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  #141  
Old Thursday, September 18, 2008
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Today in History September 18

By The Associated Press – 5 hours ago

Today is Thursday, Sept. 18, the 262nd day of 2008. There are 104 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 18, 1793, President Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol.

On this date:

In 1759, the French formally surrendered Quebec to the British.

In 1810, Chile made its initial declaration of independence from Spain.

In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning escaped slaves to their owners.

In 1851, the first edition of The New York Times was published.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas held the fourth of their senatorial debates, this one in Charleston, Ill.

In 1927, the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) made its on-air debut with a basic network of 16 radio stations.

In 1947, the National Security Act, which created a National Military Establishment, went into effect.

In 1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia.

In 1970, rock star Jimi Hendrix died in London at age 27.

In 1975, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was captured by the FBI in San Francisco, 19 months after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.


Ten years ago: Over Democratic objections, the House Judiciary Committee voted to release President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony as well as 2,800 pages of sometimes graphic evidence compiled by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. The ferry Princess of the Orient sank off the Philippines during a storm, leaving at least 70 people dead and 80 others missing. Mark McGwire hit his 64th home run of the season, pulling out of a tie with Sammy Sosa.

Five years ago: Hurricane Isabel plowed into North Carolina's Outer Banks with 100 mile-an-hour winds and pushed its way up the Eastern Seaboard; the storm was later blamed for 30 deaths.

One year ago: President Bush, cheered on by Iraq war veterans and their families on the White House's South Lawn, urged lawmakers to back his plan to withdraw some troops from Iraq but keep at least 130,000 through the summer of 2008 or longer. O.J. Simpson was charged with seven felonies, including kidnapping, in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a Las Vegas casino-hotel room.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Jimmie Rodgers is 75. Actor Robert Blake is 75. Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) is 75. Actor Fred Willard is 69. Singer Frankie Avalon is 68. Rock musician Kerry Livgren is 59. Actress Anna Deavere Smith is 58. Movie director Mark Romanek is 49. Actor James Gandolfini is 47. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 46. Actress Holly Robinson Peete is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) is 41. Actress Aisha Tyler is 38. Racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is 37. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 37. Actor James Marsden is 35. Rapper Xzibit is 34. Actress Alison Lohman is 29. Actors Taylor and Brandon Porter are 15. Actor C.J. Sanders ("Ray") is 12.

Thought for Today: "I seem to be the only person in the world who doesn't mind being pitied. If you love me, pity me." — Jessamyn West, American author (1902-1984).
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  #142  
Old Friday, September 19, 2008
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Today in History September 19

By The Associated Press – 5 hours ago

Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 263rd day of 2008. There are 103 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 19, 1796, President Washington's farewell address was published. In it, the nation's first chief executive wrote, "Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all."

On this date:

In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, American soldiers won the first Battle of Saratoga.

In 1783, Jacques Etienne Montgolfier launched a duck, a sheep and a rooster aboard a hot-air balloon at Versailles in France.

In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2 1/2 months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.

In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named "Rainier," in the Nevada desert.

In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev reacted angrily during a visit to Los Angeles upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn't be allowed to visit Disneyland.

In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro accepted an invitation to stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

In 1982, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman proposed punctuating humorously intended computer messages by employing a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal "smiley face." :-)

In 1988, Israel succeeded in launching a test satellite, the Ofeq ("Horizon") 1, over the Mediterranean Sea.


Ten years ago: Susan Barrantes, mother of Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was killed in a car crash in Argentina; she was 61. Miss Virginia Nicole Johnson, a 24-year-old diabetic who wore an insulin pump on her hip, was crowned Miss America 1999.

Five years ago: Former Hurricane Isabel raced from Virginia to Canada, delivering far less rain than expected but leaving millions without power. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's defense minister, Sultan Hashim Ahmad, surrendered to U.S. forces.

One year ago: The Senate blocked legislation that would have regulated the amount of time troops spent in combat, a blow for Democrats struggling to challenge President Bush's Iraq policies. A powerful bomb killed anti-Syria lawmaker Antoine Ghanem and six others in Beirut, Lebanon. O.J. Simpson was released from jail after posting $125,000 bail in connection with the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors at a Las Vegas hotel.

