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October 23rd

1707 The British Parliament met for the first time.
1942 The British Eighth Army launched an offensive at El Alamein in Egypt, a World War II battle that eventually swept the Germans out of North Africa.
1945 Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player hired by a major league team, was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and sent to their Montreal farm team. He moved up to the Dodgers in 1947 and became one of the sport's greatest stars.
1972 Earthquakes killed more than 10,000 people in Nicaragua.
1983 Suicide bomb attacks on peacekeeping troops in Beirut killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French soldiers.
1989 Hungary formally declared an end to 40 years of communist rule and proclaimed itself a republic, setting the stage for creation of Western-style democracy in the Eastern Bloc state.
1990 Iraq released 64 British hostages.
1995 The U.S. Defense Department announced it was ending a program designed to help minority-owned firms secure government contracts.
1998 After nine days of tense negotiations at the Wye Conference Center in Queenstown, Md., Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed an agreement to revive the stalled Middle East peace process.
1998 Dr. Barnett Slepian, an obstetrician who performed abortions, was killed by a sniper who fired a bullet through a window of Slepian's home in Amherst, N.Y.
2002 A group of 20 Chechen gunmen stormed a Moscow theater, taking hostage more than 700 members of the audience, actors and theater staff and demanding an end to the war in the separatist republic.
2003 The U.S. Congress passed legislation banning late-term abortions.
2004 Insurgents struck at three minibuses carrying U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers, reportedly killing about 50 of them.
2005 All 117 people aboard were reported killed in the crash of a Nigerian plane crash shortly after takeoff from Lagos.
2006 Iran said it is ready to have talks on its nuclear program while other reports spoke of threatened retaliation if U.N. sanctions were imposed.
2006 Panamanians voted overwhelmingly to support a proposal to expand the Panama Canal to allow larger ships to pass through.
2007 A U.S. federal audit of a State Department's private security contractor in Iraq said that $1.2 billion couldn't be accounted for in police training expenses.
2008 Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told a U.S. House committee the United States is in the midst of a once-in-a-century credit tsunami that left him in a state of shocked disbelief.
2008 Gallup polls indicate that many U.S. citizens got a major psychological shock when they learned banks had to have a financial bailout.
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