Today in History: October 15, Senate confirms Thomas

October 15, 2022 GMT

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2022. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill creating the U.S. Department of Transportation.

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte, the deposed Emperor of the French, arrived on the British-ruled South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he spent the last 5 1/2 years of his life in exile.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH’-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the Carolina coast as a Category 4 storm; Hazel was blamed for some 1,000 deaths in the Caribbean, 95 in the U.S. and 81 in Canada.

In 1966, the revolutionary Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.

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In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

In 1989, South African officials released eight prominent political prisoners, including Walter Sisulu (sih-SOO’-loo).

In 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, 52-48.

In 1997, British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green twice drove a jet-powered car in the Nevada desert faster than the speed of sound, officially shattering the world’s land-speed record.

In 2001, Bethlehem Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In 2003, eleven people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry’s pilot, who’d blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to eleven counts of manslaughter.)

In 2015, President Barack Obama abandoned his pledge to end America’s longest war, announcing plans to keep at least 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term in 2017 and hand the conflict off to his successor.

Ten years ago: Former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan sued the news and gossip website Gawker for posting a sex tape of him online. (Hogan won a $140 million verdict against Gawker, which ended up settling for $31 million in a legal fight that led to the media company’s bankruptcy.)

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Five years ago: Actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted should write “Me too” as a status; within hours, tens of thousands had taken up the #MeToo hashtag (using a phrase that had been introduced 10 years earlier by social activist Tarana Burke.) Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that he was still unsigned because of collusion by owners resulting from his protests during the national anthem.

One year ago: British Conservative lawmaker David Amess was stabbed to death as he met with constituents at a church hall; the assailant, an Islamic State supporter who said he targeted Amess because of his past support for airstrikes on Syria, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. A suicide bombing targeting a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan killed at least 47 people and wounded scores of others; the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. The lawyers for accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz said he would plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school that killed 14 students and three staff members.

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Today’s Birthdays: Singer Barry McGuire is 87. Actor Linda Lavin is 85. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 80. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 77. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 76. Actor Victor Banerjee is 76. Former tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 71. Singer Tito Jackson is 69. Actor-comedian Larry Miller is 69. Actor Jere Burns is 68. Movie director Mira Nair is 65. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 63. Chef Emeril Lagasse (EM’-ur-ul leh-GAH’-see) is 63. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ’-nih-chehk) is 60. Singer Eric Benet (beh-NAY’) is 56. Actor Vanessa Marcil is 54. Singer-actor-TV host Paige Davis is 53. Country singer Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town) is 53. Actor Dominic West is 53. R&B singer Ginuwine (JIHN’-yoo-wyn) is 52. Christian singer-actor Jaci (JAK’-ee) Velasquez is 43. Actor Brandon Jay McLaren is 42. R&B singer Keyshia Cole is 41. Actor Vincent Martella is 30. Actor Bailee Madison is 23.