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This day in history

Tuesday, Oct. 15, is the 288th day of 2013. There are 77 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Former auto executive Lee Iacocca is 89. Actress Linda Lavin is 76. Director Penny Marshall is 70. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 68. Singer Tito Jackson is 60. Comedian Larry Miller is 60. Actress Tanya Roberts is 58. Britain’s Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 54. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 54. Actor Dominic West is 44. R&B singer Ginuwine is 43. R&B singer Keyshia Cole is 32.

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In 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.

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

In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.

In 1951, the classic sitcom ‘‘I Love Lucy’’ premiered on CBS.

In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country as part of a ‘‘moratorium’’ against the Vietnam War.

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

In 2003, eleven people were killed when a Staten Island ferry slammed into a maintenance pier. (The ferry’s pilot, who had blacked out at the controls, later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter.) Doctors in Florida removed the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, a severely brain-damaged woman at the center of a right-to-die battle. (The tube was reinserted, then removed again, as the legal battle played out, ending with Schiavo’s death in March 2005.)

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