HISTORY Today is Friday, Oct. 22, the 296th day of 2004. There are 70 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 22, 1962, President Kennedy announced an air and naval blockade of Cuba, following the discovery of Soviet missile bases on the island.
On this date:
In 1746, Princeton University in New Jersey received its charter.
In 1797, French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first parachute descent, landing safely from a height of about 3,000 feet.
In 1836, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.
In 1883, the original Metropolitan Opera House in New York held its grand opening with a performance of Gounod's "Faust."
In 1928, Republican presidential nominee Herbert Hoover spoke of the "American system of rugged individualism" in a speech at New York's Madison Square Garden.
In 1934, bank robber Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd was shot to death by federal agents at a farm in East Liverpool, Ohio.
In 1954, West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
In 1968, Apollo 7 returned safely, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1973, Spanish cellist, conductor and composer Pablo Casals died in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, at age 96.
In 1979, the U.S. government allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment -- a decision that precipitated the Iran hostage crisis.
Ten years ago: President Clinton, campaigning in San Francisco for California Democrats, demanded that schools expel gun-toting students after earlier accusing Republicans of plotting to gut his education package.
Five years ago: Five of the seven Republican presidential hopefuls met in New Hampshire for their first debate of the 2000 nomination race, with front-runner George W. Bush notably absent. Former Vichy official Maurice Papon was expelled from Switzerland and sent back to France.
One year ago: President Bush was heckled during a speech to a divided Australian Parliament in which he defended the war with Iraq. The Florida Marlins edged the New York Yankees 4-3 in 12 innings to even the World Series at two games each. IRL racer Tony Renna, 26, died after crashing at close to 220 mph during a test drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.