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Today in History: Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the Carolina coast as a Category 4 storm

Today in History: Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the Carolina coast as a Category 4 storm

Today is Thursday, Oct. 15, the 289th day of 2020. There are 77 days left in the year.

Highlight in History:

On Oct. 15, 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte, the deposed Emperor of the French, arrived on the British-ruled South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he spent the last 5 1/2 years of his life in exile.

In 1917, Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (Margaretha ZelleGeertruida MacLeod), 41, convicted by a French military court of spying for the Germans, was executed by a firing squad outside Paris. (Maintaining her innocence to the end, Mata Hari refused a blindfold and blew a kiss to her executioners.)

In 1940, Charles Chaplin’s first all-talking comedy, “The Great Dictator,” a lampoon of Adolf Hitler, opened in New York.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH’-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the Carolina coast as a Category 4 storm; Hazel was blamed for some 1,000 deaths in the Caribbean, 95 in the U.S. and 81 in Canada.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill creating the U.S. Department of Transportation. The revolutionary Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.

In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country as part of a “moratorium” against the Vietnam War.

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

In 2001, Bethlehem Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In 2017, actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted should write “Me too” as a status; within hours, tens of thousands had taken up the #MeToo hashtag (using a phrase that had been introduced 10 years earlier by social activist Tarana Burke.)

Ten years ago: The Obama administration reported that the federal deficit had hit a near-record $1.3 trillion for the just-completed budget year. 

Five years ago: President Barack Obama abandoned his pledge to end America’s longest war, announcing plans to keep at least 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term in 2017 and hand the conflict off to his successor. 

One year ago: Elizabeth Warren, carrying a new status as a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, came under attack from rivals at a debate in Ohio; they accused her of ducking questions about the cost of Medicare for All and her signature wealth tax plan. Newly-elected inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included, posthumously, Whitney Houston and The Notorious B.I.G.; they were joined by Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Hails and T-Rex.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jere Burns is 66. Movie director Mira Nair is 63. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 61. Chef Emeril Lagasse (EM’-ur-ul leh-GAH’-see) is 61. Actor Tanya Roberts is 61. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ’-nih-chehk) is 58. Singer Eric Benet (beh-NAY’) is 54. Actor Vanessa Marcil is 52. Singer-actor-TV host Paige Davis is 51. 

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