Today is Sunday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 1997. There are 80 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:On Oct. 12, 1492 (Old Style calendar; Oct. 21 New Style), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.
On this date:
In 1861, the Confederate ironclad Manassas attacked the northern ship Richmond on the Mississippi River.
In 1870, Gen. Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at 63.
In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans in occupied Belgium during World War I.
In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang.
In 1942, during World War II, Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.
In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev disrupted a U.N. General Assembly session by pounding his desk with a shoe during a dispute.
In 1964, the Soviet Union launched a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew on the first manned mission involving more than one crew member.
In 1971, the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway.
In 1973, President Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.
In 1986, the superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States.
Ten years ago: In Houston, Vice President George Bush formally launched his quest for the Republican presidential nomination. Former Kansas Gov. Alfred "Alf" M. Landon, who ran for president against Franklin Roosevelt, died at his Topeka home at age 100.
Five years ago: Several hundred people were killed when an earthquake struck Cairo, Egypt.
One year ago: President Clinton signed into law the Water Resources Development Act, which authorized federal water projects across the country. Thousands of Hispanic Americans marched in Washington to push for simplified citizenship procedures and a seven-dollar minimum wage.
Today's Birthdays: Blues singer Nappy Brown is 68. Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 65. Former Sen. Jake Garn R-Utah, is 65. Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti is 62. Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 62. Sportscaster Tony Kubek is 62. TV reporter Chris Wallace is 50. Michigan Governor John Engler is 49. Actress-singer Susan Anton is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Claude McKnight (Take 6) is 35. Actor Adam Rich is 29. Rhythm-and-blues singer Garfield Bright (Shai) is 28. Actor Kirk Cameron is 27.
Thought for Today: "When he (Columbus) started out he didn't know where he was going, when he got there he didn't know where he was, and when he got back he didn't know where he had been." - Anonymous.