Today's Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 88. TV host James Lipton ("Inside the Actors Studio") is 82. Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown is 81. Actor Adam West is 78. Actor David McCallum is 75. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 68. Singer Bill Medley is 68. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 68. Golfer Jane Blalock is 63. Singer David Bromberg is 63. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 63. Singer Freda Payne is 63. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 61. Actor Jeremy Irons is 60. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 59. TV personality Joan Lunden is 58. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 57. Actor Scott Colomby is 56. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 56. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 53. Actor Kevin Hooks is 50. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 49. Country singer Jeff Bates is 45. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 44. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 43. News anchor Soledad O'Brien is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin is 39. Actress Sanaa Lathan is 37. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 35. Comedian Jimmy Fallon is 34. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 32. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney is 32. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 31. Actor Columbus Short is 26. Rapper Eamon is 25. Christian rock musician JD Frazier (Rush of Fools) is 25. Actor Kevin Zegers is 24. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 21.

Thought for Today: "There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all." — Dame Rebecca West, Irish-born novelist (1892-1983).
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  #143  
Old Saturday, September 20, 2008
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Today in History September 20

By The Associated Press – 1 hour ago

Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 264th day of 2008. There are 102 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 20, 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships on a voyage to find a western passage to the Spice Islands in Indonesia. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)

On this date:

In 1870, Italian troops took control of the Papal States, leading to the unification of Italy.

In 1873, panic swept the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.

In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.

In 1947, former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia died.

In 1958, civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when a black woman, Izola Curry, stabbed him in the chest. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent.)

In 1962, black student James Meredith was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)

In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.

In 1973, in their so-called "battle of the sexes," tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.

In 1978, John Vorster, prime minister of white-ruled South Africa since 1966, announced his resignation.

In 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing a dozen people.


Ten years ago: After 2,632 consecutive games, Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles sat out a game against the New York Yankees, ending a 16-year run. Muriel Humphrey Brown, widow of Vice President Hubert Humphrey and his brief successor in the U.S. Senate, died in Minneapolis at age 86.

Five years ago: Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of Iraq's Governing Council, was shot in Baghdad; she died five days later. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi easily won re-election as head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. A sightseeing helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing all seven on board. Five of six children riding on an all-terrain vehicle in Coffee County, Ga., were killed when they were hit by a motorist.

One year ago: President Bush declined to criticize Blackwater USA, a security company in Iraq accused in a shooting that resulted in civilian deaths, saying investigators needed to determine if the guards violated rules governing their operations. Thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of Jena, La., in support of six black teenagers initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate. Floyd Landis lost his expensive and explosive case when two of three arbitrators upheld the results of a test that showed the 2006 Tour de France champion had used synthetic testosterone to fuel his spectacular comeback victory. (Landis forfeited his Tour title and was subject to a two-year ban, retroactive to Jan. 30, 2007.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Gogi Grant is 84. Actress-comedian Anne Meara is 79. Actress Sophia Loren is 74. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 61. Hockey player Guy LaFleur is 57. Jazz musician Peter White is 54. Actress Betsy Brantley is 53. Actor Gary Cole is 52. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 48. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 44. Actress Kristen Johnston is 41. Rock singers Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson are 41. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 40. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (Lifehouse) is 29. Rapper Yung Joc is 26.

Thought for Today: "I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail." — William Faulkner, American author (1897-1962).
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  #144  
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Today in History September 21

By The Associated Press – 10 hours ago

Today is Sunday, Sept. 21, the 265th day of 2008. There are 101 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 21, 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

On this date:

In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

In 1897, the New York Sun ran its famous editorial that declared, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

In 1937, "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkien, was first published.

In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV.

In 1957, Norway's King Haakon VII died in Oslo at age 85.

In 1970, "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.

In 1982, Amin Gemayel, brother of Lebanon's assassinated president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was himself elected president.

In 1982, National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1983, in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly described a special advisory panel as consisting of "a black ... a woman, two Jews and a cripple." (Although Watt later apologized, he eventually resigned.)

In 1987, NFL players went on a 24-day strike, mainly over the issue of free agency.


Ten years ago: President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony was publicly broadcast; in it, Clinton tussled with prosecutors over "the truth of my relationship" with Monica Lewinsky. Olympic gold medal track star Florence Griffith Joyner was found dead at her home in Mission Viejo, Calif.; she was 38. Hurricane Georges roared through Puerto Rico and the northeast Caribbean.

Five years ago: Former Citigroup CEO John S. Reed was named temporary head of the New York Stock exchange. Paul Martin was elected by Canada's Liberal Party to succeed Jean Chretien as prime minister. NASA's aging Galileo spacecraft deliberately plunged into Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere, bringing a fiery conclusion to a 14-year exploration of the solar system's largest planet and its moons.

