Today is Thursday, Oct. 7, the 281st day of 2004. There are 85 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 7, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York to draw up colonial grievances against England.
On this date:
In 1777, the second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. (British forces under General John Burgoyne surrendered 10 days later.)
In 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore at age 40.
In 1940, Artie Shaw and his Orchestra recorded Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" for RCA Victor.
In 1949, the Republic of East Germany was formed.
In 1950, the U.N. General Assembly approved an advance by U.N. forces north of the 38th Parallel in the Korean Conflict.
In 1954, 50 years ago, Marian Anderson became the first black singer hired by the Metropolitan Opera Co. in New York.
In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican opponent Richard M. Nixon held the second of their broadcast debates.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II concluded his weeklong tour of the United States with a Mass on the Washington Mall.
In 1985, Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean with more than 400 people aboard.
In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was beaten and left tied to a wooden fencepost outside of Laramie, Wyoming; he died five days later. (Russell Henderson later pleaded guilty to murder; a second suspect, Aaron McKinney, was convicted of murder; both were sentenced to life in prison.)
Ten years ago: President Clinton ordered Army troops on alert and dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf after Iraqi troops were spotted moving south toward Kuwait. President Clinton also held an East Room news conference in which he expressed frustration over failures in his legislative agenda, blaming Republicans for "trying to stop it, slow it, kill it or just talk it to death."
Five years ago: American Home Products Corporation resolved one of the biggest product liability cases ever by agreeing to pay up to $4.83 billion to settle claims that the fen-phen diet drug combination caused dangerous heart valve problems.
One year ago: California voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger their new governor. Turkey's parliament voted overwhelmingly to allow Turkish troops to be sent to Iraq. Ten Southeast Asian nations signed an accord establishing a Europe-like economic community by 2020. American scientists Alexei Abrikosov and Anthony Leggett and Russian Vitaly Ginzburg won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in how matter can behave at extremely low temperatures.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Al Martino is 77. Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is 73. Former National Security Council aide Oliver North is 61. Rock musician Kevin Godley (10cc) is 59. Country singer Kieran Kane is 55. Singer John Mellencamp is 53. Rock musician Ricky Phillips is 53. Actress Christopher Norris is 51. Rock musician Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) is 51. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is 49. Gospel singer Michael W. Smith is 47. Rock musician Charlie Marinkovich (Iron Butterfly) is 45. Actress Judy Landers is 43. Country singer Dale Watson is 42. Rock singer-musician Thom Yorke (Radiohead) is 36. Rock musician-dancer Leeroy Thornhill is 35. Actress Nicole Ari Parker is 34.
Thought for Today: "Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries." - James Michener, American novelist (1907-1997).
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.