TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1492, explorer Christopher Columbus' expedition made landfall in the Bahamas.
In 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by students in public schools for the first time, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.
In 1945, the Allied Control Council in Germany decreed that the Nazi political party be dissolved.
In 2000, a suicide bomb attack on the USS Cole in Yemen killed 17 sailors and wounded 39.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Dick Gregory (1932-2017), comedian/author; Tony Kubek (1935- ), broadcaster/baseball player; Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), opera singer; Sam Moore (1935- ), singer-songwriter; Chris Wallace (1947- ), TV journalist; Hugh Jackman (1968- ), actor; Kirk Cameron (1970- ), actor; Marion Jones (1975- ), track and field athlete; Bode Miller (1977- ), Olympic skier; Josh Hutcherson (1992- ), actor.
TODAY'S FACT: The United Nations Population Fund estimated that the world's population reached 7 billion at the end of October 2011, but according to U.S. Census Bureau demographers, that number was not reached until four months later.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2003, Michael Schumacher won his sixth Formula One Drivers' championship, breaking a record held for 47 years by Juan Manuel Fangio.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "It has nothing to do with whether I'm the best or whether I'm a rock and roller or whether I'm a blues singer or whether I'm none of those things. I'm part of history." -- Sam Moore
TODAY'S NUMBER: 42 -- the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, according to Douglas Adams' comedy science fiction novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," published on this day in 1979.
TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter moon (Oct. 9) and new moon (Oct. 16).