This Day in History

Today is Friday, October 19th, the 292nd day of the year.  There are 73 days until the end of the year.

On This Day:

In 1939, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" premiered at New York's Radio City Music Hall.  The Frank Capra film starred James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains and Edward Arnold.

In 1944, Actor Marlon Brando made his stage debut in the Broadway hit, "I Remember Mama," playing Nels, the teenage Norwegian son of a family living in San Francisco.

In 1957, Maurice "The Rocket" Richard of the Montreal Canadians became the first NHL player to score 500 career goals.

In 1959, "The Miracle Worker" opened on Broadway at the Playhouse with Anne Bancroft playing the leading role of teacher Anne Sullivan.  Bancroft won the Tony Award and later an Oscar for playing the part.

In 1961, "West Side Story" premiered in theaters across the U.S..  The film later went on to win ten Academy Awards.

In 1973, former White House counsel John Dean pled guilty to one count of conspiracy in the Watergate cover-up.

In 1982, carmaker John DeLorean was arrested in Los Angeles and charged in a 24-million-dollars cocaine scheme aimed at salvaging his bankrupt sports car company.  DeLorean was tried and acquitted.

In 1983, the Senate approved a bill establishing a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1985, the first Blockbuster store opened.

In 1994, actress Martha Raye died at the age of 78. 

In 2003, in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Pope John Paul the Second beatified Mother Teresa, declaring her a blessed of the Roman Catholic Church.  Beatification is the last step before recognition as a saint.

In 2005, Saddam Hussein's crimes against humanity trial got underway in Baghdad, but was adjourned until November 28th.  The former Iraqi dictator entered a not guilty plea for the slaughter of more than 140 Shiite Muslims in 1982.

In 2008, noted fashion critic Mr. Blackwell died on this date at the age of 56.

In 2010, actor Tom Bosley died on this date at the age of 83.  Bosley was best known for playing Howard Cunningham on the ABC sitcom "Happy Days."  "Murder, She Wrote" and "Father Dowling Mysteries" were also among his TV credits..    

In 2015, Oprah bought a ten-percent stake in Weight Watchers for nearly 45-million dollars.

In 2016, Tesla Motors said its new electric cars will be the first in the nation to have full self-driving capability.  CEO Elon Musk said the Tesla Model S, X, and the new Model 3 sedan will be equipped "for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver."

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