Today is Oct. 22.
The U.S. war in Afghanistan continued in high gear on this date in 2001. Nearly 200 jets struck Taliban and al Quaida communications facilities, barracks and training camps over the weekend. Taliban officials meanwhile charged that 100 civilians were killed when a U.S.-led bombing attack struck a hospital in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called the Taliban liars and said he had no evidence of such an event.
The Cuban Missile Crisis began on this date in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy, in a televised speech, demanded the Soviet Union remove the missiles it had deployed in Cuba. JFK also ordered a blockade of the island to prevent further military equipment from reaching it. On Oct. 28, 1962, the USSR announced it would remove the missiles in question. In return, the United States removed missiles in Turkey that were aimed at the Soviet Union.
It was on this date in 1797 that the first parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin. He dropped from a height of about 6,500 feet over a Paris park. Garnerin lived, and so the parachute continued to draw some interest.
Gen. Sam Houston was sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Texas on this date in 1836. When Texas became a U.S. state 10 years later, Houston was elected senator. A few years after that, he was elected governor.
Inventor Charles Carlson produced the first dry, or xerographic, copy on this day in 1938. But he had trouble interesting investors in his new invention.
And this is the anniversary of the birth, in 1920, of Harvard University professor and counterculture icon Timothy Leary. Leary was fired by Harvard after he gave LSD to students. Despite numerous arrests over the years, he continued to advocate the use of LSD in the pursuit of spiritual and political freedom and just for the fun of it. Leary died in 1996 of cancer.
We now return you to the present, already in progress.