Birthdays: October 23, 2018

Amandla Stenberg – actor, “Rue,” Hunger Games – 20

Ryan Reynolds – actor – 42

Sanjay Gupta – CNN medical correspondent – 49

Nancy Grace – CNN legal correspondent – 59

Weird Al Yankovic – parody singer – 59

Dwight Yoakam – country singer – 62

Ang Lee – director, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” – 65

Pele – soccer champ – 78

Barron Hilton – of the Hotel fame – 91

BORN ON THIS DATE

Michael Crichton – author, “Jurassic Park” – 1942

Johnny Carson – “Tonight” Show host – 1925

History: October 23, 2018

1855
Abolitionists in Kansas violently take control of the state government.
After the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, it was decided Nebraska and Kansas would decide individually whether to permit slavery. Pro-slavery contingents from Missouri took the opportunity to violently suppress abolitionists from voting.
Since the election of the pro-slavery government was a fraud, the abolitionists rose up and wrote a new constitution for the state outlawing slavery.
Four years of raids and fighting ensued in the state, which culminated in a nationwide war beginning in 1861 with the secession of the Confederate states.

1983
The American embassy in Beirut is attacked.
A suicide bomber drove 2,000 pounds of explosives into the compound, killing 240 soldiers.
President Reagan called the attack “a vicious, terrorist bombing” in the second sentence of his initial statement to the press.

2002
Muslim extremists from Chechnya take control of a theater in Moscow, holding 700 hostage.
Their immediate demands were for Russian troops to leave Chechnya, which lies inside Russia’s borders but many of whose people desire sovereignty.
Chechnya has a predominately Muslim population.
Russian special forces ultimately stormed the theater, 57 hours later. 2 hostages died.
It was later revealed they used a noxious gas to knock everyone inside unconscious before they entered. It is said the Russian forces then shot anyone they identified as terrorists.

Sunday News Roundup: October 22, 2018

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

Senator Rand Paul tells Chris Wallace the Saudi account that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a fist fight at their consulate isn’t believable. “This is just another in the line of long instances of Saudi insults to the civilized world,” Paul said. He called for ending arms sales to the Arab kingdom and reconsidering their status as an American ally.

MEET THE PRESS

Senator Thom Tillis echoed Rand Paul’s sentiment to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press: “In Saudi Arabia, you do not do something of this magnitude without having clearance from the top. We need to find out who that is and hold him accountable,” Tillis said.

THIS WEEK with GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS

US Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke is walking back his use of the “Lyin’ Ted” epithet he borrowed from President Trump to attack Ted Cruz. Cruz and Trump have made up, and Trump is campaigning for Cruz before Election Day. This week on the campaign trail, O’Rourke said the “Lyin’ Ted monicker” was fitting for his opponent and Trump was right to use it. But under pressure to disassociate himself in any way at all from the Commander in Chief, he apologized to ABC News: “That wasn’t the best phrase for me to use but, you know, I’m — I’m going to do my best to stay focused on the future.”

CBS FACE THE NATION

Senator Ben Sasse touted his new book, “Them,” which analyzes the deep political divide in the country. The book points to the digital revolution alienating people and removing community associations that until recently kept people together despite political differences.

Birthdays: October 22

Zac Hanson – drummer, “Hanson” – 33

Shaggy (Orville Richard Burrell) – Reggae/Pop/R&B singer – 50

Jeff Goldblum – actor – 66

Deepak Chopra – philosopher and writer – 71

Tony Roberts – actor, “Annie Hall” – 79

Christopher Lloyd – actor, “Back to the Future” – 80

BORN ON THIS DATE

Timothy Leary – Harvard professor who encouraged LSD use – 1920

Curly Howard – 1903

History: October 22, 2018

1797
The first recorded human parachute jump is made.

Andre Jacques Garnerin leaps out of a hydrogen balloon over Paris, about six-tenths of a mile up.

Garnerin concepted the idea of his parachute while a prisoner in Hungary during the French Revolution.

His design included a canopy 23 feet in diameter connected to a basket by rope.

For his first historical jump, he ascended in a hydrogen balloon. Then bailed out.

It was a hard lesson learned. He landed safely, though a little jarred. He had not thought to let some air vent through the balloon, so he was jolted around violently during the descent.

Five years later, he made another jump from 8,000 feet.

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1934
Federal agents kill mobster Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd in Ohio.

He had been on the run for 4 years, following the massacre of 4 officers at a train station in Kansas City.

Though Floyd was wrapped up in crime, he became a darling of Depression-era Americans, with some stories suggesting he used some of the money he robbed to help those struggling. There is even a line speaking favorably of him in Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.”

But others knew him to be a ruthless criminal.

Floyd maintained his innocence while a fugitive. His last words insisted his innocence in the officer shooting.

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1962
JFK announces to the nation the discovery of Soviet missiles across Cuba, capable of attacking the United States.

The strategy moving forward would be to quarantine Cuba, blockading any more shipments from the USSR.

The announcement came one week after analysts first discovered the weapons from spy plane imagery. For the next six days, may feared the outbreak of nuclear war.

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1964
Philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and ostentatiously declines.

Much of his writing discusses existentialism, finding one’s own meaning in life, rejecting the material because it has no significance, blah blah blah.

One of his major works was called “Being and Nothingness,” so, you know, that kind of stuff.

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1981
Sugar substitute aspartame is approved by the FDA.

It was discovered as an artificial sweetener in 1965 while being used as an ulcer drug. One researcher found it to be very sweet — 200 more times than sugar, by a certain measurement.

It also had fewer calories than sugar, and was marketed as such.

