Today’s Highlights in History:
On Sept. 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina (the storm was blamed for 56 deaths in the Caribbean and 29 in the United States). Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, hit by a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.
On this date:
In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.
In 1893, one of America’s first horseless carriages was taken for a short test drive in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Frank Duryea, who had designed the vehicle with his brother, Charles.
In 1897, the New York Sun ran its famous editorial, written anonymously by Francis P. Church, which declared, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
In 1912, magician Harry Houdini first publicly performed his “Water Torture Cell” trick at the Circus Busch in Berlin.
In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.
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. The legal mystery-drama “Perry Mason,” starring Raymond Burr, premiered on CBS-TV.
In 1964, Malta gained independence from Britain.
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. National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.
In 1987, NFL players called a strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. (The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.)
In 1991, an 18-hour hostage drama ended in Sandy, Utah, as Richard L. Worthington, who’d seized control of a hospital maternity ward and killed a nurse, finally freed his nine captives, including a baby born during the siege. (Worthington committed suicide in prison in 1993.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, defending his decision to invade Iraq, urged the U.N. General Assembly to stand united with the country’s struggling government. Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was taken off a London-to-Washington United Airlines flight because his name had shown up on a government “no-fly” list. (Islam’s brother and business manager, David Gordon, denied the singer had any ties to suspected terrorists.) The death toll in Haiti from deluges caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne topped 700.
Five years ago: Record flooding hit the Atlanta area, leaving neighborhoods, schools and even sections of roller coasters submerged in several feet of water. Deposed President Manuel Zelaya (zuh-LY’-uh) of Honduras defied threats of arrest and returned to his country, three months after he was forced into exile. (Zelaya took shelter at the Brazilian Embassy for four months until he was allowed to fly to the Dominican Republic.)
One year ago: Days after mass shootings in Washington and Chicago, President Barack Obama urged the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to help push stalled legislation out of Congress so dangerous people wouldn’t get their hands on guns. Islamic militants attacked an upscale shopping center in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya in 15 years. An Afghan wearing a security forces uniform turned his weapon against U.S. troops, killing three in eastern Afghanistan.
Today’s Birthdays: Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen is 80. Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 73. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 71. Musician Don Felder is 67. Author Stephen King is 67. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 65. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 64. Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is 63. Rock musician Philthy Animal is 60. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 57. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 57. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 55. Actor David James Elliott is 54. Actress Serena Scott-Thomas is 53. Actress Nancy Travis is 53. Actor Rob Morrow is 52. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 51. Actress Cheryl Hines is 49. Country singer Faith Hill is 47. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 47. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 46. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 46. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 46. Actor Rob Benedict is 44. Actor James Lesure is 43. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 43. Actor Luke Wilson is 43. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 36. Actor Bradford Anderson is 35. Actress Autumn Reeser is 34. TV personality Nicole Richie is 33. Actress Maggie Grace is 31. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 31. Actress Ahna O’Reilly is 30. Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 30. Actors Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino are 16.
Thought for Sunday:
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (born 1788, died this date in 1860)
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