Today’s Highlight in History:
On September 20, 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (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 1884, the National Equal Rights Party was formed during a convention of suffragists in San Francisco; the convention nominated Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood for president.
In 1911, the British liner RMS Olympic collided with the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight; although seriously damaged, the Olympic was able to return to Southampton under its own power.
In 1947, former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia died.
In 1954, the live TV drama “Twelve Angry Men” was presented on CBS’ “Westinghouse Studio One” anthology series, with Robert Cummings playing the lone holdout juror later portrayed by Henry Fonda in the 1957 movie version.
In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when Izola Curry stabbed him in the chest. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent.)
In 1962, James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)
In 1964, The Beatles concluded their first full-fledged U.S. tour by performing in a charity concert at the Paramount Theater in New York.
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 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing at least 14 people, including two Americans and 12 Lebanese. The family sitcoms “The Cosby Show” and “Who’s the Boss?” premiered on NBC and ABC, respectively.
In 1994, Broadway composer Jule (JOO’-lee) Styne died in New York at age 88.
In 1999, Lawrence Russell Brewer became the second white supremacist to be convicted in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas. (Brewer was executed on September 21, 2011.) Raisa Gorbachev, wife of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, died at a German hospital after a battle with leukemia; she was 67.
Ten years ago: CBS News apologized for a “mistake in judgment” in its story questioning President George W. Bush’s National Guard service, saying it could not vouch for the authenticity of documents featured in the report. A militant video posted on a Web site showed the beheading of a man identified as American civil engineer Eugene Armstrong, who had been abducted in Iraq.
Five years ago: Blanketing most of the Sunday TV news shows, President Barack Obama said requiring people to get health insurance and fining them if they didn’t would not amount to a backhanded tax increase. At the Emmy Awards, best drama and comedy series trophies went to repeat winners “Mad Men” and “30 Rock.” The first game at the Cowboys Stadium set an NFL regular-season attendance record with a crowd of 105,121, and most of them went home disappointed after the New York Giants won, 33-31.
One year ago: Charting a collision course with the White House, the Republican-controlled House approved, 230-189, legislation to avoid a partial government shutdown while also defunding President Barack Obama’s 3-year-old health care law. (The Democratic-led Senate rebuffed the House’s attempts to roll back the health care law; the partial government shutdown began October 1 with the start of the fiscal new year).
Saturday’s Birthdays: Singer Gogi Grant is 90. Actress-comedian Anne Meara is 85. Actress Sophia Loren is 80. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Taylor is 79. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 67. Actor Tony Denison is 65. Hockey Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur is 63. Actress Debbi Morgan is 63. Jazz musician Peter White is 60. Actress Betsy Brantley is 59. Actor Gary Cole is 58. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 54. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 53. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 50. Actress Kristen Johnston is 47. Rock singers Matthew Nelson and Gunnar Nelson are 47. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 46. Actress-model Moon Bloodgood is 39. Actor Jon Bernthal is 38. Singer The Dream is 37. Actor Charlie Weber is 36. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (WOOL’-sten-hyoolm) (Lifehouse) is 35. Actress Crystle Stewart is 33. Rapper Yung Joc is 32. Actor Aldis Hodge is 28.
Thought for Saturday:
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
– George Washington Carver, American botanist (1864-1943)
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