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Today in History: October 15, Senate confirms Clarence Thomas despite Anita Hill allegations

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2023. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte, the deposed French emperor, arrived on the British-ruled South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he spent the last 5 1/2 years of his life in exile.

In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH'-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall on the Carolina coast as a Category 4 storm; Hazel was blamed for some 1,000 deaths in the Caribbean, 95 in the U.S. and 81 in Canada.

In 1966, the revolutionary Black Panther Party was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.

In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.

In 1989, South African officials released eight prominent political prisoners, including Walter Sisulu.

In 1991, despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, the Senate narrowly confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, 52-48.

In 1997, British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green twice drove a jet-powered car in the Nevada desert faster than the speed of sound, officially shattering the world's land-speed record.

In 2001, Bethlehem Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In 2003, eleven people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry's pilot, who'd blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to eleven counts of manslaughter.)

In 2015, President Barack Obama abandoned his pledge to end America's longest war, announcing plans to keep at least 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term in 2017 and hand the conflict off to his successor.

In 2017, actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted should write "Me too" as a status; within hours, tens of thousands had taken up the #MeToo hashtag (using a phrase that had been introduced 10 years earlier by social activist Tarana Burke).

In 2018, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died in Seattle at age 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In 2021, lawyers for accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz said he would plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school that killed 14 students and three staff members.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Barry McGuire is 88. Actor Linda Lavin is 86. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 81. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 78. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 77. Actor Victor Banerjee is 77. Former tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 72. Singer Tito Jackson is 70. Actor-comedian Larry Miller is 70. Actor Jere Burns is 69. Movie director Mira Nair is 66. Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 64. Chef Emeril Lagasse (EM'-ur-ul leh-GAH'-see) is 64. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ'-nih-chehk) is 61. Singer Eric Benet (beh-NAY') is 57. Actor Vanessa Marcil is 55. Singer-actor-TV host Paige Davis is 54. Country singer Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town) is 54. Actor Dominic West is 54. R&B singer Ginuwine (JIHN'-yoo-wyn) is 53. Christian singer-actor Jaci (JAK'-ee) Velasquez is 44. Actor Brandon Jay McLaren is 43. R&B singer Keyshia Cole is 42. Actor Vincent Martella is 31. Actor Bailee Madison is 24.