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Today in History, Saturday, Oct. 17

Today in History, Saturday, Oct. 17

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In 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, N.Y., in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

In 1814, the London Beer Flood inundated the St. Giles district of the British capital as vats of beer ruptured, sending more than 320,000 gallons of liquid into the streets; up to nine people were reported killed.

In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted in Chicago of income tax evasion. Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

In 1939, Frank Capra's comedy-drama "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," starring James Stewart as an idealistic junior U.S. senator, had its premiere in the nation's capital.

In 1967, Puyi, the last emperor of China, died in Beijing at age 61.

In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.

In 1979, Mother Teresa of India was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1989, an earthquake measuring 6.9 in magnitude struck northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.

In 1990, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) was created.

In 2007, President George W. Bush, raising Beijing's ire, presented the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal and urged Chinese leaders to welcome the monk to Beijing.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave Australia its first saint, canonizing Mary MacKillop, a 19th century nun who was briefly excommunicated in part because her religious order had exposed a pedophile priest.

In 2014, the World Health Organization acknowledged it had botched attempts to stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff, lack of information and budget cuts.

In 2015, Thousands of migrants seeking a better life in Western Europe surged into Slovenia using a new route after Hungary sealed its border with Croatia. The final US Airways flight landed in Philadelphia, completing the last leg of its roundtrip journey. The US Airways brand disappeared as the result of a merger with American Airlines.

In 2018, residents of the Florida Panhandle community of Mexico Beach who had fled Hurricane Michael a week earlier returned home to find homes, businesses and campers ripped to shreds; the storm had killed at least 59 people and caused more than $25 billion in damage in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Compiled by Melissa Hall

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