Today in History, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017

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Today is Saturday, Oct. 14, the 287th day of 2017. There are 78 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 14, 1947, U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles E. (“Chuck”) Yeager became the first test pilot to break the sound barrier as he flew the experimental Bell XS-1 (later X-1) rocket plane over Muroc Dry Lake in California.

On this date:

In 1066, Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.

In 1322, Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.

In 1773, just before the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, several of the British East India Company’s tea ships are set ablaze at the old seaport of Annapolis, Maryland.

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In 1926, “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne was first published by Methuen & Co. of London.

In 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel committed suicide rather than face trial and certain execution for allegedly conspiring against Adolf Hitler.

In 1959, actor Errol Flynn died in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at age 50.

In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis begins after a U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane flies over the island of Cuba and takes photographs of Soviet SS-4 Sandal missiles being installed and erected in Cuba.

In 1964, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev was toppled from power; he was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and by Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

In 1968, Jim Hines of the United States of America becomes the first man ever to break the so-called “ten-second barrier” in the 100-meter sprint in the Summer Olympic Games held in Mexico City with a time of 9.95 seconds.

In 1977, singer Bing Crosby died outside Madrid, Spain, at age 74.

In 1987, a 58-hour drama began in Midland, Texas, as 18-month-old Jessica McClure slid 22 feet down a narrow abandoned well at a private day care center; she was rescued on Oct. 16.

In 1997, novelist Harold Robbins died in Palm Springs, California, at age 81.

In 2012, Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere in the Red Bull Stratos project.

Today’s Birthdays:

Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is 78. Singer Sir Cliff Richard is 77. Singer-musician Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) is 71. Actor Harry Anderson is 65. Singer-musician Thomas Dolby is 59. Actor Steve Coogan is 52. Actress-singer Shaznay Lewis (All Saints) is 42. Singer Usher is 39.

Thought for Today:

“To think is to speak low. To speak is to think aloud.” — F. Max Mueller, German philologist (1823-1900).