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Today in history: October 8

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

Today is Saturday, Oct. 8, the 281st day of 2005. There are 84 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire erupted while another deadly blaze broke out in Peshtigo, Wis.

On this date:
In 1869, the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, died in Concord, N.H.

In 1890, American aviation hero Eddie Rickenbacker was born in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1918, Sgt. Alvin C. York almost single-handedly killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 in the Argonne Forest in France.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was indicted for murder in the death of the son of Charles A. Lindbergh.

In 1944, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” made its debut on CBS Radio.

In 1945, President Truman announced that the secret of the atomic bomb would be shared only with Britain and Canada.

In 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series to date as the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 2-0.

In 1970, Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was named winner of the Nobel Prize for literature.

In 1982, all labor organizations in Poland, including Solidarity, were banned.

In 1985, the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro killed American passenger Leon Klinghoffer and threw his body overboard.

Ten years ago: On the final day of his fourth U.S. pilgrimage, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at Oriole Park in Baltimore.

Five years ago: Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski won a second five-year term.

One year ago: In a testy debate rematch, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry quarreled over the war in Iraq, jobs, education, health care, abortion, the environment, cheaper drugs and tort reform at a town-hall session in St. Louis. A videotape surfaced showing kidnappers beheading British hostage Kenneth Bigley in Iraq. Martha Stewart reported to the Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia to begin serving her sentence for lying about a stock sale. Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Mathai won the Nobel Peace Prize. World-renowned French philosopher Jacques Derrida died in Paris at age 74.

Today’s Birthdays: Entertainment reporter Rona Barrett is 69. Actor Paul Hogan is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Fred Cash (The Impressions) is 65. Rev. Jesse Jackson is 64. Comedian Chevy Chase is 62. Author R.L. Stine is 62. Country singer Susan Raye is 61. TV personality Sarah Purcell is 57. Actress Sigourney Weaver is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Robert “Kool” Bell (Kool & the Gang) is 55. Producer-director Edward Zwick is 53. Country singer-musician Ricky Lee Phelps is 52. Actor Michael Dudikoff is 51. Comedian Darrell Hammond is 50. Actress Stephanie Zimbalist is 49. Rock musician Mitch Marine is 44. Rock singer Steve Perry (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) is 42. Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer CeCe Winans is 41. Rock musician C.J. Ramone (The Ramones) is 40. Singer-producer Teddy Riley is 39. Actress Emily Procter is 37. Actor-screenwriter Matt Damon is 35. Actress Kristanna Loken is 26. Rhythm-and-blues singer Byron Reeder (Mista) is 26. Actor Nick Cannon is 25. Actor Angus T. Jones is 12.

Thought for Today: “History is the propaganda of the victors.” — Ernst Toller, German poet and dramatist (1893-1939).