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Today in history - Oct. 13

Today is Saturday, Oct. 13, the 286th day of 2007. There are 79 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 13, 1792, the cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid during a ceremony in the District of Columbia.

On this date:

In A.D. 54, Roman emperor Claudius I died, poisoned apparently at the behest of his wife, Agrippina.

In 1775, the U.S. Navy had its origins as the Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet.

In 1843, the Jewish organization B'nai B'rith was founded in New York City.

In 1845, Texas voters ratified a state constitution.

In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.

In 1944, American troops entered Aachen, Germany, during World War II.

In 1957, CBS-TV broadcast "The Edsel Show," a one-hour live special starring Bing Crosby designed to promote the new, ill-fated Ford automobile. (It was the first special to use videotape technology to delay the broadcast to the West Coast.)

In 1960, Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy participated in the third televised debate of their presidential campaign. (Nixon was in Los Angeles; Kennedy was in New York.)

In 1962, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," by Edward Albee, opened on Broadway. (The opening coincided with co-star Melinda Dillon's 23rd birthday.)

In 1974, longtime television host Ed Sullivan died in New York City at age 72.

Ten years ago: A jet-powered car driven by British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green streaked across Nevada's Black Rock Desert at speeds topping 764 miles an hour, faster than the speed of sound. However, the car couldn't complete two runs within the 60 minutes required by record-keepers. (Green officially broke the record two days later.) In Quebec, Canada, 43 senior citizens and a bus driver were killed when the bus plunged into a ravine.

Five years ago: Serbia's first presidential elections since the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic failed because of a low voter turnout. The Anaheim Angels routed the Minnesota Twins 13-5 to win the American League Championship Series in five games. Best-selling historian Stephen E. Ambrose died in Bay St. Louis, Miss., at age 66.

One year ago: Banker Muhammad Yunus of Bangledesh won the Nobel Peace Prize for using microcredit to lift people out of poverty. U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty in an influence-peddling investigation of Congress. The bodies of a family of four were found off a stretch of highway near Port St. Lucie, Fla.; two suspects were later arrested.

Today's Birthdays: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is 82. Playwright Frank D. Gilroy is 82. Gospel singer Shirley Caesar is 69. Actress Melinda Dillon is 68. Singer-musician Paul Simon is 66. Actress Pamela Tiffin is 65. Musician Robert Lamm (Chicago) is 63. Actor Demond Wilson is 61. Singer-musician Sammy Hagar is 60. Actor John Lone is 55. Model Beverly Johnson is 55. Actor Reggie Theus is 50. Singer Marie Osmond is 48. Rock singer Joey Belladonna (Anthrax) is 47. Actress T'Keyah Crystal Keymah is 45. Actress Kelly Preston is 45. Country singer John Wiggins is 45. Actress Kate Walsh is 40. Actress Tisha Campbell-Martin is 39. Classical singer Carlos Marin (Il Divo) is 39. Olympic silver-medal figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is 38. Country singer Rhett Akins is 38. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is 36. Rock musician Jan Van Sichem Junior (K's Choice) is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singers Brian and Brandon Casey (Jagged Edge) are 32. Singer Ashanti is 27. Christian rock singer Jon Micah Sumrall (Kutless) is 27.

Thought for Today: "The world will never starve for wonders; but only for want of wonder." -- G.K. Chesterton, English author (1874-1936).

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