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This Day in History

Today is Wednesday, Oct. 17, the 291st day of 2012 with 75 to follow.

Those born on this day: America's first published black poet, in 1711; actors Spring Byington in 1886, Jean Arthur in 1900 and Irene Ryan in 1902; playwright Arthur Miller in 1915; actors Rita Hayworth in 1918, Montgomery Clift in 1920 and Tom Poston in 1921; diet developer Dr. Robert Atkins and newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin (age 82), both in 1930; daredevil Robert "Evel" Knievel in 1938; singers Jim Seals in 1941 (age 71) and Gary Puckett in 1942 (age 70); Olympic gold medal winner pole vaulter Bob Seagren in 1946 (age 66); actors Michael McKean in 1947 (age 65) and Margot Kidder and George Wendt, both in 1948 (age 64); former astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, in 1956 (age 56); country singer Alan Jackson in 1958 (age 54); musician Ziggy Marley in 1968 (age 44); golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els in 1969 (age 43); and rapper Eminem, born Marshall Mathers, and singer Wyclef Jean, both in 1972 (age 40).

On this date in history:

In 1777, at one of the turning points of the American Revolution, British Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American Gen. Horatio Gates at Saratoga, N.Y.

In 1945, Juan Peron became dictator of Argentina. He remained in power for 11 years before being overthrown.

In 1973, the Arab-dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would cut oil exports to the United States and other nations that provided military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. A full oil embargo hit the United States in December causing a serious energy crisis.

In 1979, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a Roman Catholic nun who cared for the sick and poor, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1986, Congress passed a landmark immigration bill, the first U.S. law authorizing penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.

In 1989, the most powerful California earthquake since the legendary temblor of 1906 struck the San Francisco Bay Area at evening rush hour, just before the scheduled start of Game 3 of the World Series in San Francisco between the Giants and the Oakland A's. At least 67 people were killed.

In 1996, O.J. Simpson, who had been acquitted in a highly publicized trial of killing his estranged wife and her friend, went on trial in civil court in a suit brought by the victims' families and accusing him of responsibility for the deaths.

In 1998, by request of Spanish authorities, British police arrested former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet for questioning about "crimes of genocide and terrorism that include murder."

In 2001 the anthrax scare continued as the U.S. Congress closed for security sweeps after 321 staff members and police officers tested positive for exposure to anthrax.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a government demand for $280 billion in penalties from American cigarette makers.

In 2006, North Korea termed U.N. sanctions to punish it for its recent nuclear test a declaration of war.

In 2007, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Israel didn't intend to split Jerusalem, a matter often brought up during Palestinian peace talks.

In 2009, the Obama administration said it planned to use a mix of incentives and pressure to seek an end to human rights abuses in Darfur, Sudan.

In 2010, at least 60 people died and 50 others were hurt in violence ahead of special parliamentary elections in Karachi, Pakistan.

In 2011, medical workers in Syria said state-backed militias and security forces were searching hospitals for wounded protesters and using ambulances to kidnap them. Volunteers, medical students, doctors and ambulance drivers charged they were under constant intimidation.



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