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Today is Wednesday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2003. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 15, 1917, Mata Hari, a Dutch dancer who had spied for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.

On this date:

In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act was passed.

In 1928, the German dirigible "Graf Zeppelin" landed in Lakehurst, N.J., completing its first commercial flight across the Atlantic.

In 1937, the Ernest Hemingway novel "To Have and Have Not" was first published.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1966, President Johnson signed a bill creating the Department of Transportation.

In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country, including a candlelight march around the White House, as part of a moratorium against the Vietnam War.

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

In 1990, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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

Ten years ago: President Clinton sent six warships to the waters off Haiti to enforce trade sanctions in the face of defiant Haitian military rulers. Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end apartheid.

Five years ago: The White House and congressional leaders struck agreement on a $500 billion spending package, ending a week of election-season budget brinkmanship. The Federal Reserve made surprise cuts in two key interest rates, igniting an explosive rally on Wall Street. President Clinton opened Mideast summit talks in Maryland that resulted in the Wye River land-for-peace agreement.

One year ago: ImClone Systems founder Sam Waksal pleaded guilty in New York in the biotech company's insider trading scandal. Iraqis turned out for a national referendum on whether Saddam Hussein should remain their president for another seven years; Saddam won with a reported 100 percent of the votes cast. Five Japanese kidnapping victims who were abducted in their youth by North Korean spies finally returned home, tearfully hugging their aging parents for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

Today's Birthdays: Economist John Kenneth Galbraith is 95. Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. is 86. Actress Jan Miner ("Madge the Manicurist") is 86. Singer Barry McGuire is 68. Actress Linda Lavin is 66. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 61. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 61. Musician Richard Carpenter is 57. Actor Victor Banerjee is 57. Tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 52. Singer Tito Jackson is 50. Actor Jere Burns is 49. Actress Tanya Roberts is 48. Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 44. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 44. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (Toadies) is 41. Singer Eric Benet is 33.

Thought for Today: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1858-1919).

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