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Today in history: October 12

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

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2005. There are 80 days left in the year. Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, begins at sunset.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 12, 1492 (Old Style calendar; Oct. 21 New Style), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.

On this date:
In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63.

In 1915, former President Theodore Roosevelt criticized the concept of “hyphenated Americanism,” referring to U.S. citizens who identified themselves by dual nationalities.

In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans in occupied Belgium during World War I.

In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff.

In 1942, President Roosevelt delivered one of his so-called “fireside chats” in which he recommended the drafting of 18- and 19-year-old men.

In 1960, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev disrupted a U.N. General Assembly session by pounding his desk with a shoe during a dispute.

In 1964, the Soviet Union launched a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew on the first manned mission involving more than one crew member.

In 1968, the summer Games of the 19th Olympiad officially opened in Mexico City.

In 1973, President Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.

In 2002, a bomb blamed on Islamic militants destroyed a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

Ten years ago: After a 48-hour delay, the U.S.-brokered cease-fire in Bosnia-Herzegovina went into effect.

Five years ago: Seventeen sailors were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. destroyer Cole in Yemen. Chinese writer Gao Xingjian won the Nobel literature prize.

One year ago: A jury in Baton Rouge, La., took 80 minutes to find suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Charlotte Murray Pace. (Lee was later sentenced to death for Pace’s killing.) The Seattle Storm won their first WNBA title with a 74-60 victory over the Connecticut Sun.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Antonia Rey is 78. Blues singer Nappy Brown is 76. Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 73. Former Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, is 73. Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti is 70. Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 70. Sportscaster Tony Kubek is 69. TV reporter Chris Wallace is 58. Actress-singer Susan Anton is 55. Rock singer-musician Pat DiNizio is 50. Actor Carlos Bernard is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Claude McKnight (Take 6) is 43. Rock singer Bob Schneider is 40. Actor Hugh Jackman is 37. Actor Adam Rich is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Garfield Bright (Shai) is 36. Country musician Martie Maguire (The Dixie Chicks) is 36. Actor Kirk Cameron is 35. Actor Marcus T. Paulk (“Moesha”) is 19.

Thought for Today: “When he (Columbus) started out he didn’t know where he was going, when he got there he didn’t know where he was, and when he got back he didn’t know where he had been.” — Anonymous.