This day in history

This day in history

Friday, Oct. 12, is the 286th day of 2012. There are 80 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Comedian-activist Dick Gregory is 80. Former Senator Jake Garn (R-Utah) is 80. Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 77. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 65. Jazz musician Chris Botti is 50. Actor Hugh Jackman is 44. Country musician Martie Maguire (Dixie Chicks) is 43. Gold medal skier Bode Miller is 35. Actor Josh Hutcherson is 20.

In 1492 (according to the Old Style calendar), Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.

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In 1870, General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Va., at age 63.

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In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.

In 1962, the devastating Columbus Day Storm, also known as the ‘‘Big Blow,’’ struck the Pacific Northwest, resulting in some 50 deaths.

In 1971, the rock opera ‘‘Jesus Christ Superstar’’ opened on Broadway.

In 1997, singer John Denver was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in Monterey Bay, Calif.; he was 53.

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In 2000, 17 sailors were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen.

In 2002, bombs blamed on Al Qaeda-linked militants destroyed a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians and seven Americans.

In 2007, a 34-vehicle pileup in Santa Clarita, Calif., left three people dead.