Tuesday, Oct. 6, the 280th day of 2020. There are 86 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 6, 1973, war erupted in the Middle East as Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel during the Yom Kippur holiday. (Israel, initially caught off guard, managed to push back the Arab forces before a cease-fire finally took hold in the nearly three-week conflict.)

On this date:

In 1884, the Naval War College was established in Newport, Rhode Island.

In 1927, the era of talking pictures arrived with the opening of “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson, a feature containing both silent and sound-synchronized sequences.

In 1928, Chiang Kai-shek became president of China.

In 1939, in a speech to the Reichstag, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler spoke of his plans to reorder the ethnic layout of Europe — a plan which would entail settling the “Jewish problem.”

In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act, providing $1.3 billion in military aid to NATO countries.

In 1969, the New York Mets won the first-ever National League Championship Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves, 7-4, in Game 3; the Baltimore Orioles won the first-ever American League Championship Series, defeating the Minnesota Twins 11-2 in Game 3.

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford, in his second presidential debate with Democrat Jimmy Carter, asserted that there was “no Soviet domination of eastern Europe.” (Ford later conceded such was not the case.)

In 1979, Pope John Paul II, on a week-long U.S. tour, became the first pontiff to visit the White House, where he was received by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1981, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot to death by extremists while reviewing a military parade.

In 2004, the top U.S. arms inspector in Iraq, Charles Duelfer (DEHL’-fur), reported finding no evidence Saddam Hussein’s regime had produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991.

In 2014, the Supreme Court unexpectedly cleared the way for a dramatic expansion of gay marriage in the United States as it rejected appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans, effectively making such marriages legal in 30 states.

In 2018, in the narrowest Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court justice in nearly a century and a half, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote; he was sworn in hours later.

Ten years ago: A presidential commission said the Obama administration had blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the American public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and committed other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis. Roy Halladay pitched the second no-hitter in postseason history, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in Game 1 of the NL division series. Social networking app Instagram was launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

Five years ago: Gen. John F. Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, recommended before Congress that President Barack Obama revise his plan to cut the current U.S. force of 9,800 and keep more than 1,000 U.S. troops in the country beyond 2016. Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada won the Nobel Prize in physics for key discoveries about neutrinos, a cosmic particle that whizzes through space at nearly the speed of light, passing easily through Earth and even people’s bodies. Convicted killer Juan Martin Garcia was executed by Texas for fatally shooting another man in a robbery that yielded just $8.

One year ago: The White House said U.S. forces in northeast Syria would move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault, essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who’d fought alongside American forces against Islamic State militants. (Turkey would launch the assault days later.) The FBI said California prison inmate Samuel Little, who claimed to have killed more than 90 women across the country, was considered to be the deadliest serial killer in U.S. history, and that all of his confessions appeared to be credible. Ginger Baker, the drummer who helped shatter boundaries of time, tempo and style in popular music during his work with Cream and other bands, died at the age of 80. Comedian Rip Taylor died in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 88.

Today’s Birthdays: Broadcaster and writer Melvyn Bragg is 81. Actor Britt Ekland is 78. The former leader of Sinn Fein (shin fayn), Gerry Adams, is 72. Singer-musician Thomas McClary is 71. Musician Sid McGinnis is 71. Rock singer Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) is 69. Rock singer-musician David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) is 66. Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy is 65. Actor Elisabeth Shue is 57. Singer Matthew Sweet is 56. Actor Jacqueline Obradors is 54. Country singer Tim Rushlow is 54. Rock musician Tommy Stinson is 54. Actor Amy Jo Johnson is 50. Actor Emily Mortimer is 49. Actor Lamman (la-MAHN’) Rucker is 49. Actor Ioan Gruffudd (YOH’-ihn GRIH’-fihth) is 47. Actor Jeremy Sisto is 46. Actor Brett Gelman is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Melinda Doolittle is 43. Actor Wes Ramsey is 43. Actor Karimah Westbook is 42. Singer-musician Will Butler is 38. Actor Stefanie Martini is 30.

