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Today in history: October 17

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

Today is Monday, Oct. 17, the 290th day of 2005. There are 75 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, N.Y., in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

On this date:
In 1919, the Radio Corporation of America was created.

In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. (He was released in 1939.)

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

In 1941, the U.S. destroyer Kearney was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Iceland; 11 people died.

In 1945, Col. Juan Peron staged a coup, becoming absolute ruler of Argentina.

In 1965, the musical “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever,” with a score by Burton Lane and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, opened on Broadway.

In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back on oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.

In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.

In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck northern California, killing 67 people and causing $7 billion worth of damage.

Ten years ago: President Clinton told wealthy contributors at a Houston fund-raiser that “you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much, too” — a statement that drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. A bomb exploded aboard a Paris subway car, wounding 29 people. The Cleveland Indians won the American League pennant by defeating the Seattle Mariners, 4-0, in game six of their playoff series.

Five years ago: Ending an emergency summit in Egypt, Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to publicly urge an end to a burst of bloody conflict and to consult within two weeks on restarting the ravaged Mideast peace process. The New York Yankees followed the Mets into the World Series, beating the Seattle Mariners 9-7 and winning the American League championship series 4-2.

One year ago: Jordan’s military prosecutor indicted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of the most wanted insurgents in Iraq, and 12 suspected Muslim militants for an alleged al-Qaida-linked plot to attack the U.S. Embassy in Amman and Jordanian government targets. Betty Hill, who claimed that she and her husband, Barney, had been abducted, examined and released by extraterrestrials in 1961, died in Portsmouth, N.H, at age 85.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Marsha Hunt is 88. Actor Tom Poston is 84. Actress Beverly Garland is 79. Actress Julie Adams is 79. Daredevil Evel Knievel is 67. Country singer Earl Thomas Conley is 64. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 63. Singer Gary Puckett is 63. Actor Michael McKean is 58. Actress Margot Kidder is 57. Actor George Wendt is 57. Actor Bill Hudson is 56. Actor Sam Bottoms is 50. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 49. Country singer Alan Jackson is 47. Movie director Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) is 45. Animator Mike Judge is 43. Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 42. Singer Rene’ Dif is 38. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 37. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick (’N Sync) is 34. Rapper Eminem is 33. Singer Wyclef Jean is 33. Actress Sharon Leal is 33. Rock musician Sergio Andrade is 28.

Thought for Today: “To talk to a child, to fascinate him, is much more difficult than to win an electoral victory. But it is also more rewarding.” — Colette, French author (1873-1954).