Today is Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history
On Oct. 1, 1964, the Free Speech Movement began at the University of California, Berkeley, as students spontaneously protested the arrest of Berkeley alumnus Jack Weinberg, who’d refused to identify himself to campus police as he sat behind a table promoting the Congress of Racial Equality.
On this date:
In 1885, special delivery mail service began in the United States.
In 1908, Henry Ford introduced his Model T automobile to the market.
In 1932, Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees made his supposed called shot, hitting a home run against Chicago’s Charlie Root in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the World Series, won by the New York Yankees 7-5 at Wrigley Field.
In 1939, Winston Churchill described Russia as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” during a radio address on the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
In 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China during a ceremony in Beijing. A 42-day strike by the United Steelworkers of America began over the issue of retirement benefits.
In 1957, the motto “In God We Trust” began appearing on U.S. paper currency.
In 1961, Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run during a 162-game season, compared to Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs during a 154-game season. (Tracy Stallard of the Boston Red Sox gave up the round-tripper; the Yankees won 1-0.)
In 1964, Japan’s first high-speed “bullet train,” the Tokaido Shinkansen, went into operation between Tokyo and Osaka.
In 1968, the cult horror movie “Night of the Living Dead” had its world premiere in Pittsburgh.
In 1974, the cult horror movie “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” was first released.
In 1987, eight people were killed when an earthquake measuring magnitude 5.9 struck the Los Angeles area.
In 1994, National Hockey League team owners began a 103-day lockout of their players.
Ten years ago: Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupted for the first time in 18 years, but without nearly the force of the 1980 disaster. Police found the body of Lori Hacking in a landfill after picking through the trash for weeks in a search for the young Utah woman murdered by her husband, Mark. Fashion photographer Richard Avedon died in San Antonio, Texas, at age 81.
Five years ago: The U.S. and five other world powers held high-stakes talks with Iran in Geneva to demand a freeze of its nuclear activities; President Obama, in Washington, called the discussions “a constructive beginning.” David Letterman publicly acknowledged having had sexual relationships with some female staffers as “48 Hours Mystery” producer Joe Halderman was charged in a blackmail plot against the CBS “Late Show” host. (Halderman later pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny and served four months in jail.)
One year ago: The federal government partially shut down because of a budget impasse in Congress, the same day Americans got their first chance to shop for health insurance using the online marketplaces that were at the heart of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul (however, government websites designed to sell the policies struggled to handle the traffic, with many frustrated users reporting trouble setting up accounts). Novelist Tom Clancy, 66, died in Baltimore.
Former President Jimmy Carter is 90. Actress-singer Julie Andrews is 79. Actress Stella Stevens is 76. Rock musician Jerry Martini (Sly and the Family Stone) is 71. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew is 69. Jazz musician Dave Holland is 68. Actor Stephen Collins is 67. Actress Yvette Freeman is 64. Actor Randy Quaid is 64. Rhythm-and-blues singer Howard Hewett is 59. Alt-country-rock musician Tim O’Reagan (The Jayhawks) is 56. Singer Youssou N’Dour is 55. Actor Esai Morales is 52. Retired MLB All-Star Mark McGwire is 51. Actor Christopher Titus is 50. Actress-model Cindy Margolis is 49. Rock singer-musician Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra) is 46. Actor Zach Galifianakis is 45. Singer Keith Duffy is 40. Actress Sarah Drew is 34. Actor-comedian Beck Bennett (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 30. Actress Jurnee Smollett is 28. Actress Brie Larson is 25.
Thought for today
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” – Agnes Repplier, American essayist (1858-1950)