Today is the 286th day of 2016 and the 21st day of autumn.
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.
In 2007, former Vice President Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to increase public knowledge about climate change.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Dick Gregory (1932- ), comedian/author; Tony Kubek (1935- ), broadcaster/baseball player; Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), opera singer; 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 48 years by Juan Manuel Fangio.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they'd have to bring out the tanks to control you." -- Dick Gregory
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 first quarter moon (Oct. 8) and full moon (Oct. 15).