Today in History
Today is Saturday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2019. There are 101 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 21, 1985, In North Korea and South Korea, family members who had been separated for decades were allowed to visit each other as both countries opened their borders in an unprecedented family-reunion program.
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, Mass., by Frank Duryea, who had designed the vehicle with his brother, Charles.
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 1970, “NFL Monday Night Football” made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.
In 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
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 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.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages a day after saying the law should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians. (Although never formally repealed, DoMA was effectively overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015.)
In 2001, Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks.
In 2008, baseball said farewell to the original Yankee Stadium as the Bronx Bombers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.
In 2017, Facebook said it would provide congressional investigators with the contents of 3,000 ads that had been bought by a Russian agency; it had already released the ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Ten 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.)
Five years ago: Thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and cities around the world to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. A SpaceX cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station, carrying the first 3-D printer for astronauts in orbit. NASA’s Maven spacecraft arrived at Mars after a 442 million-mile journey that began nearly a year earlier. Ending months of vote-related tension, Afghanistan’s election commission named Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai the country’s new president.
One year ago: President Donald Trump directly challenged by name the woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, saying that if the attack on Christine Blasey Ford had been as bad as she claimed, then she would have filed charges. Following reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording him, Trump promised further firings to get rid of what he called a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department.
Today’s Birthdays: Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 78. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 76. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is 75. Musician Don Felder is 72. Author Stephen King is 72. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 70. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 69. Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is 68. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 62. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 62. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 60. Actor David James Elliott is 59. Actress Serena Scott-Thomas is 58. Actress Nancy Travis is 58. Actor Rob Morrow is 57. Actor Angus Macfadyen is 56. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 56. Actress Cheryl Hines is 54. Country singer Faith Hill is 52. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 52. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 51. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 51. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 51. Actor Billy Porter is 50. Actor Rob Benedict is 49. Actor James Lesure is 48. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 48. Actor Luke Wilson is 48. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 41. Actor Bradford Anderson is 40. Actress Autumn Reeser is 39. TV personality Nicole Richie is 38. Actress Maggie Grace is 36. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 36. Actress Ahna O’Reilly is 35. Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 35. R&B singer Jason Derulo is 33. Actor Ryan Guzman is 32. Actors Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino are 21.
Thought for Today: “The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the things we have made of ourselves on the other.” — H.G. Wells, English author (born this date in 1866, died 1946.)
Copyright 2019, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.