ago: Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupted for the first time in 18 years, but with nothing like the force of the 1980 disaster. Police found Lori Hacking’s body in a landfill after picking through the trash for weeks in a search for the young Utah woman murdered by her husband, Mark. Fashion photographer Richard Avedon died in San Antonio at age 81.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor James Whitmore is 84. Former President Jimmy Carter is 81. Pianist Roger Williams is 81. Actor Tom Bosley is 78. Actress-singer Julie Andrews is 70. Actress Stella Stevens is 69. Rock musician Jerry Martini (Sly and the Family Stone) is 62. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew is 60. Jazz musician Dave Holland is 59. Actor Stephen Collins is 58. Actor Randy Quaid is 55. Actress Yvette Freeman is 48. Singer Howard Hewett is 48. Singer Youssou N’Dour is 46. Actor Esai Morales is 43. Actor Christopher Titus is 41. Actress-model Cindy Margolis is 40. Rock singer-musician Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra) is 37. Singer Keith Duffy is 31. Actress Jurnee Smollett is 19. Actress Brie Larson is 16.

Thought for Today: “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” — Clarence Darrow, American lawyer (1857-1938).