Today is Wednesday, Oct. 17, the 291st day of 2012. There are 75 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 17, 1777, British forces under Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered to American troops in Saratoga, N.Y., in a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1987

Towanda High School's 1987 Homecoming Queen is Stacey Allyn.

A spokesman at the GTE Sylvania plant in Towanda said yesterday that an eight-inch rupture disc on a 60-foot steam stripper popped off at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday causing a loud noise that was heard in some neighborhoods around the plant.

The polling place for LeRoy Township has been changed from the Baptist Church to the LeRoy Grange Hall, effective for the Municipal Election on Nov. 3.

50 years ago - 1962

Judge James W. Cullen is holding court in Pittsburgh this week, presiding in Allegheny County sessions. Cullen was assigned by the State Supreme Court in an effort to clean up a backlog of trial cases.

Carleton Herman and Wayne Hibbard spent last Sunday at Narrowsburg. Herman purchased a number of eels.

M. Roe Smith, son of Mrs. Wilson N. Smith of Towanda, recently became a member of Beta Pi chapter, Phi Alpha Theta fraternity, national history honor society.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1711, Jupiter Hammon, the first black poet to have his work published in America, was born on Long Island, N.Y., into a lifetime of slavery.

In 1807, Britain declared it would continue to reclaim British-born sailors from American ships and ports regardless of whether they held U.S. citizenship.

In 1912, Pope John Paul I was born Albino Luciani at Forno di Canale, Italy.

In 1931, mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. (Sentenced to 11 years in prison, Capone was released in 1939.)

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.

In 1941, the U.S. destroyer Kearny was damaged by a German torpedo off the coast of Iceland; 11 people died.

In 1973, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back oil exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.

In 1987, first lady Nancy Reagan underwent a modified radical mastectomy at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

In 1989, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck northern California, killing 63 people and causing $6 billion worth of damage.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Marsha Hunt is 95. Actress Julie Adams is 86. Newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin is 82. Country singer Earl Thomas Conley is 71. Singer Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts) is 70. Singer Gary Puckett is 70. Actor Michael McKean is 65. Actress Margot Kidder is 64. Actor George Wendt is 64. Actor-singer Bill Hudson is 63. Astronaut Mae Jemison is 56. Country singer Alan Jackson is 54. Movie critic Richard Roeper is 53. Movie director Rob Marshall is 52. Actor Grant Shaud is 52. Animator Mike Judge is 50. Rock singer-musician Fred LeBlanc (Cowboy Mouth) is 49. Actor-comedian Norm Macdonald is 49. Singer Rene' Dif is 45. Reggae singer Ziggy Marley is 44. Golfer Ernie Els is 43. Singer Chris Kirkpatrick ('N Sync) is 41. Rapper Eminem is 40. Singer Wyclef Jean (zhahn) is 40. Actress Sharon Leal is 40. Actor Matthew Macfadyen is 38. Rock musician Sergio Andrade is 35. Actor Chris Lowell is 28. Actor Dee Jay Daniels is 24.

Thought for Today: "The thinking of a genius does not proceed logically. It leaps with great ellipses. It pulls knowledge from God knows where." - Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (1894-1961).