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Today in History, Friday, Oct. 16

Today in History, Friday, Oct. 16

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In 1793, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.

In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia. Ten of Brown's men were killed and five escaped. Brown and six followers were captured; all were executed.

In 1901, Booker T. Washington dined at the White House as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt, whose invitation to the Black educator sparked controversy.

In 1962, the Cuban missile crisis began as President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.

In 1968, American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked controversy at the Mexico City Olympics by giving "Black power" salutes during a victory ceremony after they'd won gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race.

In 1978, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.

In 1995, a vast throng of Black men gathered in Washington, D.C., for the "Million Man March" led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed a congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq. 

In 2009, agricultural officials said pigs in Minnesota had tested positive for the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, the first such cases in the U.S.

In 2015, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the federal government was canceling federal petroleum lease sales in U.S. Arctic waters that had been scheduled for 2016 and 2017. F

In 2019, President Donald Trump declared that the U.S. had no stake in defending Kurdish fighters in Syria who had died by the thousands as America's partners against Islamic State extremists; Trump's stance on the Kurds was condemned by Democrats and some Republicans who had been staunch Trump supporters. 

Compiled by Melissa Hall

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