Today in History
Today is Sunday, Sept. 8, the 251st day of 2019. There are 114 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 8, 1892, an early version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in “The Youth’s Companion.” It went: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
On this date:
In 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Fla.
In 1664, the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York.
In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an estimated 8,000 people.
In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long, a Louisiana Democrat, was shot and mortally wounded inside the Louisiana State Capitol; he died two days later. (The assailant was identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was gunned down by Long’s bodyguards.)
In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.
In 1943, during World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower announced Italy’s surrender; Nazi Germany denounced Italy’s decision as a cowardly act.
In 1964, public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia, reopened after being closed for five years by officials attempting to prevent court-ordered racial desegregation.
In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted a “full, free, and absolute pardon” to former President Richard Nixon covering his entire term in office.
In 1985, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds tied Ty Cobb’s career record for hits, singling for hit number 4,191 during a game against the Cubs in Chicago.
In 1986, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” began the first of 25 seasons in national syndication.
In 1994, USAir Flight 427, a Boeing 737, crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma regained Category 5 status, battering Cuba with 160-mph winds and taking aim on the Miami area; the death toll across the Caribbean climbed past 20. In one of the country’s largest evacuations, officials in Florida told more than 5 million people to leave their homes ahead of the hurricane; parts of interstates 75 and 95 northbound were bumper-to-bumper. Singer Troy Gentry, half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, died in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey; pilot James Robinson was also killed.
Ten years ago: In a nationally broadcast pep talk from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, President Barack Obama challenged the nation’s students to take pride in their education. Justice Sonia Sotomayor ceremonially took her seat at the Supreme Court in front of a packed courtroom that included President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. A U.N.-backed commission said it had found “convincing evidence” of fraud in Afghanistan’s presidential election. Veteran Hollywood columnist Army Archerd, 87, died in Los Angeles.
Five years ago: The European Union shied away from slapping new economic sanctions on Russia right away over its actions in eastern Ukraine, saying the punitive measures would come into force “in the next few days” depending on how well a cease-fire agreement in eastern Ukraine held. Croatia’s Marin Cilic his first Grand Slam title by beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the U.S. Open. Ray Rice was let go by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released showing the running back striking his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator in February 2014. S. Truett Cathy, the billionaire founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, died in suburban Atlanta at age 93.
One year ago: Serena Williams lost the U.S. Open women’s final to Naomi Osaka; Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument after the umpire issued a warning to Williams for receiving coaching. Former president Barack Obama, in a speech in southern California, said the November midterm elections would give Americans “a chance to restore some sanity in our politics.” A New York City subway station reopened for the first time since it was destroyed in the World Trade Center attack 17 years earlier.
Today’s Birthdays: Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 79. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is 78. Actor Alan Feinstein is 78. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau Brummels) is 77. Author Ann Beattie is 72. Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis is 69. Cajun singer Zachary Richard is 69. Musician Will Lee is 67. Actress Heather Thomas is 62. Singer Aimee Mann is 59. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 59. Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 55. Gospel singer Darlene Zschech (chehk) is 54. Alternative country singer Neko (NEE’-koh) Case is 49. TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet is 48. Actor Martin Freeman is 48. Actor David Arquette is 48. TV-radio personality Kennedy is 47. Rock musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 44. Actor Larenz Tate is 44. Actor Nathan Corddry is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 40. Singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson is 39. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 38. Rapper Wiz Khalifa is 32. Actor Gaten Matarazzo (TV: “Stranger Things”) is 17.
Thought for Today: “We shall seek the truth and endure the consequences.” — Charles Seymour, American educator and historian (1884-1963).
Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.