A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  Sept. 3, 2002 at 3:10 AM
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Today is Sept. 9.

It was on this date in 1998 that independent counsel Kenneth Starr sent to the U.S. House of Representatives his report on his investigation into President Clinton and his alleged affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, a relationship the president had denied during a sworn deposition to a grand jury. Starr said his report contained "substantial and credible information ... that may constitute grounds" for impeachment.

More than 1,000 convicts took over the state prison at Attica, New York, on this date in 1971 and held 35 convicts hostage. Four days later, 28 convicts and nine hostages were killed as state police re-took the prison.

The second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, officially changed the new American nation's name from "United Colonies" to "United States" on this date in 1776.

It was on this date in 1850 that California joined the union as the 31st state.

Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Tse-tung died on this date in 1976 at age 82. One year later, Memorial Hall -- where his flag-draped body lies in a crystal coffin -- was opened in Beijing.

And it was on this date in 1956 that Elvis Presley appeared on national television for the first time, on "The Ed Sullivan Show." TV viewers at home saw Presley only from the waist up -- it was felt that his trademark hip-wiggling was a bad influence on his fans.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is Sept. 10.

A red-letter date for desegregation took place on this date in 1963. Black students entered the white public schools of Birmingham, Tuskegee and Mobile, Ala., after President Kennedy federalized the state's National Guard.

It was on this date in 2000 that the U.S. government agreed to drop virtually all charges against Chinese-American scientist Wen Ho Lee. He'd been accused of stealing nuclear secrets from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Three days later, Lee pleaded guilty to mishandling nuclear secrets and left court a free man.

An American victory in the War of 1812 on this date in 1813. U.S. naval units under the command of Capt. Oliver Perry defeated the British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams held face-to-face talks with David Trimble, leader of Northern Ireland's Protestant Unionists, for the first time on this date in 1998.

It was on this date in 1846 that inventor Elias Howe received a patent for the sewing machine.

And a survey released on this date in 1992 found birth control pills remained the most popular form of contraception among American women.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is Sept. 11.

On this date one year ago, when a few minutes on a pleasant September morn changed the world, America was attacked. Nineteen Islamic terrorists hijacked four commercial jets and slammed two of them into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center, both skyscrapers soon collapsing, trapping many of those trying to flee and those trying to rescue them. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington and the fourth crashed in a Pennsylvania field as the passengers apparently fought with their hijackers. The death toll was put at more than 3,000 although there was no official figure one year later.

The largest engagement of the American Revolutionary War took place on this date in 1777 when Continental Army troops commanded by Gen. George Washington were defeated by British soldiers under Gen. William Howe in the Battle of Brandywine, near Chadds Ford, Penn. The Redcoats went on to occupy Philadelphia for the winter.

By the way, the Stars & Stripes flag was officially carried for the first time during the battle.

On this day in 1841, all members of President John Tyler's Cabinet resigned -- except Secretary of State Daniel Webster -- in protest of Tyler's veto of a banking bill. As an elder statesman, Tyler led an unsuccessful effort to maintain peace between the states just before the Civil War.

Chile's elected Socialist government of Salvador Allende was toppled in a right-wing military coup, supported by the CIA, on this date in 1973. Allende died a short time later -- reportedly by his own hand.

Hurricane Iniki, packing winds gusting to 160 mph, roared ashore on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on this date in 1992, interrupting the filming of Steven Spielberg's blockbuster-to-be "Jurassic Park."

It was on this date in 1985 that Pete Rose collected his 4,192nd hit -- a line drive to left field -- breaking Ty Cobb's 57-year-old career record.

And on this date in 1997, Mother Teresa received the first state funeral accorded a private citizen of India since the death of Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1948. It was attended by foreign heads of state and other dignitaries, including American First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is Sept. 12.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the United States worked quickly to line up support for an all-out war on terrorism. Calling the attacks "an act of war," President Bush, who promised to not only punish those behind the attacks but the countries that harbored them as well, was given the go-ahead by a supportive Congress to use all "necessary and appropriate force" needed against those responsible.

World War II had ended, but no formal peace treaty had been signed by the European combatants. That was remedied on this date in 1990, when the four victorious allies (the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union) and the two Germanys signed a treaty that cleared way for East and West Germany to reunite on Oct. 3.

It was on this date in 1974 that Ethiopian military officers deposed Emperor Haile Selassie from the throne he'd occupied for more than half-a-century. Today, Ethiopia celebrates the anniversary with a national holiday.

In a civil rights milestone, the U.S. Supreme Court, on this date in 1958, ordered the Little Rock High School in Arkansas to admit blacks.

