Today In History

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Associated Press

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Today is Tuesday, October 23, the 297th day of 2012. There are 69 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1596 - Turks under Mohammed III defeat Austrian Archduke Maximillian's forces near Erlau, Hungary.

1641 - Great Irish Massacre occurs after discovery of conspiracy against British.

1764 - Hector Munro's British forces defeat Nawab of Oudh at Buxar, Bengal.

1917 - U.S. troops see first action in World War I near Luneville, France.

1942 - British Eighth Army attacks Axis forces to begin Battle of El Alamein in Egypt during World War II.

1944 - Soviet Red Army enters Hungary.

1953 - Federal Constitution of Rhodesia and Nyasaland goes into effect.

1954 - Britain, France, United States and Soviet Union agree to end occupation of Germany.

1956 - Anti-Communist revolution breaks out in Hungary. It is crushed by a Soviet invasion on November 4.

1958 - Soviet Union approves loan for Aswan Dam in Egypt.

1962 - Soviet Union warns that a U.S. blockade of arms shipments to Cuba may risk a thermonuclear war.

1969 - Laotian officials report that fresh North Vietnamese troops have reached the Plaine des Jarres and clashed with government troops on their border.

1973 - Israeli military command announces that Israel and Egypt have agreed to new cease-fire in Middle East war.

1983 - Suicide attackers blow up U.S. Marine headquarters building at Beirut Airport, Lebanon, and nearby French headquarters with bomb-laden trucks, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 Frenchmen.

1988 - Long-awaited Soviet election reform calls for choice of candidates but limits sharply what they can advocate.

1989 - Tens of thousands of Hungarians demand end to communism on anniversary of 1956 uprising.

1991 - The four warring factions in Cambodia sign a peace treaty in Paris paving the way for the return of refugees and democratic elections.

1992 - U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces the Vietnamese government will turn over all documents, photographs and personal effects of U.S. personnel it collected in the Vietnam War.

1993 - Irish Republican Army bomb kills 10 people in Belfast.

1994 - A Tamil rebel suicide bomber at an election rally in Colombo, Sri Lanka, kills at least 50 people, including Gamini Dissanayake, opposition candidate for president.

1995 - After a meeting in New York, Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces accord with U.S. President Bill Clinton that Russian troops would help enforce peace in Bosnia.

1996 - A historian reveals that the Swiss bank accounts of presumed Holocaust victims were used to settle Switzerland's postwar compensation disputes with Poland and Hungary.

1997 - South Africa's Nelson Mandela receives a hero's welcome in Libya, and calls for the United Nations to lift sanctions that are harming "our African brothers and sisters."

1998 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat agree on a breakthrough land-for-peace West Bank accord after eight days of negotiations in the United States.

1999 - Illinois' George Ryan pays the first visit to communist Cuba by a U.S. governor since Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution, declaring he has come "to build bridges between people."

2001 - Indonesia's parliament passes a bill granting the rebellious province of Irian Jaya sweeping autonomy, a greater share of resource revenues and a new name — Papua.

2002 - British police detain Abu Qatada, a fugitive Muslim cleric who allegedly was an influential supporter of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

2004 - Suspected Islamic militants kill 16 people heading to a soccer match in a pre-dawn ambush south of Algeria's capital — the first bloodshed since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

2005 - Hurricane Wilma punishes Mexico's Caribbean coastline for a second day, ripping away storefronts, peeling back roofs and forcing tourists and residents trapped in hotels and shelters to scramble to higher floors. At least seven people are killed.

2006 - Police in Hungary fire tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse protesters in anti-government demonstrations coinciding with the nation's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of its uprising against Soviet rule.

2007 - NASA's space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven rocket into orbit in pursuit of the international space station, where a formidable construction job awaits them.

2008 - A Paris court convicts nine people of charges linked to financing and associating with a terror group, including Safe Bourada, a French-Algerian who admitted forming an Islamic group that called for armed jihad in France.

2009 - Top NATO and United Nations officials signal they may request more international troops to join American forces in Afghanistan as the top U.S. defense official said President Barack Obama is still weeks away from deciding on a shift in war strategy.

2010 - A U.S.-born spokesman for al-Qaida urges Muslims living in the United States and Europe to carry out attacks there, calling it a duty and an obligation.

2011 - Cries of panic and horror fill the air as a 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes eastern Turkey, killing at least 138 people as buildings pancaked and crumpled into rubble. The death toll was expected to rise as rescuers sifted through the rubble and reached outlying villages.

Today's Birthdays:

Louis Riel, Canadian rebel leader (1844-1885); Johnny Carson, former U.S. "Tonight Show" host (1925-2005); Pele, Brazilian soccer star (1940--); Michael Crichton, U.S. author (1942--2008); Ang Lee, Taiwanese film director (1954--); Weird Al Yankovic, U.S. musical parodist (1959--).

Thought for Today:

It is the characteristic of the most stringent censorships that they give credibility to the opinions they attack — Voltaire, French author and philosopher (1694-1778).

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