Today in History

October 2
1263   The Norwegians and Scots face off against each other in the Battle of Largs, an indecisive engagement between the two kingdoms on the Firth of Clyde near Largs, Scotland. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1535   Having landed in Quebec a month ago, Jacques Cartier reaches a town, which he names Montreal.
1780   John André, a British Army officer, is hanged as a spy by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War for assisting Benedict Arnold’s attempted surrender of the fort at West Point, New York, to the British. On the eve of his execution, André draws this self-portrait. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1814   Spanish Royalists troops under Mariano Osorio defeats rebel Chilean forces of Bernardo O’Higgins and José Miguel Carrera in the Battle of Rancagua. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1862   An Army under Union General Joseph Hooker arrives in Bridgeport, Alabama to support the Union forces at Chattanooga. Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain provides a dramatic setting for the Civil War’s battle above the clouds.
1870   The papal states vote in favor of union with Italy. The capital is moved from Florence to Rome.
1871   Mormon leader Brigham Young, 70, is arrested for polygamy. He is later convicted, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the conviction.
1879   A dual alliance is formed between Austria and Germany, in which the two countries agree to come to the other’s aid in the event of aggression.
1909   Orville Wright sets an altitude record, flying at 1,600 feet. This exceeded Hubert Latham’s previous record of 508 feet.
1931   Aerial circus star Clyde Pangborn and playboy Hugh Herndon, Jr. set off to complete the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean from Misawa City, Japan.
1941   The German army launches Operation Typhoon, the drive towards Moscow.
1950   The comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schultz, makes its first appearance in newspapers.
1964   Scientists announce findings that smoking can cause cancer.
1967   Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice, is sworn in. Marshall had previously been the solicitor general, the head of the legal staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a leading American civil rights lawyer.
1980   Congressional Representative Mike Myers is expelled from the US House for taking a bribe in the Abscam scandal, the first member to be expelled since 1861.
1990   Flight 8301 of China’s Xiamen Airlines is hijacked and crashed into Baiyun International Airport, hitting two other aircraft and killing 128 people.
2001   NATO backs US military strikes in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Born on October 2
1847   Paul von Hindenburg, German Field Marshall during World War I and second president of the Weimar Republic.
1869   Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, political leader of India and pioneer of nonviolent activism.
1871   Cordell Hull, Secretary of State for President Franklin Roosevelt.
1879   Wallace Stevens, poet.
1890   Julius Henry ‘Groucho’ Marx, comedian, one of the five Marx brothers (the others being Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo).
1900   William A. ‘Bud’ Abbott, comedian, the straight man to Lou Costello.
1901   Roy Campbell, poet (The Flaming Terrapin).
1904   Graham Greene, novelist (The Power and The Glory, The Heart of the Matter).
1907   Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd, Scottish biochemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1957) for his work on nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes.
1933   John Bertrand Gurdon, English developmental biologist who shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (2012) for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells.
1937   Johnnie Cochran, high-profile African American lawyer whose many famous clients included O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson.
1938   Rex Reed, actor and film critic; co-hosted the At the Movies TV show.
1945   Don McLean, singer, songwriter guitarist, best known for “American Pie,” his tribute to Buddy Holly and early rock ‘n’ roll.
1945   Martin Hellman, cryptologist, co-inventor of public key cryptography.
1949   Annie Leibovitz, photographer whose subjects include John Lennon and the Rolling Stones.
1951   Sting (Gordon M.T. Sumner), singer, songwriter, musician, actor; lead singer and bass player for the band The Police before launching a successful solo career.
1970   Kelly Ripa, actress, producer, co-host of Live! with Kelly and Michael TV talk show.

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