Today’s Highlight in History:
On September 11, 2001, on America’s single-worst day of terrorism, nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida members hijacked four passenger jetliners, sending two of the planes smashing into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania.
On this date:
In 1714, the forces of King Philip V of Spain overcame Catalan defenders to end the 13-month-long Siege of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.
In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
In 1814, an American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.
In 1857, the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place in present-day southern Utah as a 120-member Arkansas immigrant party was slaughtered by Mormon militiamen aided by Paiute Indians.
In 1936, Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) began operation as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam’s first hydroelectric generator.
In 1941, groundbreaking took place for the Pentagon. In a speech that drew accusations of anti-Semitism, Charles A. Lindbergh told an America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa, that “the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration” were pushing the United States toward war.
In 1954, the Miss America pageant made its network TV debut on ABC; Miss California, Lee Meriwether, was crowned the winner.
In 1962, The Beatles completed their first single for EMI, “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You,” at EMI studios in London.
In 1974, Eastern Airlines Flight 212, a DC-9, crashed while attempting to land in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 72 of the 82 people on board. The family drama “Little House on the Prairie” premiered on NBC-TV.
In 1984, country star Barbara Mandrell was seriously injured in an automobile accident near Nashville that claimed the life of the other driver, Mark White.
In 1989, the exodus of East German refugees from Hungary to West Germany began.
In 1994, actress Jessica Tandy died in Easton, Connecticut, at age 85.
Ten years ago: Parents and grandparents of those lost on September 11 stood at the World Trade Center site and marked the third anniversary of the attacks. Spc. Armin Cruz became the first Military Intelligence soldier convicted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal as he admitted abusing inmates and received a lighter sentence in return for his testimony against others. Svetlana Kuznetsova overwhelmed Elena Dementieva 6-3, 7-5 in the first all-Russian U.S. Open final. Mike Leigh’s “Vera Drake” won the Golden Lion for best picture at the close of the Venice Film Festival. Lyricist Fred Ebb died in New York City; he was 76.
Five years ago: On his first 9/11 anniversary as president, Barack Obama urged Americans to come together in service just as they united after the terrorist attacks. Anti-abortion activist James Pouillon (PUHL’-yuhn) was shot to death near a high school in Owosso, Michigan. (Harlan James Drake was convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of Pouillon and the owner of a gravel pit, Mike Fuoss, and sentenced to life in prison.) Death claimed Hollywood writer Larry Gelbart at age 81 and poet and punk rocker Jim Carroll at age 60.
One year ago: A car bomb tore through a Libyan Foreign Ministry building in the eastern city of Benghazi on the anniversary of a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate there as well as the 2001 terror attacks in the United States. More than 1 million people showed their support for Catalan independence by joining hands to form a 250-mile human chain across the northeastern region of Spain.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Betsy Drake is 91. Former Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, is 90. Actor Earl Holliman is 86. Comedian Tom Dreesen is 75. Movie director Brian De Palma is 74. Rock singer-musician Jack Ely (The Kingsmen) is 71. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The Dead) is 71. Singer-musician Leo Kottke is 69. Actor Phillip Alford is 66. Actress Amy Madigan is 64. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 61. Sports reporter Lesley Visser is 61. Actor Reed Birney is 60. Singer-songwriter Diane Warren is 58. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (jay) Johnson is 57. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 57. Actor Scott Patterson is 56. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 56. Actress Roxann Dawson is 56. Actor John Hawkes is 55. Actress Anne Ramsay is 54. Actress Virginia Madsen is 53. Actress Kristy McNichol is 52. Musician-composer Moby is 49. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is 49. Business reporter Maria Bartiromo is 47. Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 47. Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 46. Actress Taraji (tuh-RAH’-jee) P. Henson is 44. Actress Laura Wright is 44. Rock musician Jeremy Popoff (Lit) is 43. Blogger Markos Moulitsas is 43. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 39. Rapper Mr. Black is 37. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 37. Rapper Ludacris is 37. Rock singer Ben Lee is 36. Actor Ryan Slattery is 36. Actress Ariana Richards (Film: “Jurassic Park”) is 35. Actress Elizabeth Henstridge is 27. Actor Tyler Hoechlin (HEK’-lihn) is 27. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 33. Actress Mackenzie Aladjem is 13.
Thought for Thursday:
“This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
– Elmer Davis, American news commentator (1890-1958)
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