On this day, Oct. 4 …
2002: “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh receives a 20-year sentence after a sobbing plea for forgiveness before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va. In a federal court in Boston, a laughing Richard Reid pleads guilty to trying to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight with explosives in his shoes (the British citizen was later sentenced to life in prison).
Also on this day:
- 1777: Gen. George Washington’s troops launch an assault on the British at Germantown, Pa., resulting in heavy American casualties.
- 1861: During the Civil War, the U.S. Navy authorizes construction of the first ironclad ship, the USS Monitor.
- 1940: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini confer at Brenner Pass in the Alps.
- 1951: The MGM movie musical “An American in Paris,” starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, has its U.S. premiere in New York City.
- 1957: The Space Age begins as the Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. A Soviet technician works on Sputnik 1 before the satellite’s Oct. 4, 1957, launch. (NASA)
- 1970: Rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, is found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.
- 1989: Triple Crown-winning racehorse Secretariat, suffering a hoof ailment, is humanely destroyed at age 19.
- 1990: After six decades apart, lawmakers gather in the Reichstag for the first meeting of reunified Germany’s parliament.
- 1991: The U.S. and 25 other nations sign the Madrid Protocol, which imposes a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.
- 2003: A Palestinian woman blows herself up inside a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, killing 21 bystanders.
- 2009: Greek socialists trounce the governing conservatives in a landslide election; Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa, 74, dies in Buenos Aires.
- 2004: The SpaceShipOne rocket plane breaks through Earth’s atmosphere to the edge of space for the second time in five days, capturing the $10 million Ansari X prize aimed at opening the final frontier to tourists; Pioneering astronaut Gordon Cooper dies in Ventura, Calif., at age 77.
- 2014: North Korea’s presumptive No. 2 leader, Hwang Pyong So, and other members of Pyongyang’s inner circle meet with South Korean officials in the rivals’ highest level face-to-face talks in five years. Former Haitian “president for life” Jean-Claude Duvalier, 63, dies in Port-au-Prince. Paul Revere, 76, organist and leader of the Raiders rock band, dies in Garden Vallley, Idaho.
- 2017: President Trump visits hospital bedsides and a police base in Las Vegas in the aftermath of a shooting rampage in the city three nights earlier that left 58 people dead. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk with surgeon Dr. John Fildes at the University Medical Center after meeting with victims of the mass shooting Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)
- 2018: The Senate Judiciary Committee says it has received an FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
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