Today is Thursday, Oct. 12, the 285th day of 2017. There are 80 days left in the year.

On Oct. 12, 1492 (Old Style calendar), Christopher Columbus' expedition arrived in the present-day Bahamas.

In 1792, the first recorded U.S. celebration of Columbus Day was held to mark the tricentennial of Christopher Columbus' landing.

In 1810, the German festival Oktoberfest was first held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from occupied Belgium during World War I. Former President Theodore Roosevelt, speaking to the Knights of Columbus in New York, criticized native-born Americans who identified themselves by dual nationalities, saying that "a hyphenated American is not an American at all."

In 1933, bank robber John Dillinger escaped from a jail in Allen County, Ohio, with the help of his gang, who killed the sheriff, Jess Sarber.

In 1957, the Dr. Seuss Yuletide tale "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" was first published by Random House.

In 1964, the Soviet Union launched a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew on the first mission involving more than one crew member (the flight lasted just over 24 hours).

In 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.

In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped an attempt on her life when an Irish Republican Army bomb exploded at a hotel in Brighton, England, killing five people.

In 1997, singer John Denver was killed in the crash of his privately built aircraft in Monterey Bay, California; he was 53.

In 2000, 17 sailors were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole in Yemen.

Birthdays: Singer Sam Moore (formerly of Sam and Dave) is 82. Broadcast journalist Chris Wallace is 70. Actress-singer Susan Anton is 67. Actor Hugh Jackman is 49. Actor Kirk Cameron is 47. Skier Bode Miller is 40.

Thought for Today: "Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honoured by posterity because he was the last to discover America." -- James Joyce, Irish author and poet (1882-1941).