Today is Friday, Oct. 15, the 288th day of 2010. There are 77 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 15, 1860, 11-year-old Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he could improve his appearance by growing a beard. (The rest, as they say, is history.)
On this date:
In 1858, the seventh and final debate between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place in Alton, Ill.
In 1917, Dutch dancer Mata Hari, convicted of spying for the Germans, was executed by a French firing squad outside Paris.
In 1928, the German dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, N.J., completing its first commercial flight across the Atlantic.
In 1940, Charles Chaplin's first all-talking comedy, "The Great Dictator," a lampoon of Adolf Hitler, opened in New York.
In 1945, the former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, was executed for treason.
In 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering (GEH'-reeng) fatally poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.
In 1964, it was announced that Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev (KROOSH'-chef) had been removed from office.
In 1969, peace demonstrators staged activities across the country as part of a "moratorium" against the Vietnam War.
In 1976, in the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter F. Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.
In 1990, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton left Washington for emergency talks in Egypt with Israeli and Arab leaders. New York Times movie and drama critic Vincent Canby died at age 76.
Five years ago: Iraqis voted to approve a constitution. A crowd that had gathered to protest a neo-Nazi march in Toledo, Ohio, turned violent, prompting the mayor to declare a state of emergency.
One year ago: A report of a 6-year-old Colorado boy trapped inside a runaway helium balloon captivated the nation before the boy, Falcon Heene (HEE'-nee), was found safe at home in what turned out to be a hoax. (Falcon's parents served up to a month in jail.)
Today's Birthdays: Former auto executive Lee Iacocca is 86. Jazz musician Freddy Cole is 79. Singer Barry McGuire is 75. Actress Linda Lavin is 73. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 68. Rock musician Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) is 68. Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is 65. Singer-musician Richard Carpenter is 64. Actor Victor Banerjee is 64. Tennis player Roscoe Tanner is 59. Singer Tito Jackson is 57. Actor-comedian Larry Miller is 57. Actor Jere Burns is 56. Actress Tanya Roberts is 55. Movie director Mira Nair is 53. Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 51. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 51. Rock musician Mark Reznicek (REHZ'-nih-chehk) is 48. Actress Vanessa Marcil is 42. Singer-actress-TV host Paige Davis is 41. Actor Dominic West is 41. Singer Eric Benet is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ginuwine is 40. Actor Chris Olivero is 31. Christian singer-actress Jaci (JAK'-ee) Velasquez is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer Keyshia Cole is 29. Tennis player Elena Dementieva is 29. Actor Vincent Martella ("Everybody Hates Chris") is 18.
Thought for Today: "If you love someone, let them go. If they return to you, it was meant to be. If they don't, their love was never yours to begin with." _ Anonymous.
(Above Advance for Use Friday, Oct. 15)
Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.