Wednesday, Oct. 17, is the 291st day of 2012. There are 75 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin is 82. Singer Jim Seals (Seals and Crofts) is 70. Singer Gary Puckett is 70. Actor Michael McKean is 65. Actress Margot Kidder is 64. Actor George Wendt is 64. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 56. Country singer Alan Jackson is 54. Movie critic Richard Roeper is 53. Movie director Rob Marshall is 52. Animator Mike Judge is 50. Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 49. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 44. Golfer Ernie Els is 43. Rapper Eminem is 40. Singer Wyclef Jean is 40.
In 1610, French King Louis XIII, age 9, was crowned at Reims, five months after the assassination of his father, Henry IV.
In 1777, British forces under General John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, N.Y., in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.
In 1807, Britain declared it would continue to reclaim British-born sailors from American ships and ports regardless of whether they held US citizenship.
In 1912, Pope John Paul I was born Albino Luciani at Forno di Canale, Italy.
In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)
In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
In 1941, the US destroyer Kearny was damaged by a German torpedo off the coast of Iceland; 11 people died.
In 1961, French police attacked Algerians protesting a curfew in Paris. (The resulting death toll varies, with some estimates of up to 200.)
In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.
In 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.
In 2007, President George W. Bush, raising Beijing’s ire, presented the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal and urged Chinese leaders to welcome the monk to Beijing. Comedian Joey Bishop, the last of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack, died in Newport Beach, Calif., at age 89.