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    This day in history

    Friday, Oct. 4, is the 277th day of 2013. There are 88 days left in the year.

    Today’s birthdays: Author Jackie Collins is 76. Author Roy Blount Jr. is 72. Author Anne Rice is 72. Baseball manager Tony La Russa is 69. Actor Clifton Davis is 68. Actress Susan Sarandon is 67. Blues musician Duke Robillard is 65. Actor Christoph Waltz is 57. Music producer Russell Simmons is 56. Actor Liev Schreiber is 46. Actress Alicia Silverstone is 37.

    In 1861, during the Civil War, the US Navy authorized construction of the first ironclad ship, the USS Monitor.


    In 1931, the comic strip ‘‘Dick Tracy,’’ created by Chester Gould, made its debut.

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    In 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite, into orbit. James R. Hoffa was elected president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

    In 1960, an Eastern Air Lines flight crashed on takeoff from Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing all but 10 of the 72 people on board.

    In 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.

    In 1991, 26 nations, including the United States, signed the Madrid Protocol, which imposed a 50-year ban on oil exploration and mining in Antarctica.