Today in History
1531 The Catholics defeat the Protestants at Kappel during Switzerland's second civil war.
1540 Charles V of Milan puts his son Philip in control.
1727 George II of England crowned.
1795 In graditude for putting down a rebellion in the streets of Paris, France's National Convention appoints Napoleon Bonaparte second in command of the Army of the Interior.
1862 The Confederate Congress in Richmond passes a draft law allowing anyone owning 20 or more slaves to be exempt from military service. This law confirms many southerners opinion that they are in a 'rich man's war and a poor man's fight.'
1877 Outlaw Wild Bill Longley, who killed at least a dozen men, is hanged, but it took two tries; on the first try, the rope slipped and his knees drug the ground.
1899 South African Boers, settler from the Netherlands, declare war on Great Britain.
1906 San Francisco school board orders the segregation of Oriental schoolchildren, inciting Japanese outrage.
1915 Despite international protests, Edith Cavell, an English nurse in Belgium, is executed by Germans for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners.
1942 In the Battle of Cape Esperance, near the Solomon Islands, U.S. cruisers and destroyers decisively defeat a Japanese task force in a night surface encounter.
1945 Negotiations between Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and Communist leader Mao Tse-tung break down. Nationalist and Communist troops are soon engaged in a civil war.
1950 The Federal Communications Commission authorizes the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to begin commercial color TV broadcasts.
1962 Pope John XXIII opens the 21st Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) with a call for Christian unity. This is the largest gathering of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in history; among delegate-observers are representatives of major Protestant denominations, in itself a sign of sweeping change.
1968 Apollo 7, with three men aboard, is successfully launched from Cape Kennedy.
1972 A French mission in Vietnam is destroyed by a U.S. bombing raid.
1976 The so-called "Gang of Four," Chairman Mao Tse-tung's widow and three associates, are arrested in Peking, setting in motion an extended period of turmoil in the Chinese Communist Party.
1991 Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas begin.
Born on October 11
1820 Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA.
1844 Henry Heinz, manufacturer, founder of H.J. Heinz Co.
1884 Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt.
1885 Francois Mauriac, Nobel Prize-winning novelist.
1887 Willie Hoppe, billiards champion.
1910 Joseph Alsop, American journalist.
1918 Jerome Robbins, choreographer, won Oscar for West Side Story.
1919 Art Blakey, jazz drummer.