71ºF

KSAT Kids: Today in History, Oct. 20

Helen Keller’s teacher dies; Norwegian tanker crash

1803: In New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France would sell the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million, or 3 cents an
1803: In New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France would sell the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase for $15 million, or 3 cents an (Public domain)

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 20, the 294th day of 2020. There are 72 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 20, 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

On this date:

  • In 1936, Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy, died in Forest Hills, N.Y., at age 70.
  • In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration in the U.S. motion picture industry.
2000: Screenwriter and journalist Ring Lardner Jr., who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios during the Red Scare of the late 1940s and 1950s, dies at the age of 85 in Manhattan, New York. Lardner (far right) was the last surviving member of "The Hollywood Ten," a group of movie screenwriters, directors and producers who were cited for contempt of Congress and blacklisted after refusing to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee about their alleged involvement with the Communist Party. Lardner's screenwriting credits included the films "Laura," "Woman of the Year" and "M*A*S*H," with him winning Oscars for the latter two.
2000: Screenwriter and journalist Ring Lardner Jr., who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios during the Red Scare of the late 1940s and 1950s, dies at the age of 85 in Manhattan, New York. Lardner (far right) was the last surviving member of "The Hollywood Ten," a group of movie screenwriters, directors and producers who were cited for contempt of Congress and blacklisted after refusing to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee about their alleged involvement with the Communist Party. Lardner's screenwriting credits included the films "Laura," "Woman of the Year" and "M*A*S*H," with him winning Oscars for the latter two. (Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library (CC BY 4.0))
  • 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 1976, 78 people were killed when the Norwegian tanker Frosta rammed the commuter ferry George Prince on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.
  • In 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.
  • In 1987, 10 people were killed when an Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport after the pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing, ejected safely.
  • 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 journalist Jamal Khashoggi 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.”

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Viggo Mortensen is 62. Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris is 56. Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) is 56. Rock musician David Ryan is 56. Rock musician Doug Eldridge (Oleander) is 53. Journalist Sunny Hostin (TV: “The View”) is 52. Political commentator and blogger Michelle Malkin is 50. Actor Kenneth Choi is 49. Rapper Snoop Dogg is 49. Singer Dannii Minogue is 49. Singer Jimi Westbrook (country group Little Big Town) is 49. Country musician Jeff Loberg is 44. Actor/comedian Dan Fogler is 44. Rock musician Jon Natchez (The War on Drugs) is 44. Actor Sam Witwer is 43. Actor John Krasinski is 41. Rock musician Daniel Tichenor (Cage the Elephant) is 41. Actor Katie Featherston is 38. Actor Jennifer Nicole Freeman is 35.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Carpenters Local Union 1912 in Phoenix, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, to kick off a small business bus tour. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Carpenters Local Union 1912 in Phoenix, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, to kick off a small business bus tour. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)