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Today in history: October 11

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

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 11, the 284th day of 2005. There are 81 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Thirty years ago, on Oct. 11, 1975, “NBC Saturday Night” (later “Saturday Night Live”) made its debut with guest host George Carlin.

On this date:
In 1779, Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski, fighting for American independence, died two days after being mortally wounded during the Revolutionary War Battle of Savannah, Ga.

In 1811, the first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana, was put into operation between New York City and Hoboken, N.J.

In 1890, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in Washington, D.C.

In 1942, the World War II Battle of Cape Esperance began in the Solomons, resulting in an American victory over the Japanese.

In 1958, the lunar probe Pioneer 1 was launched; it failed to go as far out as planned, fell back to Earth, and burned up in the atmosphere.

In 1962, Pope John XXIII convened the first session of the Roman Catholic Church’s 21st Ecumenical Council, also known as Vatican II.

In 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, was launched with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard.

In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronaut Kathy Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space.

In 1985, Arab-American activist Alex Odeh was killed by a bomb blast in Santa Ana, Calif.

In 2002, former President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ten years ago: Ten Republican presidential candidates used their first televised forum to politely compete for support in the New Hampshire primary. O.J. Simpson backed out of his live interview with NBC just hours before air time. Americans Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland and Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their controversial work warning that gases once used in spray cans and other items were eating away at Earth’s ozone layer.

Five years ago: Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore met in their second debate, in which they spent the first half politely discussing foreign policy, and the second half clashing over domestic issues. Americans James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

One year ago: European Union foreign ministers lifted sanctions against Libya and eased an arms embargo. Shiite militia fighters started turning in weapons in Baghdad’s Sadr City under a weapons-for-cash disarmament program. Norwegian Finn Kydland and American Edward Prescott won the Nobel economics prize.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Elmore Leonard is 80. Actor Ron Leibman is 68. Country singer Gene Watson is 62. Singer-musician Daryl Hall is 56. Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., is 55. Rhythm-and-blues musician Andrew Woolfolk is 55. Actress-director Catlin Adams is 55. Actor David Morse is 52. Country singer Paulette Carlson is 52. Football player Steve Young is 44. Actress Joan Cusack is 43. Comedy writer and TV host Michael J. Nelson is 41. Actor Sean Patrick Flanery is 40. Actor Luke Perry is 39. Country singer-songwriter Todd Snider is 39. Actress Jane Krakowski is 37. Rapper MC Lyte is 34. Singer NeeNa Lee is 30. Actress Michelle Trachtenberg is 20.

Thought for Today: “What is time? The shadow on the dial, the striking of the clock, the running of the sand, day and night, summer and winter, months, years, centuries — these are but arbitrary and outward signs, the measure of Time, not Time itself. Time is the Life of the soul.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807-1882).