Today in history: October 3

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Oct. 3, the 276th day of 2005. There are 89 days left in the year. Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 3, 1863, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day.

On this date:
In 1226, St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, died; he was canonized in 1228.

In 1929, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes formally changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

In 1941, Adolf Hitler declared in a speech in Berlin that Russia had been “broken” and would “never rise again.”

In 1942, President Roosevelt established the Office of Economic Stabilization.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops cracked the Siegfried Line north of Aachen, Germany.

In 1951, the New York Giants captured the National League pennant in game three by a score of 5-4 as third baseman Bobby Thomson hit a three-run homer off the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ralph Branca in the “shot heard ’round the world.”

In 1955, 50 years ago, “Captain Kangaroo” and “The Mickey Mouse Club” premiered on CBS and ABC, respectively.

In 1962, astronaut Wally Schirra blasted off from Cape Canaveral aboard the Sigma 7 on a nine-hour flight.

In 1981, Irish nationalists at the Maze Prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended seven months of hunger strikes that had claimed 10 lives.

In 1990, West Germany and East Germany ended 45 years of postwar division, declaring the creation of a new unified country.

Ten years ago: The jury in the O.J. Simpson murder trial announced its verdicts, finding the former football star not guilty of the 1994 slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later found liable in a civil trial).

Five years ago: In their first debate of the 2000 race for the White House, Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush clashed over tax cuts, Medicare prescription drug benefits and campaign finance.

One year ago: National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, interviewed on ABC’s “This Week” program, defended her characterization of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capabilities in the months before the Iraq invasion. Actress Janet Leigh died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 77.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Gore Vidal is 80. Singer Alan O’Day is 65. Rock and roll star Chubby Checker is 64. Actor Alan Rachins is 63. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., is 62. Magician Roy Horn is 61. Singer Lindsey Buckingham is 56. Jazz musician Ronnie Laws is 55. Blues singer Keb’ Mo’ is 54. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield is 54. Actor Hart Bochner is 49. Actor Peter Frechette is 49. Actor Jack Wagner is 46. Rock musician Tommy Lee is 43. Actor Clive Owen is 41. Actress Janel Moloney is 36. Singer Gwen Stefani (No Doubt) is 36. Pop singer Kevin Richardson (Backstreet Boys) is 34. Actress Keiko Agena is 32. Actress Neve Campbell is 32. Singer India. Arie is 30. Actress Alanna Ubach is 30. Actor Seann William Scott is 29. Actress Shannyn Sossamon is 27. Actor Erik Von Detten is 23. Actress-singer Ashlee Simpson is 21.

Thought for Today: “Ability: the art of getting credit for all the home runs somebody else hits.” — Casey Stengel, American baseball manager (1891-1975).