Today is the 296th day of 2012 and the 31st day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1954, West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy announced a naval and air "quarantine" of Cuba in a televised speech, after discovery of Soviet missiles there.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to enter the United States for medical treatment.
In 2005, Tropical Storm Alpha marked the first time an Atlantic storm had to be designated with a Greek letter, after the annual list of 21 names had been exhausted.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Franz Liszt (1811-1886), composer; Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), actress; Timothy Leary (1920-1996), psychologist/author; Christopher Lloyd (1938- ), actor; Tony Roberts (1939- ), actor; Annette Funicello (1942- ), actress/singer; Jeff Goldblum (1952- ), actor; Marc Shaiman (1959- ), composer; Spike Jonze (1969- ), filmmaker; Jesse Tyler Ferguson (1975- ), actor.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1975, the Boston Red Sox lost Game 7 of the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, despite an early 3-0 lead.
TODAY'S FACT: A clandestine operation known as Operation Peter Pan sent more than 14,000 Cuban children to the United States between 1960 and 1962, as parents feared their children would be taken against their will to military schools and labor camps in the wake of the Cuban revolution.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people." -- Timothy Leary
TODAY'S NUMBER: 28 -- NATO member states in 2012.
TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter (Oct. 21) and full moon (Oct. 29).