Today is Sunday, October 18, the 291st day of 2015. There are 74 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1648 - Boston's shoemakers, barrel makers and tub makers set up the first American labor organization.
1672 - Poland surrenders the Ukraine to the Turks after an invasion.
1685 - King Louis XIV of France revokes the Edict of Nantes, which had established the legal toleration of France's Protestant population, the Huguenots.
1767 - The boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line, which divides America's south from the north, is agreed upon.
1867 - The United States takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
1892 - The first long-distance telephone line is opened between Chicago and New York.
1898 - The American flag is raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquishes control of the island to the United States.
1944 - Soviet troops invade Czechoslovakia during World War II.
1964 - Pope Paul VI proclaims 22 new African saints. The saints, known as the Blessed Martyrs of Uganda, were a group of converts who were persecuted and martyred in 1885-87.
1968 - The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends two black athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, for giving a black-power salute as a protest at a victory ceremony in Mexico City.
1969 - The federal government bans artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
1972 - A three-nation U.N. investigating committee, made up of Yugoslavia, Somalia and Sri Lanka, accuses Israel of continued violations of Arab rights in the territories occupied since the 1967 war
1981 - Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement wins 48 percent in national elections, becoming Greece's first leftist government.
1994 - Boat people begin to return to Haiti after the reinstatement of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1995 - The United States announces it will grant Fidel Castro a visa, permitting the Cuban president to address the United Nations.
1998 - A pipeline explosion in Nigeria apparently sparked by thieves siphoning off oil leads to an inferno that kills at least 250 people and destroys villages.
1999 - Former South African President Nelson Mandela begins his first visit to Israel, a gesture of final reconciliation with a nation that had backed South Africa's apartheid regime.
2000 - Fighting between Nigeria's Hausa and Yoruba tribes leaves 100 dead in Lagos. Thousands of people are killed in ethnic and religious conflicts in Africa's most populous nation in 2000.
2001 - Four Osama bin Laden disciples convicted in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa are sentenced in New York City to life without parole.
2002 - The Vatican rejects parts of a plan adopted in June by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops to deal with the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic clergy in the U.S.
2007 - Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returns to Karachi after eight years of exile. A suspected suicide bomber strikes near the truck carrying her, killing 108 people, but Bhutto escapes unhurt.
2008 - Canada declares a chemical widely used in food packaging a toxic substance, and says it will now move to ban plastic baby bottles containing bisphenol A.
2011 - Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit emerges from more than five years in captivity, surrounded by Hamas militants with black face masks who hand him over to Egyptian mediators in an exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
2012 - A Libyan Islamist militia commander who a witness and officials say helped lead the deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi says that he was at the building that night, but denied he was involved in the attack
2014 -- Catholic bishops scrap their landmark welcome to gays, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.
Henri Bergson, French philosopher and Nobel laureate (1856-1941); Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former Canadian Prime Minister (1919-2000); George C. Scott, U.S. actor (1927-1999); Lee Harvey Oswald, accused killer of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1939-1963); Chuck Berry, U.S. singer (1926--); Martina Navratilova, Czech tennis player (1956--); Wynton Marsalis, jazz/classical trumpeter (1961--).
Thought for Today:
Only those ideas that are least truly ours can be adequately expressed in words -- Henri Bergson, French philosopher (1859-1941).