Today in History, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

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Today is Friday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2017. There are 72 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

In 1944, American general Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he commands an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.

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On this date:

In 1714, the coronation of Britain’s King George I took place in Westminster Abbey.

In 1720, Caribbean pirate Calico Jack is captured by the British Royal Navy.

In 1818, a convention is signed between the United States and the United Kingdom, which settles the Canada–United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.

In 1827, in the Battle of Navarino, a combined Turkish and Egyptian fleet is defeated by British, French, and Russian naval forces in the last significant battle fought with wooden sailing ships.

In 1935, The Long March, a mammoth retreat undertaken by the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party a year prior, ends.

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.

In 1952, Governor Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency in Kenya and begins arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.

In 1968, former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

In 1973, the Sydney Opera House is opened by Queen Elizabeth II after 14 years of construction.

In 1977, three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, were killed along with three others in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Mississippi.

In 1994, actor Burt Lancaster died in Los Angeles at age 80.

In 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya’s dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

Today’s Birthdays:

Japan’s Empress Michiko is 83. Movie director Danny Boyle is 61. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 59. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 53. Rock musician David Ryan is 53. Actor Kenneth Choi is 46. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 46. Singer Dannii Minogue is 46. Actor John Krasinski is 38. Actress Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 32.

Thought for Today:

“Everybody’s private motto: It’s better to be popular than right.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910).