Today in History

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 1, 1970

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2017. There are 103 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 19, 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although British forces succeeded in driving out the American troops, the Americans prevailed in a second battle the following month.

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On this date:

In 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published. In it, America’s first chief executive advised, “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2½ months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.

In 1915, vaudeville performer W.C. Fields made his movie debut as “Pool Sharks,” a one-reel silent comedy, was released.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as “Lord Haw-Haw,” was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.

In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named “Rainier,” in the Nevada desert.

In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, in Los Angeles as part of his U.S. tour, reacted angrily upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn’t get to visit Disneyland.

In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro ended up staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

In 1970, the “Mary Tyler Moore” show debuted on CBS-TV.

In 1982, the smiley emoticon was invented by Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman, who suggested punctuating humorously intended computer messages with a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal “smiley face.” 🙂

In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.

In 1997, in his first public comments since the death of Princess Diana, Prince Charles told the British people he would always feel the loss of his former wife, and thanked them for their support. Six people were killed when an express passenger train and a freight train collided in west London. The crime drama “L.A. Confidential” was released by Warner Bros.

Ten years ago: The Senate blocked legislation that would have regulated the amount of time troops spent in combat, a blow for Democrats struggling to challenge President George W. Bush’s Iraq policies. A powerful bomb killed anti-Syria lawmaker Antoine Ghanem and six others in Beirut, Lebanon.

Five years ago: Members of Congress presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog found fault with the agency’s handling of a gun-trafficking probe in Arizona that resulted in hundreds of weapons turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico; the inspector general’s report referred more than a dozen people for possible disciplinary action for their roles in Operation Fast and Furious. The Windseeker ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, broke down, leaving about 20 riders dangling 300 feet over the amusement park for nearly four hours. Fred Couples was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

One year ago: President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (HY’-dahr ahl ah-BAH’-dee), meeting on the sidelines of a United Nations summit, put the Islamic State group on notice that they planned to recapture the city of Mosul within months. World leaders meeting at the United Nations approved a declaration aimed at providing a more coordinated and humane response to the refugee crisis that was straining resources and stoking divisions around the world. Angelina Jolie Pitt filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 97. Host James Lipton (TV: “Inside the Actors Studio”) is 91. Actress Rosemary Harris is 90. Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown is 90. Actor David McCallum is 84. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 77. Singer Bill Medley is 77. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 77. R&B singer Freda Payne is 75. Golfer Jane Blalock is 72. Singer David Bromberg is 72. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 72. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 70. Former NFL running back Larry Brown is 70. Actor Jeremy Irons is 69. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 68. TV personality Joan Lunden is 67. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois (lan-WAH’) is 66. Actor Scott Colomby is 65. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 65. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Reggie Williams is 63. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 62. Rock singer Lita Ford is 59. Actor Kevin Hooks is 59. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 58. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is 57. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 55. Country singer Jeff Bates is 54. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 53. News anchor Soledad O’Brien is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin (Society of Soul) is 48. Celebrity chef Michael Symon is 48. Actress Sanaa Lathan (suh-NAH’ LAY’-thun) is 46. Actress Stephanie J. Block is 45. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 44. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon is 43. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 41. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney is 41. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 40. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan (TEE’-gan) Quin are 37. Actor Columbus Short is 35. Rapper Eamon is 34. Christian rock musician JD Frazier is 34. Actor Kevin Zegers is 33. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 30.