Today in History

Today is Saturday, Sept. 7, the 250th day of 2019. There are 115 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 7, 1977, the Panama Canal treaties, calling for the U.S. to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama, were signed in Washington by President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos.

On this date:

In 1892, James J. Corbett knocked out John L. Sullivan to win the world heavyweight crown in New Orleans in a fight conducted under the Marquess of Queensberry rules.

In 1901, the Peace of Beijing ended the Boxer Rebellion in China.

In 1936, rock-and-roll legend Buddy Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas.

In 1940, Nazi Germany began its eight-month blitz of Britain during World War II with the first air attack on London.

In 1963, the National Professional Football Hall of Fame was dedicated in Canton, Ohio.

In 1972, the International Olympic Committee banned Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett of the U.S. from further competition for talking to each other on the victory stand in Munich during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” after winning the gold and silver medals in the 400-meter run.

In 1990, Kimberly Bergalis of Fort Pierce, Florida, came forward to identify herself as the young woman who had been infected with AIDS, allegedly by her late dentist. (Bergalis died the following year.)

In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and mortally wounded on the Las Vegas Strip; he died six days later.

In 2005, police and soldiers went house to house in New Orleans to try to coax the last stubborn holdouts into leaving the storm-shattered city. President George W. Bush led the nation in a final tribute to William H. Rehnquist, remembering the late chief justice as the Supreme Court’s steady leader and a man of lifetime integrity.

In 2007, Osama bin Laden appeared in a video for the first time in three years, telling Americans they should convert to Islam if they wanted the war in Iraq to end.

In 2008, troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed in government conservatorship.

In 2017, more than a half million people were ordered to leave South Florida as Hurricane Irma approached; Georgia’s governor ordered nearly 540,000 coastal residents to move inland. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico struck off the country’s southern coast, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing at least 90 people. (A deadlier quake would strike central Mexico nearly two weeks later.)

Ten years ago: Addressing a Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati, President Barack Obama declared that modern benefits like paid leave, minimum wage and Social Security “all bear the union label” as he appealed to organized labor to help him win the health care fight in Congress. Three British Muslims were convicted in London of plotting to murder thousands by downing at least seven airliners bound for the U.S. and Canada. The Pittsburgh Pirates were assured of a record-breaking 17th straight losing season as they fell to the Chicago Cubs 4-2. (The Pirates would go on to have three more consecutive losing seasons before breaking the streak in 2013.)

Five years ago: The head of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, urged members to confront Islamic State extremists “militarily and politically.” A star-studded funeral was held in New York for comedian Joan Rivers, who had died three days earlier at age 81. Serena Williams won her third consecutive U.S. Open championship and 18th major title overall, taking 75 minutes to beat good friend Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3.

One year ago: President Donald Trump, citing national security, called on the Justice Department to investigate and unmask the author of a critical New York Times opinion piece purportedly written by a member of an administration “resistance” movement. In a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, former President Barack Obama blasted his successor’s policies and his pattern of pressuring the Justice Department. Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries. Starbucks opened its first store in Italy, including a 22-foot bronze cask that was part of the roasting process.

Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Sonny Rollins is 89. Singer Gloria Gaynor is 76. Singer Alfa Anderson (Chic) is 73. Actress Susan Blakely is 71. Rock musician Dennis Thompson (MC5) is 71. Actress Julie Kavner is 69. Rock singer Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) is 68. Rock musician Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 66. Actor Corbin Bernsen is 65. Actor Michael Emerson is 65. Pianist Michael Feinstein is 63. Singer/songwriter Diane Warren is 63. Singer Margot Chapman is 62. Actress J. Smith-Cameron is 62. Actor W. Earl Brown is 56. Actor Toby Jones is 53. Actress-comedian Leslie Jones (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 52. Model-actress Angie Everhart is 50. Actress Diane Farr is 50. Country singer Butter (Trailer Choir) is 49. Actress Monique Gabriela Curnen is 49. Actor Tom Everett Scott is 49. Rock musician Chad Sexton (311) is 49. Actress Shannon Elizabeth is 46. Actor Oliver Hudson is 43. Actor Devon Sawa is 41. Actor JD Pardo is 40. Actor Benjamin Hollingsworth (TV: “Code Black”) is 35. Actress Alyssa Diaz (TV: “Ray Donovan”; “Zoo”) is 34. Singer-musician Wes Willis (Rush of Fools) is 33. Actress Evan Rachel Wood is 32. Actor Ian Chen (TV: “Fresh Off the Boat”) is 13.

Thought for Today: “The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God’s children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the devil.” — H.L. Mencken, American journalist-author (1880-1956).

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