Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

Today is Saturday, Sept. 23, the 266th day of 2017. There are 99 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 23, 1952, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech.

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On this date:

In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the HMS Serapis in battle off Yorkshire, England; however, the seriously damaged Bon Homme Richard sank two days later.

In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold’s plot to surrender West Point to the British.

In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.

In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle (GAH’-luh).

In 1926, Gene Tunney scored a ten-round decision over Jack Dempsey to win the world heavyweight boxing title in Philadelphia.

In 1939, Sigmund Freud (froyd), the founder of psychoanalysis, died in London at age 83.

In 1955, a jury in Sumner, Mississippi, acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later admitted to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)

In 1957, nine black students who’d entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.

In 1962, New York’s Philharmonic Hall (later renamed Avery Fisher Hall) formally opened as the first unit of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “The Jetsons,” an animated cartoon series about a Space Age family, premiered as the ABC television network’s first program in color.

In 1977, the Randy Newman album “Little Criminals” (featuring the song “Short People”) was released by Warner Bros. records.

In 1987, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., withdrew from the Democratic presidential race following questions about his use of borrowed quotations and the portrayal of his academic record.

In 1996, space shuttle Atlantis left Russia’s orbiting Mir station with astronaut Shannon Lucid, who ended her six-month visit with tender goodbyes to her Russian colleagues.

Ten years ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhahd) left Tehran for New York to address the United Nations; state media quoted him as saying the American people were eager for different opinions about the world, and that he was looking forward to providing them with “correct and clear information.” Cuba published a photo of a standing, smiling Fidel Castro looking heavier but still gaunt as the 81-year-old communist leader met with Angola’s president.

Five years ago: The Libyan militia suspected in the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans said it had disbanded on orders of the country’s president. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told reporters while traveling from Los Angeles to Denver that he would spend less time raising money and more time with voters. “Homeland” won the Emmy Award for best drama series, and its stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis each won leading actor awards; “Modern Family” received four awards, including a three-peat as best comedy series.

One year ago: Sen. Ted Cruz announced on Facebook he would vote for Donald Trump, a dramatic about-face months after the fiery Texas conservative called the Republican nominee a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.” President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security (both the House and Senate voted to override the veto).

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Julio Iglesias is 74. Actor Paul Petersen (TV: “The Donna Reed Show”) is 72. Actress-singer Mary Kay Place is 70. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 68. Director/playwright George C. Wolfe is 63. Rock musician Leon Taylor (The Ventures) is 62. Actress Rosalind Chao is 60. Golfer Larry Mize is 59. Actor Jason Alexander is 58. Actor Chi McBride is 56. Country musician Don Herron (BR549) is 55. Actor Erik Todd Dellums is 53. Actress LisaRaye is 51. Singer Ani (AH’-nee) DiFranco is 47. Rock singer Sarah Bettens (K’s Choice) is 45. Recording executive Jermaine Dupri is 45. Actor Kip Pardue is 41. Actor Anthony Mackie is 39. Pop singer Erik-Michael Estrada (TV: “Making the Band”) is 38. Actress Aubrey Dollar is 37. Pop singer Diana Ortiz (Dream) is 32. Tennis player Melanie Oudin (oo-DAN’) is 26.