In 1861, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln named Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union armies, succeeding Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott.
In 1936, in a speech in Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his country and Nazi Germany as an “axis” running between Rome and Berlin.
In 1949, an Eastern Airlines DC-4 collided in midair with a Lockheed P-38 fighter plane near Washington National Airport, killing all 55 people aboard the DC-4 and seriously injuring the pilot of the P-38.
In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington, D.C., in a failed attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. (One of the pair was killed, along with a White House police officer.)
In 1952, the United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, code-named “Ivy Mike,” at Enewetak (en-ih-WEE’-tahk) Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
In 1973, following the “Saturday Night Massacre,” Acting Attorney General Robert H. Bork appointed Leon Jaworski to be the new Watergate special prosecutor, succeeding Archibald Cox.
In 1989, East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the West.
In 1991, Clarence Thomas took his place as the newest justice on the Supreme Court.
In 1995, Bosnia peace talks opened in Dayton, Ohio, with the leaders of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia present.
In 2003, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean stirred controversy within his party by telling the Des Moines (duh-MOYN’) Register he wanted to be “the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” (The former Vermont governor explained that he intended to encourage the return of Southern voters who had abandoned the Democrats for decades but were disaffected with the Republicans.)
In 2015, the Kansas City Royals won their first World Series crown since 1985, beating the New York Mets 7-2 in Game 5, which lasted 12 innings, ending after midnight.
Ten years ago: Europe’s days-old plan to solve its crippling debt crisis and restore faith in the global economy was thrown into chaos by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s stunning decision to call a referendum on the country’s latest rescue package. (Papandreou dropped the referendum plan two days later.) Dorothy Rodham, 92, mother of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton’s mother-in-law, died in Washington.
Five years ago: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon fired the commander of the peacekeeping force in South Sudan after an independent investigation sharply criticized the military response to deadly attacks in July on a U.N. compound housing 27,000 displaced people. Most of an African-American church in Greenville, Mississippi, was destroyed by an arson fire; the building was spray-painted with the words “Vote Trump.” (A member of the church later pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.) The Chicago Cubs forced a deciding Game 7 in the World Series as they defeated the Cleveland Indians 9-3.
One year ago: Two days before Election Day, the Texas Supreme Court denied a Republican-led petition to toss nearly 127,000 ballots cast at drive-thru voting places in the Houston area. (A federal judge also rejected that effort the following day.)
Today’s Birthdays: World Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player is 86. Country singer Bill Anderson is 84. Actor Barbara Bosson is 82. Actor Robert Foxworth is 80. Country singer-humorist Kinky Friedman is 77. Actor Jeannie Berlin is 72. Music producer David Foster is 72. Actor Belita Moreno is 72. Country singer-songwriter-producer Keith Stegall is 67. Country singer Lyle Lovett is 64. Actor Rachel Ticotin is 63. Apple CEO Tim Cook is 61. Actor Helene Udy is 60. Pop singer-musician Mags Furuholmen (a-ha) 59. Rock singer Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 59. Rock musician Rick Allen (Def Leppard) is 58. Country singer “Big Kenny” Alphin (Big and Rich) is 58. Singer Sophie B. Hawkins is 57. Rapper Willie D (Geto Boys) is 55. Country musician Dale Wallace (Emerson Drive) is 52. Actor Toni Collette is 49. Actor-talk show host Jenny McCarthy is 49. Actor David Berman is 48. Actor Aishwarya Rai (ash-WAHR’-ee-ah reye) is 48. Rock singer Bo Bice is 46. Actor Matt Jones is 40. Actor Natalia Tena is 37. Actor Penn Badgley is 35. Actor Max Burkholder is 24. Actor-musician Alex Wolff is 24.