This Week in History

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This Week in History, Oct 9 - Oct 15

Oct 09, 1967
Che Guevara is executed. The socialist revolutionary and guerrilla leader is killed by the Bolivian army at 39.

Oct 10, 1985
Achille Lauro hijacking ends. The Italian cruise ship reaches a dramatic climax when U.S. Navy F-14 fighters intercept an Egyptian airliner attempting to fly the Palestinian hijackers to freedom and force the jet to land at a NATO base in Sigonella.

Oct 11, 2002
Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Prize. The former President wins for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development

Oct 12, 1492
Columbus reaches the New World after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. The Italian explorer sights a Bahamian island, believing he has reached East Asia. His expedition went ashore and claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored his attempt to find a western ocean route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

Oct 13, 1792
White House cornerstone laid. This cornerstone is for a presidential residence in the newly designated capital city of Washington. In 1800, President John Adams became the first president to reside in the executive mansion, which soon became known as the "White House" because its white-gray Virginia freestone contrasted strikingly with the red brick of nearby buildings.

Oct 14, 1947
Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier. The U.S. Air Force Captain becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. Yeager, born in West Virginia, in 1923, was a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe. He shot down 13 German planes and was himself shot down over France, but he escaped capture with the assistance of the French Underground.

Oct 15, 1917
Mata Hari executed. The archetype of the seductive female spy, is executed for espionage by a French firing squad outside of Paris. She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning "eye of the day" in Malay. In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. She acquired herl knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army. Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France, mostly because her show consisted of her slowly stripping nude.