On this day: October 12

POSTED: 11:50 AM Oct 11 2012   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Oct 12 2015

Christopher Columbus lands in the New World, Oktoberfest finds its roots, Sid is arrested for allegedly killing Nancy, and Matthew Shepard dies, all on this day.

OTD October 12 - Matthew Shepard
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

1998: Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, dies at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, five days after he was beaten, robbed and left tied to a wooden fence post outside of Laramie, Wyoming. Police arrested Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson shortly after the attack, finding a bloody gun and Shepard's shoes and wallet in their truck. The two would eventually each be sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to the contention of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. Pictured here is Shepard's mother, Judy Shepard, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, standing next to a photograph of the fence where her son was murdered, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on April 12, 2007, to announce the renaming of hate crime legislation in Matthew Shepard's honor.


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