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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 260th day of 2008.
There are 106 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • One hundred years ago, on Sept. 16, 1908, General Motors was formed in Flint, Mich., by William Durant.

On this date:

  • In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.
  • In 1810, Mexico began its successful revolt against Spanish rule.
  • In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip."
  • In 1919, the American Legion was formally chartered by an act of Congress.
  • In 1940, President Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history; Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera opened its new opera house at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
  • In 1968, Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon exclaimed, "Sock it to ME?" in a taped bit for the NBC-TV comedy program "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."
  • In 1977, Maria Callas, the American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53.
  • In 1982, the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children by Israeli-allied Lebanese militiamen began in west Beirut's Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.
  • In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert slammed into the Mexico coast for the second time in three days.

Ten years ago:
  • In his first news conference since the release of Kenneth Starr's graphic report, President Clinton said he'd told "the essential truth" about his affair with Monica Lewinsky; as for whether he might resign, Clinton responded that Americans "want me to go on."
  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, responding to a report in an Internet publication, Salon Magazine, admitted to "indiscretions" with a woman in the 1960s at a time when both were married.

Five years ago:
  • North Carolina Sen. John Edwards formally launched his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Actor-singer Sheb Wooley died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 82.

One year ago:
  • A deadly shooting in Baghdad involving the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA left 17 Iraqi civilians dead.
  • A One-Two-Go Airlines passenger plane crashed on the island of Phuket, Thailand, killing 89 people.
  • O.J. Simpson was arrested in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in Las Vegas.
  • The Phoenix Mercury beat the Detroit Shock 108-92 to win their first WNBA title.
  • "The Sopranos" claimed its final Emmy award as best dramatic series; "30 Rock" won best comedy series.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actress Janis Paige is 86.
  • Actress Lauren Bacall is 84.
  • Blues singer B.B. King is 83.
  • Clergyman-author Rev. Robert H. Schuller is 82.
  • Actor Peter Falk is 81.
  • Actress Anne Francis is 78.
  • Actor George Chakiris is 76.
  • Movie director Jim McBride is 67.
  • Actress Linda Miller is 66.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) is 64.
  • Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 60.
  • Actress Susan Ruttan is 60.
  • Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 60.
  • Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 59.
  • Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 58.
  • Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 57.
  • Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 55.
  • Actor Kurt Fuller is 55.
  • Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 55.
  • Actor Christopher Rich is 55.
  • Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites) is 54.
  • TV personality Mark McEwen is 54.
  • Actor Mickey Rourke is 52.
  • Magician David Copperfield is 52.
  • Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 50.
  • Actress Jennifer Tilly is 50.
  • Former All-Star baseball pitcher Orel Hershiser is 50.
  • Singer Richard Marx is 45.
  • Comedian Molly Shannon is 44.
  • Singer Marc Anthony is 40.
  • Comedian Amy Poehler is 37.
  • Singer Musiq is 31.
  • Actress Alexis Bledel is 27.
  • Actress Sabrina Bryan is 24.
  • Actress Madeline Zima is 23.
  • Actress Kyla Pratt is 22.
  • Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 20.
  • Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 16.

Thought for Today:
"Stoicism is the wisdom of madness and cynicism the madness of wisdom."
Bergen Evans, American lexicographer (1904-1978).

"Let's all be careful out there!"