Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2015 12:00 AM

Today is Sunday, Sept. 6, the 249th day of 2015. There are 116 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 6, 1925, the silent film horror classic "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney, had its world premiere at the Astor Theater in New York.

On this date:

In 1861, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant occupied Paducah, Kentucky, during the Civil War.

In 1901, President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (CHAWL'-gawsh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. (McKinley died eight days later; Czolgosz was executed on Oct. 29.)

In 1916, the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.

In 1939, the Union of South Africa declared war on Germany.

In 1943, 79 people were killed when a New York-bound Pennsylvania Railroad train derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.

In 1954, groundbreaking took place for the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in western Pennsylvania.

In 1966, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (fehr-FOORT') was stabbed to death by an apparently deranged page during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.

In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three U.S.-bound jetliners. (Two were later blown up on the ground in Jordan, along with a London-bound plane hijacked on Sept. 9; the fourth plane was destroyed on the ground in Egypt. No hostages were harmed.)

In 1975, 18-year-old tennis star Martina Navratilova of Czechoslovakia, in New York for the U.S. Open, requested political asylum in the United States.

In 1985, all 31 people aboard a Midwest Express Airlines DC-9 were killed when the Atlanta-bound jetliner crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee's Mitchell Field.

In 1991, the Soviet Union recognized the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Russian lawmakers upheld a decision by residents of Leningrad to restore the city's pre-revolutionary name, St. Petersburg.

In 1997, a public funeral was held for Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in London, six days after her death in a car crash in Paris.

Ten years ago: The California State Legislature became the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriages, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger later vetoed the bill. President George W. Bush and Congress pledged to open separate investigations into the sluggish federal response to Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans' broken levees.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama rolled out a long-term jobs program that would have exceeded $50 billion to rebuild roads, railways and runways, and coupled it with a blunt campaign-season assault accusing Republicans of causing Americans' hard economic times. (The proposal ended up being blocked by Senate Republicans.)

One year ago: President Barack Obama, in an interview taped for NBC's "Meet the Press," said the surge of immigrant children entering the U.S. illegally had changed the politics surrounding the issue of immigration and led him to put off a pledge to use executive action that could have shielded millions of people from deportation. Witnesses in the Ukraine port city of Mariupol reported sustained explosions outside the city and a volunteer battalion of fighters said Grad rockets were fired at their positions little more than a day after a cease-fire between the government and Kremlin-backed separatists went into effect.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian JoAnne Worley is 80. Country singer David Allan Coe is 76. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 72. Actress Swoosie Kurtz is 71. Comedian-actress Jane Curtin is 68. Country singer-songwriter Buddy Miller is 63. Actor James Martin Kelly is 61. Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 58. Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 57. Actor-comedian Michael Winslow is 57. Rock musician Perry Bamonte is 55. Actor Steven Eckholdt is 54. Rock musician Scott Travis (Judas Priest) is 54. Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha) is 54. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is 53. Rock musician Kevin Miller is 53. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 53. Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 52. Actress Betsy Russell is 52. Actress Rosie Perez is 51. Rhythm and blues singer Macy Gray is 48. Singer CeCe Peniston is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 46. Actress Daniele Gaither is 45. Rock singer Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries) is 44. Actor Dylan Bruno is 43. Actor Idris Elba is 43. Actress Justina Machado is 43. Actress Anika Noni (ah-NEE'-kuh NOH'-nee) Rose is 43. Rock singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 41. Actor Justin Whalin is 41. Actress Naomie Harris is 39. Rapper Noreaga is 38. Actress Natalia Cigliuti is 37. Rapper Foxy Brown is 37. Actress Lauren Lapkus is 30. Rock singer Max George (The Wanted) is 27.

Thought for Today: "The lesson of history is rarely learned by the actors themselves." — James A. Garfield, 20th president of the United States (1831-1881).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Sept. 6)

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