Today in History

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Posted: Sep 16, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Friday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2011. There are 106 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 16, 1810, Mexicans were inspired to begin their ultimately successful revolt against Spanish rule by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his "Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores)."

On this date:

In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip."

In 1908, General Motors was founded in Flint, Mich., by William C. Durant.

In 1910, Bessica Medlar Raiche of Mineola, N.Y., made the first accredited solo airplane flight by a woman in the United States.

In 1919, the American Legion received a national charter from Congress.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1953, "The Robe," the first movie presented in the widescreen process CinemaScope, had its world premiere at the Roxy Theater in New York.

In 1961, the TV legal drama series "The Defenders," starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed, premiered on CBS.

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.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was "no question" Osama bin Laden and his followers were the prime suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks; Bush pledged the government would "find them, get them running and hunt them down." Eight cross-country runners from the University of Wyoming were killed when their sport utility vehicle collided head-on with a pickup truck driven by a fellow student who'd been drinking (Clint Haskins is serving 14 to 20 years in prison for aggravated homicide by vehicle). Movie producer Samuel Z. Arkoff died in Burbank, Calif., at age 83.

Five years ago: The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI "sincerely" regretted offending Muslims with his reference to an obscure medieval text characterizing some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman," but the statement stopped short of the apology demanded by Islamic leaders. Mexico extradited accused drug kingpin Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix (ah-ray-YAH'-noh fay-LEEKS') to the U.S. (Arellano Felix later pleaded guilty to federal charges of selling cocaine in a San Diego motel and was sentenced to six years in prison, but was returned to Mexico in 2008 after getting credit for time served in Mexico while awaiting extradition.)

One year ago: Pope Benedict XVI began a controversial state visit to Britain, acknowledging the Catholic Church had failed to act decisively or quickly enough to deal with priests who rape and molest children. The Seattle Storm completed their undefeated march through the postseason, beating the Atlanta Dream 87-84 for a three-game sweep in the WNBA finals. John "Jack" Goeken, founder of telecommunications giant MCI and father of air-to-ground telephone communications, died in Joliet, Ill., at age 80.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 89. Actress Lauren Bacall is 87. Blues singer B.B. King is 86. Clergyman-author Rev. Robert H. Schuller is 85. Actor George Chakiris is 79. Movie director Jim McBride is 70. Actress Linda Miller is 69. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) is 67. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 63. Actress Susan Ruttan is 63. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Mudcrutch) is 63. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 62. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 61. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 60. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 58. Actor Kurt Fuller is 58. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 58. Actor Christopher Rich is 58. Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites) is 57. TV personality Mark McEwen is 57. Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount is 56. Actor Mickey Rourke is 55. Magician David Copperfield is 55. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 53. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 53. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser is 53. Retired MLB All-Star Tim Raines is 52. Actress Jayne Brook is 51. Singer Richard Marx is 48. Comedian Molly Shannon is 47. Singer Marc Anthony is 43. Comedian-actress Amy Poehler is 40. Country singer Matt Stillwell is 36. Singer Musiq (MYOO'-sihk) is 34. Actress Alexis Bledel is 30. Actress Sabrina Bryan is 27. Actress Madeline Zima is 26. Actress Kyla Pratt is 25. Actor Daren Kagasoff is 24. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 23. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 19.

Thought for Today: "'As a matter of fact' is an expression that precedes many an expression that isn't." _ Laurence J. Peter, Canadian writer (born this date in 1919, died 1990).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, Sept. 16)

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