Today in History
Today is Saturday, Sept. 9, the 252nd day of 2017. There are 113 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On September 9, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction, a measure primarily concerned with protecting voting rights and which also established a Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice.
On this date:
In 1776, the second Continental Congress made the term "United States" official, replacing "United Colonies."
In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.
In 1893, Frances Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland, gave birth to a daughter, Esther, in the White House; it was the first (and, to date, only) time a president's child was born in the executive mansion.
In 1919, some 1,100 members of Boston's 1,500-man police force went on strike. (The strike was broken by Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge with replacement officers.)
In 1926, the National Broadcasting Co. (NBC) was incorporated by the Radio Corp. of America.
In 1942, during World War II, a Japanese plane launched from a submarine off the Oregon coast dropped a pair of incendiary bombs in a failed attempt at igniting a massive forest fire; it was the first aerial bombing of the U.S. mainland by a foreign power.
In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of three appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
In 1967, the comedy show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" aired as a onetime special on NBC; its success led to a regular series beginning in January 1968.
In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives.
In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong died in Beijing at age 82. JVC unveiled its new VHS videocassette recorder during a presentation in Tokyo.
In 1986, Frank Reed, director of a private school in Lebanon, was taken hostage; he was released 44 months later.
In 1997, Sinn Fein (shin fayn), the IRA's political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland's future. Actor Burgess Meredith died in Malibu, California, at age 89.
Ten years ago: Seemingly taunting Osama bin Laden, President George W. Bush's homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, said in Sunday talk-show appearances that the fugitive al-Qaida leader was "virtually impotent" beyond his ability to hide away and spread anti-American propaganda. Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-4 to win his fourth straight U.S. Open championship. Britney Spears performed her new single "Gimme More" in a much-criticized comeback attempt at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Five years ago: Iraq sentenced fugitive Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi to death on charges he masterminded death squads against rivals in a trial that fueled sectarian tensions in the country. Two points from defeat, Serena Williams regained her composure and her game to come back to beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, for her fourth U.S. Open championship. Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL regular-season game, serving as a line judge in the St. Louis Rams-Detroit Lions game. (Detroit beat St. Louis 27-23.)
One year ago: Defying the White House, Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation giving the families of victims of the September 11 attacks the right to sue Saudi Arabia. (Obama vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode his veto.) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, speaking at an LGBT fundraiser in New York City, described half of Republican Donald Trump's supporters as "a basket of deplorables," a characterization she ended up expressing regret over. Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, along with international star Yao Ming, WNBA great Sheryl Swoopes, coach Tom Izzo, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf, an architect in the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls championship teams of the 1990s.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Sylvia Miles is 83. Actor Topol is 82. Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons is 75. Singer Inez Foxx is 75. Singer Dee Dee Sharp is 72. Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle is 71. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Joe Theismann is 68. Rock musician John McFee (The Doobie Brothers) is 67. Actor Tom Wopat is 66. Actress Angela Cartwright is 65. Musician-producer Dave Stewart is 65. Actor Hugh Grant is 57. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., is 54. Actor-comedian Charles Esten (formerly Chip) is 52. Actress Constance Marie is 52. Actor David Bennent is 51. Actor Adam Sandler is 51. Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) is 49. Actress Julia Sawalha is 49. Model Rachel Hunter is 48. Actor Eric Stonestreet is 46. Actor Henry Thomas is 46. Actor Goran Visnjic (VEEZ'-nihch) is 45. Pop-jazz singer Michael Buble' (boo-BLAY') is 42. Latin singer Maria Rita is 40. Actress Michelle Williams is 37. Actress Julie Gonzalo is 36. Neo-soul singer Paul Janeway (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 34. Actress Zoe Kazan is 34. Author-motivational speaker-businessman Farrah Gray is 33. Contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle is 26. Country singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes is 26.
Thought for Today: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal." — Hannah More, English author and social reformer (1745-1833).