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Today in History: Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded in 1793

Today in History: Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded in 1793

Today is Friday, Oct. 16, the 290th day of 2020. There are 76 days left in the year.

Highlight in History:

On Oct. 16, 1968, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked controversy at the Mexico City Olympics by giving “Black power” salutes during a victory ceremony after they’d won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race.

On this date:

In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.

In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. (Ten of Brown’s men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.)

In 1901, Booker T. Washington dined at the White House as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt, whose invitation to the Black educator sparked controversy.

In 1916, Planned Parenthood had its beginnings as Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. (The clinic ended up being raided by police and Sanger was arrested.)

In 1934, Chinese Communists, under siege by the Nationalists, began their “long march” lasting a year from southeastern to northwestern China.

In 1962, the Cuban missile crisis began as President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.

In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (voy-TEE’-wah) to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.

In 1991, a deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as a gunman opened fire at a Luby’s Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq. The White House announced that North Korea had disclosed it had a nuclear weapons program.

In 2017, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been captured and held by the Taliban for five years after walking away from his post in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty to desertion and endangering his comrades. (A military judge later decided not to send him to prison.)

Ten years ago: Iran freed an American businessman jailed in Tehran for more than two years on suspicion of ties to an allegedly violent opposition group. (Reza Taghavi, 71, hadn’t been charged with a crime and denied knowingly supporting the organization, known as Tondar.) 

Five years ago: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the federal government was canceling federal petroleum lease sales in U.S. Arctic waters that had been scheduled for 2016 and 2017. 

One year ago: Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract deal to end a monthlong strike that brought the company’s U.S. factories to a standstill. (Workers voted to approve the contract the following week.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Angela Lansbury is 95. Actor Peter Bowles is 84. Actor-producer Tony Anthony is 83. Actor Barry Corbin is 80. Sportscaster Tim McCarver is 79. Rock musician C.F. Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 77. Actor Suzanne Somers is 74. Rock singer-musician Bob Weir is 73. P

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