One year ago: One student was mortally wounded, another injured, at Delaware State University. (A suspected gunman has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge.) The Rev. Rex Humbard, whose televangelism ministry once spanned the globe, died in Atlantis, Fla., at age 88. Tony Award-winning actress Alice Ghostley died in Los Angeles at age 81.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Karl Slover ("The Wizard of Oz") is 90. Actor Larry Hagman is 77. Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen is 74. Actor-comedian Henry Gibson is 73. Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 64. Author Stephen King is 61. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 61. Musician Don Felder (The Eagles) is 61. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 58. Rock musician Philthy Animal is 54. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 51. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 49. Actor David James Elliott is 48. Actress Nancy Travis is 47. Actor Rob Morrow is 46. Actress Cheryl Hines is 43. Country singer Faith Hill is 41. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 41. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 40. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 40. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 40. Actor James Lesure is 37. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 37. Actor Luke Wilson is 37. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 30. TV personality Nicole Richie is 27. Actress Maggie Grace is 25. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 25. Actors Nikolas and Lorenzo Brino ("7th Heaven") are 10.

Thought for Today: "We believe at once in evil, we only believe in good upon reflection. Is this not sad?" — Madame Dorothee Deluzy, French actress (1747-1830).
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  #145  
Old Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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Today in History September 22

By The Associated Press – 1 day ago

Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 266th day of 2008. There are 100 days left in the year. Autumn arrives at 11:44 a.m. Eastern time.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 22, 1776, Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy by the British during the Revolutionary War.

On this date:

In 1789, Congress authorized the office of Postmaster-General.

In 1862, President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.

In 1927, Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in the famous "long-count" fight in Chicago.

In 1938, the musical comedy revue "Hellzapoppin'," starring Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson, began a three-year run on Broadway.

In 1958, President Eisenhower's assistant, Sherman Adams, resigned amid charges of improperly using his influence to help a businessman.

In 1958, the television show "Peter Gunn," starring Craig Stevens, premiered on NBC.

In 1964, the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 3,242 performances.

In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot President Ford outside a San Francisco hotel, but missed.

In 1980, the Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war.

In 1988, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney apologized for the World War II internment of Japanese-Canadians, and promised compensation.


Ten years ago: Congressional Republicans worked to snuff out new talk of a punishment for President Clinton short of impeachment, an idea floated by Democrats as poll numbers showed that most Americans didn't want Clinton removed from office. The U.S. and Russia agreed to help Russia privatize its nuclear program and stop the export of scientists and plutonium.

Five years ago: A suicide car bombing outside U.N. offices in Baghdad killed an Iraqi policeman. NATO allies picked Dutch Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as the alliance's next secretary-general. Actor Gordon Jump died at age 71.

One year ago: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at the United Nations in their first face-to-face talks since a Baghdad shootout involving guards from a U.S. company protecting American diplomats. Marcel Marceau, the master of mime, died in Paris at age 84.

Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is 81. NBA Commissioner David Stern is 66. Musician King Sunny Ade is 62. Actor Paul Le Mat is 62. Captain Mark Phillips is 60. Rock singer David Coverdale (Deep Purple, Whitesnake) is 57. Actress Shari Belafonte is 54. Singer Debby Boone is 52. Country singer June Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 52. Singer Nick Cave is 51. Rock singer Johnette Napolitano is 51. Opera singer Andrea Bocelli is 50. Singer-musician Joan Jett is 50. Actress Catherine Oxenberg is 47. Actor Scott Baio is 47. Actor Rob Stone is 46. Rock musician Matt Sharp is 39. Rock musician Dave Hernandez (The Shins) is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Big Rube (Society of Soul) is 37. Actor Tom Felton is 21.

Thought for Today: "The autumn always gets me badly, as it breaks into colours. I want to go south, where there is no autumn, where the cold doesn't crouch over one like a snow-leopard waiting to pounce." — D.H. Lawrence, English author (1885-1930).
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  #146  
Old Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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Today in History September 23

By The Associated Press – 12 hours ago

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 23, the 267th day of 2008. There are 99 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

One hundred years ago, on Sept. 23, 1908, one of baseball's most famous blunders occurred in a game between the New York Giants and the visiting Chicago Cubs. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth and two runners out, the Giants batted in what should have been the winning run. However, Fred Merkle, who was on first base, began to leave the field apparently without bothering to tag second; the Cubs then claimed to have forced Merkle out. Merkle was eventually ruled out, negating the winning run and leaving the game tied. (The Cubs won a rematch game on Oct. 8 and with it, the National League pennant; Chicago then went on to win the World Series.)

