Today in History
1777 At Germantown, Pa., British General Sir William Howe repels George Washington's last attempt to retake Philadelphia, compelling Washington to spend the winter at Valley Forge.
1795 General Napoleon Bonaparte leads the rout of counterrevolutionaries in the streets of Paris, beginning his rise to power.
1861 The Union ship USS South Carolina captures two Confederate blockade runners outside of New Orleans, La.
1874 Kiowa leader Satanta, known as "the Orator of the Plains," surrenders in Darlington, Texas. He is later sent to the state penitentiary, where he commits suicide October 11, 1878.
1905 Orville Wright pilots the first flight longer than 30 minutes. The flight lasted 33 minutes, 17 seconds and covered 21 miles.
1914 The first German Zeppelin raids London.
1957 Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, is launched, beginning the "space race." The satellite, built by Valentin Glushko, weighed 184 pounds and was launched by a converted Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Sputnik orbited the earth every 96 minutes at a maximum height of 584 miles. In 1958, it reentered the earth's atmosphere and burned up.
1968 Cambodia admits that the Viet Cong use their country for sanctuary.
1972 Judge John Sirca imposes a gag order on the Watergate break-in case.
1976 In Gregg v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court lifts the ban on the death sentence in murder cases. This restores the legality of capital punishment, which had not been practiced since 1967. The first execution following this ruling was Gary Gilmore in 1977.
Born on October 4
1822 Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the U.S. (1877-1881).
1861 Frederic Remington, Western painter and sculptor.
1862 Edward Stratemeyer, author, creator of the Hardy Boys, Rover Boys, Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins.
1879 Edward Murray East, botanist whose research led to the development of hybrid corn.
1884 Damon Runyon, journalist and short story writer.
1895 Buster (Joseph F.) Keaton, star of silent film comedies including Sherlock, Jr. and The General.
1919 Rene Marques, Puerto Rican playwright and short story writer.
1923 Charlton Heston, American film actor.
1928 Alvin Toffler, writer and futurist.
1941 Anne Rice, novelist.
1946 Susan Sarandon, American film actress.