Today in History: October 20, 3 members of Lynyrd Skynyrd killed in plane crash
Today in History
Today is Friday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2023. There are 72 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 20, 1977, three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, were killed along with three others in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Mississippi.
On this date:
In 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.
In 1967, a jury in Meridian, Mississippi, convicted seven men of violating the civil rights of slain civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner; the seven received prison terms ranging from 3 to 10 years.
In 1973, in what would become known as the "Saturday Night Massacre," special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.
In 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.
In 1979, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in Boston.
In 1990, three members of the rap group 2 Live Crew were acquitted by a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., of violating obscenity laws with an adults-only concert in nearby Hollywood the previous June.
In 2001, officials announced that anthrax had been discovered in a House postal facility on Capitol Hill.
In 2004, a U.S. Army staff sergeant, Ivan "Chip" Frederick, pleaded guilty to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. (Frederick was sentenced to eight years in prison; he was paroled in 2007.)
In 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, 69, Libya's dictator for 42 years, was killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte (SURT) and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia announced that U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi (jah-MAHL' khahr-SHOHK'-jee) had been killed in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul; there was immediate international skepticism over the Saudi account that Khashoggi had died during a "fistfight." (A U.S. intelligence report later concluded that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had likely approved Khashoggi's killing by a team of Saudi security and intelligence officials.)
In 2020, two weeks before Election Day, President Donald Trump called on Attorney General William Barr to immediately launch an investigation into unverified claims about Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter, effectively demanding that the Justice Department abandon its historic resistance to getting involved in elections.
In 2021, Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to murdering 17 people during a February, 2018, rampage at his former high school in Parkland, Florida.
Today's Birthdays: Japan's Empress Michiko is 89. Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson is 86. Former actor Rev. Mother Dolores Hart is 85. Actor William "Rusty" Russ is 73. Actor Melanie Mayron is 71. Retired MLB All-Star Keith Hernandez is 70. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is 68. Movie director Danny Boyle is 67. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is 66. Actor Viggo Mortensen is 65. Vice President Kamala Harris is 59. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 59. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 56. Journalist Sunny Hostin (TV: "The View") is 55. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 53. Actor Kenneth Choi is 52. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 52. Singer Dannii Minogue is 52. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country group Little Big Town) is 52. Actor/comedian Dan Fogler is 47. Rock musician Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs) is 47. Actor Sam Witwer is 46. Actor John Krasinski is 44. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 44. Actor Katie Featherston is 41. Actor Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 38.