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Today is Thursday, Oct. 23, the 296th day of 2003. There are 69 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

Twenty years ago, on Oct. 23, 1983, 241 U.S. Marines and sailors in Lebanon were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport; a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.

On this date:

In 1864, forces led by Union Gen. Samuel R. Curtis defeated Confederate Gen. Stirling Price's army in Missouri.

In 1915, 25,000 women marched in New York City, demanding the right to vote.

In 1942, during World War II, Britain launched a major offensive against Axis forces at El Alamein in Egypt.

In 1944, the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

In 1946, the U.N. General Assembly convened in New York for the first time, at an auditorium in Flushing Meadow.

In 1956, an anti-Stalinist revolt that was subsequently crushed by Soviet troops began in Hungary.

In 1972, the musical "Pippin" opened on Broadway.

In 1973, President Nixon agreed to turn White House tape recordings requested by the Watergate special prosecutor over to Judge John J. Sirica.

In 1987, the U.S. Senate rejected, 58-42, the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.

In 1992, Japanese Emperor Akihito began a visit to China, the first by a Japanese monarch.

Ten years ago: The Toronto Blue Jays repeated as baseball champions as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-6, in game six of the World Series. An IRA bomb exploded in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing 10 people, including an IRA operative.

Five years ago: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed a breakthrough land-for-peace agreement at the White House. Barnett Slepian, a doctor who performed abortions, was shot and killed at his home in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. Typhoon Babs pummeled the northern Philippines, killing at least 189 people.

One year ago: Gunmen seized a crowded Moscow theater, taking hundreds hostage and threatening to kill their hostages unless the Russian army pulled out of Chechnya. President Bush signed the biggest military spending increase since Ronald Reagan's administration - a $355.5 billion package. Broadway librettist Adolph Green died in New York at age 87. The San Francisco Giants edged the Anaheim Angels, 4-3, to tie the World Series 2-2.

Today's Birthdays: Former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson is 78. Movie director Philip Kaufman is 67. Soccer great Pele is 63. Author Michael Crichton is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer Barbara Ann Hawkins (The Dixie Cups) is 60. Actor Michael Rupert is 52. Movie director Ang Lee is 49. Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 47. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 47. Movie director Sam Raimi is 44. Parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer David Thomas (Take 6) is 37. Rock musician Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 37. Country singer-musician Junior Bryant is 35. Country singer Jimmy Wayne is 31. Actor Ryan Reynolds is 27. Actress Masiela Lusha ("George Lopez") is 18.

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).