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Today in history: October 15

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

Today is Saturday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2005. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 15, 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev had been removed from office. He was succeeded as premier by Alexei N. Kosygin and as Communist Party secretary by Leonid I. Brezhnev.

On this date:
In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act was passed.

In 1917, Mata Hari, a Dutch dancer who had spied for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.

In 1928, the German dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, N.J., completing its first commercial flight across the Atlantic.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1966, President Johnson signed a bill creating the Department of Transportation.

In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country, including a candlelight march around the White House, as part of a moratorium against the Vietnam War.

In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

In 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, 52-48.

In 2003, 11 people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry’s pilot, who’d blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter.)

Ten years ago: Six Israeli soldiers were killed in Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon in an ambush blamed on the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah.

Five years ago: President Clinton left Washington for emergency talks in Egypt with Israeli and Arab leaders. New York Times movie and drama critic Vincent Canby died at age 76.

One year ago: The Food and Drug Administration ordered that all antidepressants carry strong warnings that they “increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior” in children who take them. Several thousand people opposed to gay marriage gathered on the National Mall in Washington to call for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. A federal judge struck down a ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. A federal bankruptcy judge allowed U.S. Airways to cut union workers’ pay immediately by 21 percent.

Today’s Birthdays: Economist John Kenneth Galbraith is 97. Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. is 88. Singer Barry McGuire is 70. Actress Linda Lavin is 68. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 63. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 63. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 59. Actor Victor Banerjee is 59. Tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 54. Singer Tito Jackson is 52. Actor Jere Burns is 51. Actress Tanya Roberts is 50. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 46. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 46. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (Toadies) is 43. Singer Eric Benet is 35. Actor Vincent Martella (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 13.

Thought for Today: “We used to do things for posterity, now we do things for ourselves and leave the bill to posterity.” — Anonymous.