This day in history

Today is Saturday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2019. There are 80 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Former Senator Jake Garn, Republican of Utah, is 87. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 72. Jazz musician Chris Botti is 57. Actor Hugh Jackman is 51. Country musician Martie Maguire (Courtyard Hounds, The Dixie Chicks) is 50. Actor Brian J. Smith is 38. Actor Tyler Blackburn is 33. Actor Josh Hutcherson is 27.

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

In 1810, the German festival Oktoberfest was first held in Munich.

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


In 1942, during World War II, American naval forces defeated the Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.

In 1976, it was announced in China that Hua Guofeng had been named to succeed the late Mao Zedong as chairman of the Communist Party; it was also announced that Mao’s widow and three others, known as the ‘‘Gang of Four,’’ had been arrested.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped an attempt on her life when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at a hotel in Brighton, England, killing five people.

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

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

In 2007, former vice president Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm over global warming.

Last year, search and rescue teams found the body of a hurricane victim in Mexico Beach, the Florida town that was nearly obliterated by Hurricane Michael; the death toll across the South reached at least 14. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, after he became entangled in two sexual abuse scandals.