It was on this date in 1609 that English explorer Henry Hudson discovered what's now known as the Hudson River.

And alarm over presidential security was raised on this date in 1994, when a pilot crashed his small plane on the White House lawn, killing himself. It is against federal and aviation laws to violate air space above the White House -- but that apparently didn't stop this guy. No one on the ground was injured.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is Sept. 13.

It was on this date in 1788 that Congress authorized the first U.S. national election, to be held "the first Wednesday in January next (1789)." That same day, lawmakers declared New York City to be the capital of the nation. Not for long -- in 1790, the capital moved BACK to Philadelphia before moving permanently to Washington, D.C., in 1800.

Late in the evening on this day in 1814, attorney Francis Scott Key wrote a little ditty that Americans now like to sing before baseball games. Key had been aboard a ship stranded in Baltimore harbor by the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Md., and was moved by seeing the American flag still flying over the fort to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the back of an envelope.

The melody comes from "Anachreon In Heaven," an old English drinking song.

In a dramatic (and televised) ceremony at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed a declaration of principles for Palestinian self-rule on this date in 1993. The next day, representatives of Israel and Jordan signed an "agenda for peace."

The 1971 uprising at the state prison in Attica, N.Y., ended on this date, as state forces stormed and regained control of the facility. The riot and subsequent inmate rampage had left 42 people dead.

And it was on this day in 1922 that the temperature at El Azizia, Libya, reached 136 degrees F. -- generally accepted as the world's highest recorded atmospheric temperature.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is Sept. 14.

The FBI discovered, on this date In 2001, that several of the hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks had taken flying lessons in Florida. A manhunt was beginning, meanwhile, to track down any potential terrorists in this country.

President William McKinley, on this date in 1901, died of his wounds, eight days after being shot in Buffalo, N.Y. Upon his death, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office and assumed the presidency. (At age 42, Roosevelt was the youngest U.S president to be sworn into office. John F. Kennedy, at 43, was the youngest elected president.) McKinley's convicted assassin, Leon Czolgosz, was executed Oct. 29, 1901.

British troops entered New York City on this day in 1776 after defeating the Americans at the Battle of Long Island. Gen. George Washington led the retreat of the Continental Army.

On this date in 1847, the U.S. Army occupied Mexico City.

The Soviet probe Lunik-2 became the first Earth-launched space vehicle to land on the moon on this date in 1959. The late 1950s and early '60s were a bad time for the American space program, with the Soviets beating us at every turn.

As the strike by major league baseball players entered its second month, acting commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig, on this date in 1994, announced the cancellation of the remainder of the season, the playoffs and the World Series.

The first American quintuplets -- four boys and a girl -- to survive were born on this date in 1963 in Aberdeen, S.D., to Maryann and Andrew Fischer.

And the town of Salem, Massachusetts, was founded on this day in 1628. They didn't burn any witches there until much later.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.


Today is Sept. 15.

The U.S. continued, on this date in 2001, to lay plans that would eventually send troops to Afghanistan in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.

Four young black girls getting ready to attend Sunday services were killed in the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Ala., on this date in 1963. The incident sparked citywide rioting, during which two teen-age black boys were shot to death. In 2000, prosecutors announced they had a new suspect in the attack. That suspect was later tried and convicted.

Horror visited a Baptist church in Fort Worth, Texas, on this date in 1999, when a man armed with two semi-automatic weapons opened fire during a youth service. Seven people -- including three teenagers -- were killed and seven more wounded. The gunman, Larry Ashbrook, then shot himself to death.

This is a Watergate anniversary. It was on this day in 1972 that two former White House aides, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, and five other men were indicted on charges of conspiracy in the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. At the time, President Nixon hadn't been publicly linked to the famous burglary and cover-up. He'd be re-elected in a landslide over George McGovern less than two months later.

The Russians burned Moscow on this day in 1812. The idea was to keep Napoleon and his invading French troops out. It worked. Napoleon lost about 90 percent of his army in the invasion of Russia and the wintry retreat that followed.

Another bad day for the Russians on this date in 1942, when armies of Nazi Germany began their siege of the Soviet city of Stalingrad (now known as Volgograd).

The 27th Summer Olympic Games opened in Sydney, Australia, with a record number of female athletes participating and with North and South Korea marching together in the opening procession.

And it was on this date in 1992 that the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan's Invisible Empire of Florida announced he was moving the group's headquarters from Orlando to Gainesville. Why? Because the Klan leader felt Gainesville was "a progressive community, and we think we can fit in."

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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