A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  Oct. 3, 2002 at 3:04 AM
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Today is Oct. 3.

After months of televised testimony in a highly controversial and watchable trial held amid a circus-like atmosphere, O.J. Simpson was acquitted on murder charges on this date in 1995. A criminal court jury in Los Angeles found the former football star innocent in the June 1994 stabbing deaths of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. But, two years later, a civil jury found him liable in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estates of the victims and he was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages to the two families.

East and West Germany reunited on this date in 1990 -- after 45 years of division and just four days short of the 41st anniversary of East Germany's founding (Oct. 7, 1949). It was perhaps the most historic reunion of the 20th century. The newly reunited Germany took the name the Federal Republic of Germany, the formal name of the former West Germany, and adopted West Germany's constitution. Today the German capital is once again Berlin.

It was on this date in 1981 that the Irish Republican Army prisoners at Maze Prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended their seven-month hunger strike. One at a time, an IRA prisoner would stop eating in a failed bid to force Britain to release them. A total of 10 men died.

Rebecca Felton, a Georgia Democrat, became the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate on this day in 1922. She was 87 years old at the time and served only two days -- having been appointed on an interim basis upon the death of Sen. Thomas E. Watson.

And the children's show "Captain Kangaroo," with Bob Keeshan in the title role, was broadcast for the first time on this date in 1955. Keeshan had portrayed Clarabelle the Clown on the kids' show "Howdy Doody."

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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