On this date:

n 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the HMS Serapis in battle.

In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British.

In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.

In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.

In 1938, a time capsule, to be opened in the year 6939, was buried on the grounds of the World's Fair in New York City.

In 1952, Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon went on television to deliver what came to be known as the "Checkers" speech as he refuted allegations of improper campaign financing.

In 1957, nine black students who had entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.

In 1962, New York's Philharmonic Hall (since renamed Avery Fisher Hall) formally opened as the first unit of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

In 1973, former Argentine president Juan Peron won a landslide election victory that returned him to power; his wife, Isabel, was elected vice president.

In 2001, 13 coal miners were killed in explosions at the Blue Creek Mine No. 5 in Brookwood, Ala.


Ten years ago: The U.N. Security Council demanded a cease-fire in Kosovo, and threatened further action if fighting continued. Sammy Sosa hit his 64th and 65th home runs, tying Mark McGwire for the single-season record. Federal regulators approved the merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group. Actress Mary Frann, who played Bob Newhart's wife on TV's "Newhart," died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 55.

Five years ago: Speaking at the United Nations, President Bush rejected calls from France and Germany to hasten the transfer of power in Iraq, insisting the shift to self-government could be "neither hurried nor delayed." A federal appeals court unanimously put California's recall election back on the calendar for Oct. 7.

One year ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Tehran for New York to address the United Nations; state media quoted him as saying the American people were eager for different opinions about the world, and that he was looking forward to providing them with "correct and clear information." Cuba published a photo of a standing, smiling Fidel Castro looking heavier but still gaunt as he met with Angola's president.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Mickey Rooney is 88. Actress Margaret Pellegrini ("The Wizard of Oz") is 85. Singer Julio Iglesias is 65. Actor Paul Petersen ("The Donna Reed Show") is 63. Actress-singer Mary Kay Place is 61. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 59. Rock musician Leon Taylor (The Ventures) is 53. Actress Rosalind Chao is 51. Actor Jason Alexander is 49. Actor Chi McBride is 47. Actress Elizabeth Pena is 47. Country musician Don Herron (BR549) is 46. Actor Erik Todd Dellums is 44. Actress LisaRaye is 42. Singer Ani DiFranco is 38. Rock singer Sarah Bettens (K's Choice) is 36. Recording executive Jermaine Dupri is 36. Pop singer Erik-Michael Estrada ("Making the Band") is 29. Actress Aubrey Dollar is 28.

Thought for Today: "Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." — George Orwell (Eric Blair), British author (1903-1950).
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  #147  
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Today in History September 24

By The Associated Press – 7 hours ago

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 24, the 268th day of 2008. There are 98 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 24, 1789, Congress passed a Judiciary Act which provided for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as "Black Friday" after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.

In 1929, Lt. James H. Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY-2 Biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight.

In 1955, President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.

In 1958, "The Donna Reed Show" premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1960, the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News, Va.

In 1963, the U.S. Senate ratified a treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union limiting nuclear testing.

In 1968, the TV news magazine "60 Minutes" premiered on CBS; the undercover police drama "The Mod Squad" premiered on ABC.

In 1976, Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (She was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Carter.)

In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson won the men's 100-meter dash at the Seoul Summer Olympics — but he was disqualified three days later for using anabolic steroids.

In 1988, members of the eastern Massachusetts Episcopal diocese elected Barbara C. Harris the first female bishop in the church's history.


Ten years ago: Hurricane Georges was charging toward the Florida Keys, after killing hundreds of people in the Caribbean. The government began releasing the new, harder-to-counterfeit $20 bill.

Five years ago: After four turbulent months, three special legislative sessions and two Democratic walkouts, both houses of the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature adopted redistricting plans favoring the GOP. The top candidates vying to replace California Gov. Gray Davis joined in a lively debate.

One year ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks and defended the right to cast doubt on the Holocaust in a tense appearance at Columbia University in New York. United Auto Workers walked off the job at GM plants in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976; a tentative pact ended the walkout two days later. Two kidnapped Italian intelligence operatives were rescued in a NATO-led combat operation in western Afghanistan, two days after they went missing. As many as 100,000 anti-government protesters led by Buddhist monks marched in Yangon, Myanmar.

