Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII convened the first session of the Roman Catholic Church's Second Vatican Council, also known as "Vatican 2."
On this date:
In 1779, Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski, fighting for American independence, died two days after being wounded during the Revolutionary War Battle of Savannah, Ga.
In 1811, the first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana (built by John Stevens), was put into operation between New York City and Hoboken, N.J.
In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate forces led by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart looted the town of Chambersburg, Pa.
In 1890, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in Washington, D.C.
In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt became the first former U.S. president to fly in an airplane during a visit to St. Louis, Mo.
In 1932, the first American political telecast took place as the Democratic National Committee sponsored a program from a CBS television studio in New York.
In 1942, the World War II Battle of Cape Esperance began in the Solomon Islands, resulting in an American victory over the Japanese.
In 1958, the lunar probe Pioneer 1 was launched; it failed to go as far out as planned, fell back to Earth, and burned up in the atmosphere.
In 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, was launched with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard. The government of Panama was overthrown in a military coup.
In 1984, space shuttle Challenger astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev opened two days of talks concerning arms control and human rights in Reykjavik, Iceland.
In 1992, in the first of three presidential debates, three candidates faced off against each other in St. Louis, Mo. — President George H.W. Bush, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and businessman Ross Perot.
Ten years ago: A team of 18 doctors at Children's Medical Center Dallas began complicated separation surgery for 2-year-old conjoined twins from Egypt; the successful operation was completed in 34 hours. Clerks for three major supermarket chains in Southern California began a 4 1/2-month strike after negotiations with store officials broke off. Ivan A. Getting, a Cold War scientist who conceived the Global Positioning Satellite system, died in Coronado, Calif., at age 91.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush and foreign financial officials, meeting at the White House, displayed joint resolve in combatting the unfolding financial crisis. Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider, 58, was killed in a car accident. Composer and arranger Neal Hefti, who wrote the themes for the movie "The Odd Couple" and the TV show "Batman," died in Toluca Lake, Calif., at age 85.
One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden and Republican opponent Paul Ryan squared off in their only debate of the 2012 campaign. The two interrupted each other repeatedly as they sparred over topics including the economy, taxes and Medicare.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Earle Hyman is 87. Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry is 86. Actor Ron Leibman is 76. Actor Amitabh Bachchan is 71. Country singer Gene Watson is 70. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is 63. Rhythm-and-blues musician Andrew Woolfolk is 63. Actress-director Catlin Adams is 63. Country singer Paulette Carlson is 62. Actor David Morse is 60. Actor Stephen Spinella is 57. Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young is 52. Actress Joan Cusack is 51. Rock musician Scott Johnson (Gin Blossoms) is 51. Comedy writer and TV host Michael J. Nelson is 49. Actor Sean Patrick Flanery is 48. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Chris Spielman is 48. Actor Luke Perry is 47. Country singer-songwriter Todd Snider is 47. Actor-comedian Artie Lange is 46. Actress Jane Krakowski is 45. Rapper U-God (Wu-Tang Clan) is 43. Rapper MC Lyte is 42. Figure skater Kyoko Ina is 41. Actor/writer Nat Faxon is 38. Singer NeeNa Lee is 38. Actress Emily Deschanel is 37. Actor Matt Bomer is 36. Actor Trevor Donovan is 35. Actress Michelle Trachtenberg is 28. Golfer Michelle Wie is 24.
Thought for Today: "When a friend speaks to me, whatever he says is interesting." — Jean Renoir, French movie director (1894-1979).