Notable events from our shared experience
During the “Saturday Night Massacre” of Oct. 20, 1973, U.S. Attorney General Elliott Richardson (left) refuses President Richard Nixon’s order to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and resigns in protest. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus follows suit. Solicitor General Robert Bork, the third-ranking Justice Department official, carries out the order to remove Cox. Twenty-one resolutions calling for Nixon’s impeachment are introduced in Congress.
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In the deadliest day for the U.S. Marine Corps since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima, 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers die Oct. 23, 1983, when militants attack their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Moments later, 58 French paratroopers die in a coordinated attack. All were part of a multinational force on peacekeeping duty during the country’s civil war.
Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on his private island, Skorpios, Oct. 20, 1968.
A plane carrying rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird”) goes down in a Mississippi swamp Oct. 20, 1977, killing three band members, a crew member and two pilots.
French writer and existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre is selected for the Nobel Prize for literature on Oct. 22, 1964. He turns it down because, he says, he never accepts honors and as a socialist doesn’t want recognition from the “Western bloc.”
On Oct. 26, 1984, Leonard Bailey transplants the “walnut-sized” heart of a baboon into a 12-day-old girl in Loma Linda, Calif. “ Baby Fae” dies 20 days later.
Based on the 1956 Broadway musical, which in turn sprang from George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, the film My Fair Lady premieres Oct. 21, 1964. Rex Harrison stars as professor and linguist Henry Higgins, and Audrey Hepburn is his pupil, Eliza Doolittle.
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Images — Elliot Richardson: U.S. Dept. of Commerce; Onassis news article: New York Daily News; Audrey Hepburn in 'My Fair Lady': Warner Brothers/Getty Images
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