TODAY IN HISTORY
Oct. 4, 1777
Gen. George Washington’s troops launched an assault on the British at Germantown, Pennsylvania, resulting in heavy American casualties.
ALSO ON THIS DATE 1931
The comic strip “Dick Tracy,” created by Chester Gould, made its debut.
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. The television series “Leave It to Beaver” premiered on CBS.
Rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room.
Islamic Jihad issued a statement saying it had killed American hostage William Buckley. (Fellow hostage David Jacobsen later said he believed Buckley had died of torture injuries four months earlier.)