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Saturday, September 20, 2008


Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 264th day of 2008.
There are 102 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:
  • On Sept. 20, 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships on a voyage to find a western passage to the Spice Islands in Indonesia. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)

On this date:

  • In 1870, Italian troops took control of the Papal States, leading to the unification of Italy.
  • In 1873, panic swept the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.
  • In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.
  • In 1947, former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia died.
  • In 1958, civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when a black woman, Izola Curry, stabbed him in the chest. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent.)
  • In 1962, black student James Meredith was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)
  • In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.
  • In 1973, in their so-called "battle of the sexes," tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
  • In 1978, John Vorster, prime minister of white-ruled South Africa since 1966, announced his resignation.
  • In 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing a dozen people.

Ten years ago:
  • After 2,632 consecutive games, Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles sat out a game against the New York Yankees, ending a 16-year run.
  • Muriel Humphrey Brown, widow of Vice President Hubert Humphrey and his brief successor in the U.S. Senate, died in Minneapolis at age 86.

Five years ago:
  • Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of Iraq's Governing Council, was shot in Baghdad; she died five days later.
  • Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi easily won re-election as head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
  • A sightseeing helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing all seven on board.
  • Five of six children riding on an all-terrain vehicle in Coffee County, Ga., were killed when they were hit by a motorist.

One year ago:
  • President Bush declined to criticize Blackwater USA, a security company in Iraq accused in a shooting that resulted in civilian deaths, saying investigators needed to determine if the guards violated rules governing their operations.
  • Thousands of chanting demonstrators filled the streets of Jena, La., in support of six black teenagers initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate.
  • Floyd Landis lost his expensive and explosive case when two of three arbitrators upheld the results of a test that showed the 2006 Tour de France champion had used synthetic testosterone to fuel his spectacular comeback victory. (Landis forfeited his Tour title and was subject to a two-year ban, retroactive to Jan. 30, 2007.)

Today's Birthdays:
  • Singer Gogi Grant is 84.
  • Actress-comedian Anne Meara is 79.
  • Actress Sophia Loren is 74.
  • Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 61.
  • Hockey player Guy LaFleur is 57.
  • Jazz musician Peter White is 54.
  • Actress Betsy Brantley is 53.
  • Actor Gary Cole is 52.
  • TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 48.
  • Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 44.
  • Actress Kristen Johnston is 41.
  • Rock singers Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson are 41.
  • Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 40.
  • Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (Lifehouse) is 29.
  • Rapper Yung Joc is 26.

Thought for Today:
"I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail."
William Faulkner, American author (1897-1962).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"