Today in History
1571 In the last great clash of galleys, the Ottoman navy is defeated at Lepanto, Greece, by a Christian naval coalition under the overall command of Spain's Don Juan de Austria.
1765 Delegates from nine of the American colonies meet in New York to discuss the Stamp Act Crisis and colonial response to it.
1849 Edgar Allan Poe, aged 40, dies a tragic death in Baltimore. Never able to overcome his drinking habits, he was found in a delirious condition outside a saloon that was used as a voting place.
1870 French Minister of the Interior Leon Gambetta escapes besieged Paris by balloon, reaching the French provisional government in Tours.
1913 In attempting to find ways to lower the cost of the automobile and make it more affordable to ordinary Americans, Henry Ford took note of the work of efficiency experts like Frederick Taylor, the "father of scientific management." The result was the assembly line that reduced the time it took to manufacture a car, from 12 hours to 93 minutes.
1949 Iva Toguri D'Aquino, better known as Tokyo Rose, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for treason.
1957 A fire in the Windscale plutonium production reactor (later called Sellafield) north of Liverpool, England, spreads radioactive iodine and polonium through the countryside and into the Irish Sea. Livestock in the immediate area were destroyed, along with 500,000 gallons of milk. At least 30, and possibly as many as 1,000, cancer deaths were subsequently linked to the accident.
1985 Four Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) hijackers seize the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and demand the release of 50 Palestinians held by Israel.
Born on October 7
1746 William Billings, composer.
1849 James Whitcomb Riley, poet.
1885 Nils Bohr, physicist whose model of atomic structure helped establish quantum theory.
1900 Heinrich Himmler, Nazi leader.
1907 Helen MacInnes, writer.
1931 Desmond Tutu, South African religious leader.
1934 Leroi Jones (Imamu Amiri Baraka), playwright.
1935 Thomas Keneally, novelist, author of Schindler's Ark, the basis for the film Schindler's List.
1955 Yo Yo Ma, cellist.