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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Monday, Oct. 18, the 291st day of 2021. There are 74 days left in the year.

Todayís Highlight in History:

On Oct. 18, 1962, James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were honored with the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.

On this date:

In 1767, the Mason-Dixon line, the boundary between colonial Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, was set as astronomers Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey.

In 1867, the United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.

In 1892, the first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).

In 1898, the American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the U-S.

In 1961, the movie musical ìWest Side Story,î starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, premiered in New York, the filmís setting.

In 1968, the U.S. Olympic Committee suspended Tommie Smith and John Carlos for giving a ìBlack powerî salute as a protest during a victory ceremony in Mexico City.

In 1969, the federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates (SYí-kluh-maytz) because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.

In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, overriding President Richard Nixonís veto.

In 1977, West German commandos stormed a hijacked Lufthansa jetliner on the ground in Mogadishu, Somalia, freeing all 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers.

In 1997, a monument honoring American servicewomen, past and present, was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 2001, CBS News announced that an employee in anchorman Dan Ratherís office had tested positive for skin anthrax. Four disciples of Osama bin Laden were sentenced in New York to life without parole for their roles in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

In 2010, four men snared in an FBI sting were convicted of plotting to blow up New York City synagogues and shoot down military planes with the help of a paid informant whoíd convinced them he was a terror operative. (James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen were each sentenced to 25 years in prison.)

Ten years ago: Fifty wild animals were released by the owner of a Zanesville, Ohio, farm, Terry Thompson, who then took his own life; authorities killed 48 of the creatures, while the remaining two were presumed eaten by other animals. Republican presidential candidates laced into each other in a debate in Las Vegas; Mitt Romney emerged as still the person to beat, even as he was called out on the issues of illegal immigration, health care and jobs. Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (gee-LAHDí shah-LEETí) emerged from five years in captivity as Hamas militants handed him over to Egyptian mediators in an exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama hosted his final state dinner as he welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, to the White House.

One year ago: Leftist Luis Arce easily won Boliviaís presidential election, avoiding the need for a runoff; the win was a vindication for the Movement Toward Socialism party of ousted President Evo Morales, who was barred from running. Twitter blocked a post from Scott Atlas, an adviser to President Donald Trump, who suggested that masks do not work to stop the spread of the coronavirus; Twitter said he violated a policy against sharing false or misleading information about COVID-19 that could lead to harm.

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