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This day in history

Friday, Oct. 18, is the 291st day of 2013. There are 74 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Rock-and-roll performer Chuck Berry is 87. Sportscaster Keith Jackson is 85. Actress Dawn Wells is 75. Football Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka is 74. Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova is 57. Boxer Thomas Hearns is 55. Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is 53. Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Ne-Yo is 34.
Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding is 29. Actor Zac Efron is 26.

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In 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.

In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).

In 1912, black boxer Jack Johnson was arrested in Chicago, accused of violating the Mann Act because of his relationship with his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron. (The case collapsed when Cameron refused to cooperate, but Johnson was later re-arrested and convicted on the testimony of a former mistress, Belle Schreiber.)

In 1922, the British Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (later the British Broadcasting Corp.) was founded.

In 1944, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II.

In 1961, the movie musical ‘‘West Side Story,’’ starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, premiered in New York, the film’s setting.

In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, overriding President Richard M. Nixon’s veto.

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