Today's Birthdays: Actor-singer Herb Jeffries is 97. Actress Sheila MacRae is 84. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sonny Turner (The Platters) is 69. Singer Barbara Allbut (The Angels) is 68. Singer Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut (The Angels) is 66. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 66. Actor Gordon Clapp is 60. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., is 56. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cedric Dent (Take 6) is 46. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 46. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 39. Actress Megan Ward is 39. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 37. Contemporary Christian musician Juan DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 33. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 20.

Thought for Today: "The easiest way to get a reputation is go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter." — F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940).
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Today in History September 25

By The Associated Press – 10 hours ago

Today is Thursday, Sept. 25, the 269th day of 2008. There are 97 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 25, 1789, the first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)

On this date:

In 1493, Christopher Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, with a flotilla of 17 ships on his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere.

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.

In 1690, one of the earliest American newspapers, Publick Occurrences, published its first — and last — edition in Boston.

In 1775, American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal.

In 1890, Wilford Woodruff, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a Manifesto formally renouncing the practice of polygamy.

In 1919, President Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colo., during a national speaking tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1956, the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable went into service.

In 1957, nine black students who'd been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.

In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.

In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.


Ten years ago: Hurricane Georges raked the Florida Keys with sheets of rain and 105 mph winds, but spared Florida the kind of devastation seen across the Caribbean. Mark McGwire hit his 66th home run, just 45 minutes after Sammy Sosa hit his 66th homer of the season.

Five years ago: France reported a staggering death toll of 14,802 from the summer heat wave. An Islamic court in Nigeria overturned the conviction of an illiterate mother sentenced to be stoned to death for having sex out of wedlock. Aquila al-Hashimi of the Iraqi Governing Council died five days after being shot by assailants. Fifteen people died in a nursing home fire in Nashville, Tenn. Author, journalist and editor George Plimpton died in New York at age 76. Nobel-winning economist Franco Modigliani died in Cambridge, Mass., at age 85.

One year ago: Warren Jeffs, the leader of a polygamous Mormon splinter group, was convicted in St. George, Utah, of being an accomplice to rape for performing a wedding between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl. (Jeffs was later sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison.) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressing the United Nations, announced "the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed," and indicated Tehran would disregard Security Council resolutions imposed by what he called "arrogant powers." Japan's lower house of parliament elected Yasuo Fukuda prime minister.

Today's Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 79. Folk singer Ian Tyson is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer Joe Russell is 69. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is 65. Actor Robert Walden is 65. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 64. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 61. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 59. Actor-director Anson Williams is 59. Actor Mark Hamill is 57. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 57. Actor Colin Friels is 56. Actor Michael Madsen is 50. Actress Heather Locklear is 47. Actress Aida Turturro is 46. Actor Tate Donovan is 45. Basketball player Scottie Pippen is 43. Actor Jason Flemyng is 42. Actor Will Smith is 40. Actor Hal Sparks is 39. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 39. Rock musician Mike Luce (Drowning Pool) is 37. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 35. Actor Chris Owen is 28. Rapper T. I. is 28. Actor Lee Norris is 27. Singer Diana Ortiz (Dream) is 23. Actress Emmy Clarke ("Monk") is 17.

Thought for Today: "History is too serious to be left to historians." — Iain Macleod, British politician (1913-1970).
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Today in History September 26

By The Associated Press – 1 hour ago

Today is Friday, Sept. 26, the 270th day of 2008. There are 96 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 26 1789, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America's first secretary of state.

On this date:

In 1777, British troops occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution.

In 1892, John Philip Sousa and his newly formed band performed publicly for the first time, at the Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, N.J.

In 1914, the Federal Trade Commission was established.

In 1918, the Meuse-Argonne offensive against the Germans began during World War I.

In 1955, following word that President Eisenhower had suffered a heart attack, the New York Stock Exchange saw its worst price decline since 1929.

In 1957, the musical play "West Side Story" opened on Broadway.

In 1960, the first debate between presidential candidates took place as John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon faced off in Chicago before a national TV audience.

In 1986, William H. Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court as its 103rd member.

In 1991, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Ariz., called Biosphere 2. (They emerged from Biosphere on this date in 1993.)

In 1997, an Indonesian Airbus A-300 crashed while approaching Medan Airport in north Sumatra, killing all 234 people aboard.


Ten years ago: The nation's first march on cancer took place on the National Mall in Washington. Grammy-winning jazz singer Betty Carter died in New York at age 69.

Five years ago: President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin opened a two-day summit at Camp David. The government issued a recall for Segway scooters, citing instances in which riders fell off when the batteries ran low. A magnitude 8 quake rocked Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, injuring more than 750 people. British rock singer Robert Palmer died in Paris at age 54.

