Today is Thursday, October 22nd, the 295th day of 2015.There are 70 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1721 - Peter the Great takes the title "Czar of All Russia."
1797 - French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin makes the first parachute descent, landing safely from a height of about 900 meters (3,000 feet).
1836 - Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.
1862 - Garrison in Athens, Greece, revolts, forcing King Otto I to resign.
1873 - Emperors of Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary form alliance.
1883 - The original Metropolitan Opera House in New York holds its grand opening with a performance of Gounod's "Faust."
1918 - The Great Influenza Epidemic begins. During World War I, over 18 million people die from the flu virus.
1934 - Bank robber Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd is shot to death by federal agents at a farm in East Liverpool, Ohio.
1947 - India and Pakistan begin a war over Kashmir.
1953 - France grants independence to the Indochinese kingdom of Laos.
1954 - West Germany joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
1962 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy orders U.S. air and naval forces to quarantine Cuba after concluding that Soviet missile bases are being built on that island.
1968 - Arab guerrilla bombs Jerusalem market, killing 13 people.
1969 - Lebanon's Premier Rashid Karami resigns amid mounting pressure against his government's attempt to suppress guerrilla movement.
1979 - The U.S. government allows the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment - a decision that precipitated the Iran hostage crisis.
1981 - The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization is decertified by the federal government for its strike the previous August.
1987 - Iranian missile crashes into Kuwait's offshore supertanker terminal, setting it ablaze.
1989 - Forty-nine Commonwealth nations agree to enact further sanctions against South Africa if further reforms are not taken within six months. Britain is lone dissenter.
1995 - Fidel Castro, in New York for the U.N. anniversary, receives a warm welcome from residents in the Harlem neighborhood.
1998 - In a drive to conclude a West Bank accord, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat agree on revising calls in the Palestinian charter for Israel's destruction.
1999 - Maurice Papon, the former Vichy official who fled France rather than face a 10-year-jail sentence for his role in sending Jews to Nazi death camps, is captured in Switzerland and returned to France.
2000 - Armed Islamic militants kill 24 people in Algeria; bringing the toll to 50 in a week.
2001 - A British Airways Concorde completes a round trip from London to New York, the supersonic jet's first trans-Atlantic flight since service was suspended the previous year after a crash near Paris killed 113 people.
2008 - India launches its first mission to the moon to redraw maps of the lunar surface.
2011 - Crown Prince Sultan, the heir to the throne, dies, throwing Saudi Arabia's ruling monarchy into a critical period of realignment. He is succeeded by Crown Prince Nayef, the tough-talking interior minister.
2012 - France plans to move surveillance drones to West Africa and holds secretive talks in Paris with U.S. officials as it seeks to steer international military action to help Mali's fragile government win back the northern part of the country from al-Qaida-backed rebels.
2013 -- The United States defends drone strikes targeting al-Qaida operatives and others it deems enemies, rejecting reports by two human rights groups questioning the legality of the strikes they assert have killed scores of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan.
2014 -- A gunman shoots and kills a Canadian soldier standing guard at the nation's war memorial, then storms parliament in a hail of gunfire before he is killed by the usually ceremonial sergeant-at-arms.
Bao Dai, former Vietnamese emperor (1913-1997); Franz Liszt, Hungarian-born composer (1811-1886); Sarah Bernhardt, French actress (1844-1923); Ivan Bunin, Russian writer and Nobel laureate (1870-1953); Benjamin Britten, British composer (1913-1976); Joan Fontaine, U.S. actress (1917-2013); Catherine Deneuve, French actress (1943--); Jeff Goldblum, U.S. actor (1952--); Shaggy, Jamaican reggae rapper (1968--); Doris Lessing, British writer and Nobel laureate (1919--).
Thought for Today:
Moral indignation is in most cases 4 percent moral, 46 percent indignation, and 50 percent envy -- Vittorio De Sica, Italian movie director (1901-1974).