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 7, the 281st day of 2020. There are 85 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 7, 1996, Fox News Channel made its debut.

On this date:

In 1910, a major wildfire devastated the northern Minnesota towns of Spooner and Baudette, charring at least 300,000 acres; some 40 people are believed to have died.

In 1916, in the most lopsided victory in college football history, Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University 222-0 in Atlanta.

In 1954, Marian Anderson became the first Black singer hired by the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York.

In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard Nixon held their second televised debate, this one in Washington, D.C.

In 1982, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Cats” opened on Broadway. (The show closed Sept. 10, 2000, after a record 7,485 performances.)

In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro (ah-KEE’-leh LOW’-roh) in the Mediterranean. (The hijackers shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish-American tourist in a wheelchair, and pushed him overboard, before surrendering on Oct. 9.)

In 1991, University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments when she worked for him; Thomas denied Hill’s allegations.

In 1992, trade representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, in the presence of President George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (muhl-ROO’-nee) and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fencepost outside of Laramie, Wyoming; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are serving life sentences for Shepard’s murder.)

In 2001, the war in Afghanistan started as the United States and Britain launched air attacks against military targets and Osama bin Laden’s training camps in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

In 2003, California voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger their new governor.

In 2004, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney conceded that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction as they tried to shift the Iraq war debate to a new issue, arguing that Saddam was abusing a U.N. oil-for-food program.

Ten years ago: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie canceled construction of a decades-in-the-making train tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan, citing cost overruns that had ballooned the price tag from $5 billion to $10 billion or more. A toxic red sludge that had burst out of a Hungarian factory’s reservoir reached the mighty Danube after wreaking havoc on smaller rivers and creeks.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama apologized to Doctors Without Borders for the American air attack that killed 42 people at its hospital in Afghanistan, and said the U.S. would examine military procedures to look for better ways to prevent such incidents. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal government ran a budget deficit of $435 billion in the just-completed budget year, the smallest shortfall since 2007. Tomas Lindahl of Sweden, American Paul Modrich and Turkish-American scientist Aziz Sanca won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for showing how cells repaired damaged DNA — work that inspired the development of new cancer treatments.

One year ago: House Democrats issued subpoenas to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting White House budget director Russell Vought as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. First lady Melania Trump called on the makers of e-cigarettes to stop marketing them to children, saying that they are addictive and dangerous. The New York Yankees completed a sweep over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series and advanced to meet the Houston Astros for the league championship; it was the Twins’ 16th straight loss in postseason games, tying the North American major sports record held by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

Today’s Birthdays: Retired South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu is 89. Author Thomas Keneally is 85. Comedian Joy Behar is 78. Former National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) is 77. Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 75. Actor Jill Larson is 73. Country singer Kieran Kane is 71. Singer John Mellencamp is 69. Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 69. Russian President Vladimir Putin is 68. Actor Mary Badham (Film: “To Kill a Mockingbird”) is 68. Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 67. Actor Christopher Norris is 65. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 65. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 63. Olympic gold medal ice dancer Jayne Torvill is 63. Actor Dylan Baker is 62. Actor Judy Landers is 62. Recording executive and TV personality Simon Cowell is 61. Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (formerly with Iron Butterfly) is 61. Actor Paula Newsome is 59. Country singer Dale Watson is 58. Pop singer Ann Curless (Expose) is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Toni Braxton is 53. Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 52. Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 51. Actor Nicole Ari Parker is 50. Actor Allison Munn is 46. Rock singer-musician Damian Kulash (KOO’-lahsh) is 45. Singer Taylor Hicks is 44. Actor Omar Miller is 42. Neo-soul singer Nathaniel Rateliff (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 42. Actor Shawn Ashmore is 41. Actor Jake McLaughlin is 38. Electronic musician Flying Lotus (AKA Steve Ellison) is 37. MLB player Evan Longoria is 35. Actor Holland Roden is 34. Actor Amber Stevens is 34. MLB outfielder Mookie Betts is 28. Actor Lulu Wilson is 15.

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