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Online Document: Today In History

Today is Thursday, Oct. 23, the 296th day of 1997. There are 69 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History: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 Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

In 1946, the United Nations 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 1978, China and Japan exchanged treaty ratification documents in Tokyo, formally ending four decades of hostility.

In 1980, the resignation of Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin was announced.

Ten years ago: The U.S. Senate rejected, 58-42, the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.

Five years ago: President Bush announced that Vietnam had agreed to turn over all materials in its possession related to U.S. personnel in the Vietnam War. Japanese Emperor Akihito began a visit to China, the first by a Japanese monarch. A French court convicted three former health officials of charges they knowingly allowed blood tainted with the AIDS virus to be used in transfusions.

One year ago: Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole tried to persuade Ross Perot to quit the race and endorse the GOP ticket, but Perot refused. The civil trial of O.J. Simpson opened in Santa Monica, Calif. (Simpson was later found liable in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.) The New York Yankees tied the World Series at two games apiece, defeating the Atlanta Braves, 8-6.

Today's Birthdays: Former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson is 72. Soccer great Pele is 57. Author Michael Crichton is 55. Rhythm-and-blues singer Barbara Ann Hawkins (The Dixie Cups) is 54. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 41. Parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer David Thomas (Take 6) is 31. Rock musician Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 31. Country singer-musician Junior Bryant (Ricochet) is 29.

Thought for Today: "Truth is not introduced into the individual from without, but was within him all the time." - Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813-1855).