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Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 261st day of 2008.
There are 105 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • One hundred years ago, on Sept. 17, 1908, Thomas E. Selfridge, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer. (The accident, which also seriously injured pilot Orville Wright, occurred at Fort Myer, Va., just outside Washington.)

On this date:
  • In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
  • In 1862, in the bloodiest battle day in U.S. history, Union forces fought Confederate invaders in the Civil War Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Md.
  • In 1920, the American Professional Football Association, a precursor of the National Football League, was formed in Canton, Ohio.
  • In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.
  • In 1944, during World War II, Allied paratroopers launched Operation Market Garden, landing behind German lines in the Netherlands. (After initial success, the Allies were beaten back by the Germans.)
  • In 1947, James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.
  • In 1948, the United Nations mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, was assassinated in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists.
  • In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.
  • In 1983, Vanessa L. Williams of New York became the first black contestant to be crowned Miss America. (The following July, she also became the first Miss America to resign in the wake of her Penthouse magazine scandal.)
  • In 1988, opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics took place in Seoul, South Korea.

Ten years ago:
  • In Mexico, gunmen apparently sent by a drug lord yanked three families from their beds before dawn and opened fire, killing 19 men, women and children near a popular Baja California resort.

Five years ago:
  • Spain's leading investigating judge, Baltasar Garzon, issued the first known indictment against Osama bin Laden in the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • An audiotape purporting to carry the voice of Saddam Hussein, broadcast on Arab television, called on Iraqis to fight the American occupation.
  • New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso resigned amid a furor over his $139.5 million pay package.
  • Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

One year ago:
  • President Bush nominated former federal judge Michael Mukasey to become the next attorney general.
  • The Iraqi government revoked the license of Blackwater USA security firm after a shooting incident that claimed the lives of civilians.
  • During a forum at the University of Florida, Andrew Meyer, a student with a history of taping his own practical jokes, was Tasered by campus police and arrested after repeatedly trying to question Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actor David Huddleston is 78.
  • Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is 75.
  • Actor Paul Benedict is 70.
  • Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is 69.
  • Singer LaMonte McLemore (The Fifth Dimension) is 69.
  • Singer Fee Waybill is 58.
  • Actress Cassandra Peterson ("Elvira, Mistress of the Dark") is 57.
  • Comedian Rita Rudner is 55.
  • Muppeteer Kevin Clash is 48.
  • Movie director Baz Luhrmann is 46.
  • Singer BeBe Winans is 46.
  • Actor Kyle Chandler is 43.
  • Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 42.
  • Actor Malik Yoba is 41.
  • Rock musician Keith Flint (Prodigy) is 39.
  • Actor Matthew Settle is 39.
  • Rapper Vinnie (Naughty By Nature) is 38.
  • Rock singer Anastacia is 35.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Marcus Sanders (Hi-Five) is 35.
  • Actress-singer Nona Gaye is 34.
  • Singer-actor Constantine Maroulis is 33.
  • Pop singer Maile Misajon (Eden's Crush) is 32.
  • Country singer-songwriter Stephen Cochran is 29.
  • Rock musician Chuck Comeau (Simple Plan) is 29.
  • Country singer Desi Wasdin (3 of Hearts) is 25.
  • Rock musician Jon Walker (Panic at the Disco) is 23.

Thought for Today:
"Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection — they have many friends and few enemies."
Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist (1811-1884).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"