Today in History

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Posted: Sep 25, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2011. There are 97 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 25, 1789, the first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.

In 1690, one of the earliest American newspapers, Publick Occurrences, published its first _ and last _ edition in Boston.

In 1775, American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal. (Allen was released by the British in 1778.)

In 1911, ground was broken for Boston's Fenway Park.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colo., during a national speaking tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY').

In 1957, nine black students who'd been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division.

In 1961, Rwandans voted overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing their country's monarchy after independence was achieved the following year.

In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.

In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

In 1991, Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie died in Lyon, France, at age 77.

Ten years ago: Saudi Arabia formally severed relations with Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban government. Former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan, who'd left professional basketball after winning a half-dozen championship rings, announced he was returning to the game with the Washington Wizards. General Motors announced the 2002 model year would be the last for the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. (However, the Camaro line was later revived.)

Five years ago: British forces in Iraq shot and killed Omar al-Farouq, a leading al-Qaida terrorist, more than a year after he embarrassed the U.S. military by escaping from a maximum security military prison in Afghanistan. Four French tourists kidnapped in Yemen were freed after more than two weeks in captivity. The Louisiana Superdome, a symbol of misery during Hurricane Katrina, reopened for a New Orleans Saints game. (The Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 23-3.)

One year ago: President Barack Obama, in his weekly radio and Internet address, said the Republicans' plan to slash taxes and cut spending if the GOP were to retake the House in November was no more than "an echo of a disastrous decade we can't afford to relive." Three crew members, including American astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson, touched down safely, but a day late, in Kazakhstan aboard their Soyuz capsule following a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station.

Today's Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 82. Folk singer Ian Tyson is 78. Rhythm-and-blues singer Joe Russell is 72. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is 68. Actor Josh Taylor is 68. Actor Robert Walden is 68. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 67. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 64. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 62. Actor-director Anson Williams is 62. Actor Mark Hamill is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is 60. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 60. Actor Colin Friels is 59. Actor Michael Madsen is 53. Actress Heather Locklear is 50. Actress Aida Turturro is 49. Actor Tate Donovan is 48. TV personality Keely Shaye Smith is 48. Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is 46. Actor Jason Flemyng is 45. Actor Will Smith is 43. Actor Hal Sparks is 42. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 42. Rock musician Mike Luce (Drowning Pool) is 40. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 38. Actress Clea DuVall is 34. Actor Chris Owen is 31. Rapper T. I. is 31. Actor Van Hansis is 30. Actor Lee Norris is 30. Singer Diana Ortiz (Dream) is 26. Actress Emmy Clarke ("Monk") is 20.

Thought for Today: "It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink (at) facts because they are not to our taste." _ John Tyndall, English physicist (1820-1893).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Sept. 25)

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