Today in History

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Posted: Sep 24, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Saturday, Sept. 24, the 267th day of 2011. There are 98 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 24, 1789, Congress passed a Judiciary Act which provided for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as "Black Friday" after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.

In 1911, future Soviet leader Konstantin U. Chernenko was born in Siberia.

In 1929, Lt. James H. Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY-2 Biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight.

In 1948, Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio propagandist "Axis Sally," pleaded not guilty in Washington, D.C., to charges of treason. (Gillars, later convicted, ended up serving 12 years in prison.)

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.

In 1961, "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" premiered on NBC (it succeeded Disney's anthology series on ABC).

In 1963, the U.S. Senate ratified a treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union limiting nuclear testing.

In 1976, former hostage Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Jimmy Carter.)

In 1981, four Armenian gunmen seized the Turkish consulate in Paris, killing a guard and holding 56 hostages for 15 hours before surrendering.

In 1991, kidnappers in Lebanon freed British hostage Jack Mann after holding him captive for more than two years. Children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel (GY'-zul), better known as "Dr. Seuss," died in La Jolla, California, at age 87.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush ordered a freeze on the assets of 27 people and organizations with suspected links to terrorism, including Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, and urged other nations to do likewise.

Five years ago: In a combative taped interview on "Fox News Sunday," former President Bill Clinton defended his handling of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden, and accused host Chris Wallace of a "conservative hit job." Democrats seized on an intelligence assessment that said the Iraq war had increased the terrorist threat, saying it was further evidence Americans should choose new leadership in upcoming elections. The Europeans turned the Ryder Cup into another rout, winning 18 1/2-9 1/2 to make history as the first European team to win three straight times.

One year ago: President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders meeting in New York sent China a firm message over territorial disputes between Beijing and its neighbors, calling for freedom of navigation in seas that China claimed as its own. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged $100 million to Newark, N.J., schools a week before the release of the biographical movie "The Social Network." Gennady Yanayev, 73, a leader of the abortive 1991 coup who had briefly declared himself Soviet president, died in Moscow.

Today's Birthdays: Actor-singer Herb Jeffries is 100. Actress Sheila MacRae is 87. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sonny Turner (The Platters) is 72. Singer Barbara Allbut (The Angels) is 71. Singer Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut (The Angels) is 69. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 69. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 66. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Greene is 65. Actor Gordon Clapp is 63. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., is 59. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 53. Christian/jazz singer Cedric Dent (Take 6) is 49. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 49. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 42. Actress Megan Ward is 42. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 40. Contemporary Christian musician Juan DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 36. Actor Justin Bruening is 32. Olympic gold medal gymnast Paul Hamm is 29. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 23.

Thought for Today: "Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand." _ Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher (1632-1677).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, Sept. 24)

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