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Today in history: October 22

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

Today is Saturday, Oct. 22, the 295th day of 2005. There are 70 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 22, 1962, President Kennedy announced an air and naval blockade of Cuba, following the discovery of Soviet missile bases on the island.

On this date:
In 1746, Princeton University in New Jersey received its charter.

In 1797, French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first parachute descent, landing safely from a height of about 3,000 feet.

In 1836, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.

In 1883, the original Metropolitan Opera House in New York held its grand opening with a performance of Gounod’s “Faust.”

In 1928, Republican presidential nominee Herbert Hoover spoke of the “American system of rugged individualism” in a speech at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In 1934, bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was shot to death by federal agents at a farm in East Liverpool, Ohio.

In 1954, West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In 1968, Apollo 7 returned safely, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1973, Spanish cellist, conductor and composer Pablo Casals died in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, at age 96.

In 1979, the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment — a decision that precipitated the Iran hostage crisis.

Ten years ago: The largest gathering of world leaders in history marked the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. The Atlanta Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians, 4-3, to win the first two games of the World Series. British writer Sir Kingsley Amis died in London at age 73.

Five years ago: Arab leaders meeting in Egypt wrapped up a two-day summit on Israeli-Palestinian violence with a declaration that stopped short of an outright call for cutting ties with Israel.

One year ago: In a wrenching videotaped statement, kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan begged Britain to help save her by withdrawing its troops from Iraq, saying these “might be my last hours.” (Hassan was apparently killed by her captors.) President Bush signed a corporate tax overhaul to close loopholes and provide $136 billion in new tax breaks for businesses, farmers and others.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Joan Fontaine is 88. Actor Christopher Lloyd is 67. Actor Derek Jacobi is 67. Actor Tony Roberts is 66. Actress Annette Funicello is 63. Movie director Jan de Bont is 62. Actress Catherine Deneuve is 62. Rock musician Leslie West (Mountain) is 60. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is 58. Actor Jeff Goldblum is 53. Actor Luis Guzman is 48. Actor-writer-producer Todd Graff is 46. Rock musician Cris Kirkwood is 45. Singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding is 40. Actress Valeria Golino is 39. Country singer Shelby Lynne is 37. Reggae rapper Shaggy is 37. Rapper Tracey Lee is 35. Actor Michael Fishman is 24. Talk show host Michael Essany is 23. Rock musician Zac Hanson (Hanson) is 20. Actor Jonathan Lipnicki is 15. Actress Sofia Vassilieva is 13.

Thought for Today: “If there is no Hell, a good many preachers are obtaining money under false pretenses.” — Attributed to William A. “Billy” Sunday, American baseball player turned evangelist (1862-1935).