One year ago: A judge declared a mistrial in Phil Spector's murder trial because the jury was deadlocked 10-2 in favor of convicting the music producer of killing actress Lana Clarkson. Myanmar began a violent crackdown on protests, beating and dragging away dozens of monks.

Today's Birthdays: Fitness expert Jack LaLanne is 94. Actor Philip Bosco is 78. Country singer David Frizzell is 67. Actor Kent McCord is 66. Television host Anne Robinson is 64. Singer Bryan Ferry is 63. Singer Lynn Anderson is 61. Singer Olivia Newton-John is 60. Actress Mary Beth Hurt is 60. Actor James Keane is 56. Rock singer-musician Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos) is 54. Country singer Carlene Carter is 53. Actress Linda Hamilton is 52. Country singer Doug Supernaw is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cindy Herron (En Vogue) is 47. Actress Melissa Sue Anderson is 46. Actor Patrick Bristow is 46. Rock musician Al Pitrelli is 46. Singer Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl) is 46. TV personality Jillian Barberie is 42. Actor Jim Caviezel is 40. Singer Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) is 36. Jazz musician Nicholas Payton is 35. Actor Mark Famiglietti is 29. Singer-actress Christina Milian is 27. Tennis player Serena Williams is 27.

Thought for Today: "The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what the man or woman is able to do." — Booker T. Washington, American educator and author (1856-1915).
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Today in History September 27

By The Associated Press – 13 hours ago

Today is Saturday, Sept. 27, the 271st day of 2008. There are 95 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 27, 1964, the government publicly released the report of the Warren Commission, which found that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating President Kennedy.

On this date:

In 1779, John Adams was named to negotiate the Revolutionary War's peace terms with Britain.

In 1825, the first locomotive to haul a passenger train was operated by George Stephenson in England.

In 1854, the first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean liner occurred when the steamship Arctic sank with 300 people aboard.

In 1928, the United States said it was recognizing the Nationalist Chinese government.

In 1939, Warsaw, Poland, surrendered after weeks of resistance to invading forces from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.

In 1942, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra performed together for the last time, at the Central Theater in Passaic, N.J., prior to Miller's entry into the Army.

In 1954, "Tonight!" hosted by Steve Allen, made its network debut on NBC-TV.

In 1979, Congress gave final approval to forming the Department of Education, the 13th Cabinet agency in U.S. history.

In 1988, three days after placing first in the men's 100-meter dash at the Seoul Summer Olympics, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson left for home in disgrace, stripped of his gold medal by officials who said Johnson had used anabolic steroids.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced in a nationally broadcast address that he was eliminating all U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons, and called on the Soviet Union to match the gesture.


Ten years ago: Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats won national elections in Germany, following 16 years of conservative rule under Chancellor Helmut Kohl. St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire's record-breaking season ended with his 69th and 70th homers.

Five years ago: President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Iran and North Korea to abandon suspected nuclear-weapons programs, but disagreed over how to deal with both countries; Putin also declined at the end of a two-day summit at Camp David to pledge any postwar help for Iraq. Entertainer Donald O'Connor died in Calabasas, Calif., at age 78.

One year ago: Soldiers fired into crowds of anti-government demonstrators in Yangon, Myanmar, killing at least nine people. President Bush promised to take steps to reduce air traffic congestion and long delays that were leaving travelers grounded.

Today's Birthdays: Former Illinois Sen. Charles Percy is 89. Actress Jayne Meadows is 88. Movie director Arthur Penn is 86. Actress Sada Thompson is 79. Actress Kathleen Nolan is 75. Actor Wilford Brimley is 74. Actor Claude Jarman Jr. is 74. Author Barbara Howar is 74. Producer Don Cornelius ("Soul Train") is 72. Singer-musician Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 65. Actress Liz Torres is 61. Actor A Martinez is 60. Actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is 58. Rock singer Meat Loaf is 57. Rock musician Greg Ham (Men At Work) is 55. Singer Shaun Cassidy is 50. Rock singer Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) is 44. Actor Patrick Muldoon is 40. Singer Mark Calderon is 38. Actress Amanda Detmer is 37. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 36. Rock singer Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down) is 30. Rapper Lil' Wayne is 26. Singer Avril Lavigne is 24."Sanity is a madness put to good uses." — George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher (1863-1952).

Thought for Today: "Sanity is a madness put to good uses." — George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher (1863-1952).
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