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Oct 19, 2010 10:56 AM by AP

Today in History-October 19, 2010

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 19, the 292nd day of 2010. There are 73 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 19, 1960, the United States began a limited embargo against Cuba as President Dwight D. Eisenhower banned exports to the communist-ruled nation covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.

On this date:

In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.

In 1781, British troops under Gen. Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Va., as the American Revolution neared its end.

In 1812, French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte began their retreat from Moscow.

In 1864, Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Va.; the Union troops were able to rally and defeat the Confederates.

In 1951, President Harry S. Truman signed an act formally ending the state of war with Germany.

In 1960, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested during a sit-down protest at a lunch counter in Atlanta. (Sent to prison for a parole violation over a traffic offense, King was released after three days following an appeal by Robert F. Kennedy.)

In 1967, the U.S. space probe Mariner 5 flew past Venus.

In 1977, the supersonic Concorde made its first landing in New York City.

In 1987, the stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 508 points, or 22.6 percent in value.

In 1994, 22 people were killed as a terrorist bomb shattered a bus in the heart of Tel Aviv's shopping district. Entertainer Martha Raye died in Los Angeles at age 78.

Ten years ago: A government advisory panel of scientists declared that PPA (phenylpropanolamine), an ingredient used in dozens of popular over-the-counter medicines, could not be classified as safe, saying it could be the cause of several hundred hemorrhagic strokes suffered annually by people under 50.

Five years ago: A defiant Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of premeditated murder and torture as his trial opened under heavy security in the former headquarters of his Baath Party in Baghdad. The Houston Astros clinched their first World Series berth with a 5-1 win over St. Louis in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

One year ago: The Justice Department issued a new policy memo, telling prosecutors that pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers should not be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allowed medical marijuana. Actor Joseph Wiseman, 91, who played the sinister Dr. No in the first James Bond feature film, died in New York City. Mass killer Howard Unruh, who took 13 lives during a 1949 rampage in Camden, N.J., died in a Trenton nursing facility at age 88.

Today's Birthdays: Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Robert S. Strauss is 92. Author John le Carre (luh kah-RAY') is 79. Artist Peter Max is 73. Author and critic Renata Adler is 72. Actor Michael Gambon is 70. Actor John Lithgow (LIHTH'-goh) is 65. Feminist activist Patricia Ireland is 65. Singer Jeannie C. Riley is 65. Rock singer-musician Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) is 62. Talk show host Charlie Chase is 58. Rock singer-musician Karl Wallinger (World Party) is 53. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is 52. Singer Jennifer Holliday is 50. Boxer Evander Holyfield is 48. TV host Ty Pennington ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") is 46. Rock singer-musician Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 45. Actor Jon Favreau is 44. Amy Carter is 43. "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker is 41. Comedian Chris Kattan is 40. Rock singer Pras Michel (The Fugees) is 38. Actor Omar Gooding is 34. Country singer Cyndi Thomson is 34. Writer-director Jason Reitman is 33. Actor Benjamin Salisbury is 30. Actress Gillian Jacobs is 28.

Thought for Today: "Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact - it is silence which isolates." - Thomas Mann, German author (1875-1955).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, Oct. 19)

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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