But objections arose in 1974. Over the next 7 years it was further studied and approved for use. It quickly found its way onto restaurant tables, plus in the development in candy, cereal, coffee, pudding, gum, and any other sweet food you can think of.

Britney Back to Vegas

Britney Spears is starting a new residency in Las Vegas. This time she’ll be at MGM. Insiders say the “Britney: Domination” show will have an “urban” and “hip-hop” vibe reflected in the sets, choreography, and wardrobe. Two of the producers behind Jennifer Lopez’s Vegas residency are on hand to produce Britney’s. The residency starts in February and will run through August.

President Windsor?

TMZ speculates about a member of the British Royal family becoming President. Since Meghan is an American, her child with Prince Harry is eligible for citizenship once she completes some paperwork — being born abroad, the child’s citizenship won’t be an immediate given. She’s working toward British citizenship herself right now. Meg and Harry have until the kid’s 18th birthday to sign the citizenship documents, meaning he or she could simultaneously be 7th in line for the Throne (as it stands) and eligible to be President of the United States.

Wiz & Winnie are Official

MC Wiz Khalifa and model Winnie Harlow are officially dating. They were spotted together, holding hands, leaving the Staples Center in LA after the Lakers game Saturday night. Rumors have swirled for weeks about the pair, but this is the clearest sign yet they’re an item. Friends say Wiz’s ex Amber Rose even blessed the relationship, calling Harlow an “[effing] sweetheart.”

Brother Nature’s Lurid Twitter Past

Social media star “Brother Nature” is under fire for racist and mysoginistic tweets he made in 2011 and 2012. He was barely 12 years old at the time. Real name Kevin Pena became a viral social media star for taking pics and videos of himself comfortably interacting with deer and other wildlife, gaining a large following. But the tweets have his fans split. The old social media dispatches include things like “Heil Hitler,” appreciation for Chris Brown’s domestic violence, and racist and sexist comments. But fans are coming to his defense since he was so young at the time.

Selma Blair Has MS

Actress Selma Blair (“Legally Blonde” actress) has announced her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis on Instagram. “I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS … but we are doing it,” she wrote in the lengthy caption, where she thanked friends and staff on her Netflix show “Another Life” for being accommodating and helpful. She also said she got the news on August 16th. 

PDA Update

Ariana Grande is living her best life — she was spotted in New York doing some retail therapy while she gets over her breakup with Pete Davidson. She was touting Chanel bags in each hand. Friends say she’s been spending time with family while she recovers.

MEANWHILE — Pete’s been seen in public, performing in LA. He joked about the rush engagement being stupid and asked the crowd if anyone’s looking for a roommate … at least he’s finding levity in the situation.

Birthdays: October 18, 2018

Bristol Palin – former DWTS star – 28

Zac Efron – High School Musical star – 28

Lindsey Vonn – olympic gold medalist – 34

Jean Claude Van Damme – bodybuilding actor – 58

Pam Dawber – Actress, Mork & Mindy – 67

Mike Ditka – 79

BORN ON THIS DATE

Lee Harvey Oswald – JFK assassin (?) – 1939

Peter Boyle – Actor, Everybody Loves Raymond – 1927

George C. Scott – Actor, Patton – 1927

Chuck Berry – singer – 1926

Jesse Helms – 5-term senator from North Carolina – 1921

History: October 18, 2018

1469
European royalty Ferdinand and Isabella marry.

The union joined Aragon, under Ferdinand, and Valladolid, under Isabella, making Spain a dominant world power.

Under their control, Isabella and Ferdinand commissioned Christopher Columbus to explore the year world and oversaw the conquest of the Moors.

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1767
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon finalize their geographical survey in the eastern part of the country.

They were hired to resolve a border dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Both colonies had laid claim to the area between the 39th and 40th parallel. The compromise was drawing a line just north of the 39-degree line — today known as the Mason-Dixon line.

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1867
After purchasing the Alaskan territory for $7.2 million, the U.S. assumes control of the land from Russia.

The whole shebang cost less than two cents an acre. At 586,412 square miles, it’s twice the size of Texas.

Secretary of State William Henry Seward negotiated the transfer. Russia was eager to sell it to the U.S., rather than allow it to fall into the hands of powerhouse Great Britain.

Today, one-quarter of America’s oil and half its seafood comes from Alaskan resources.

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1898
The U.S. takes over Puerto Rico, assuming authority over the small country one year after Spain relinquished its control.

America had taken the island in the Spanish-American War, and with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, it officially became an American territory.

Since then, movements for Puerto Rican statehood have persisted, though polls routinely indicate that a majority of its citizens support the island’s status as a Commonwealth of the US.

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1977
In game six of the World Series between the LA Angels and New York Yankees, Reggie Jackson nails 3 home runs in three at bats of off three different pitchers.

The only hitter to come close to the feat was Babe Ruth — who did it twice. However, Ruth didn’t do it consecutively.

Jackson’s stunt helped propel the Yanks to their first World Series win in 15 years.

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1988
Roseanne debuts on ABC. It starred Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

The show aired for 9 years before a reboot in 2017, that was cancelled after 1 season when Roseanne made racist tweets critical of Obama admin alum Valerie Jarrett.

Tara’s Airline Catasrophe, Redux

Tara Reid is pushing back on the controversy that she was escorted off a flight for flipping her lid. She says the flight attendants wanted her emotional support dog to be put in an overhead bin. (She notes she has the paperwork and everything to support her therapy-dog claim). But Delta airlines is doubling down, saying a first class ticket does not empower its holder to keep bags at their feet, even if it’s a dog carrier, and the flight attendant merely told Reid to put the carrier, not the dog, in the overhead bin.