Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 20, 1962, James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)
On this date:
In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)
In 1870, Italian troops took control of the Papal States, leading to the unification of Italy.
In 1873, panic swept the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.
In 1884, the National Equal Rights Party was formed during a convention of suffragists in San Francisco; the convention nominated Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood for president.
In 1911, the British liner RMS Olympic collided with the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight; although seriously damaged, the Olympic was able to return to Southampton under its own power.
In 1947, former New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia died.
In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when Izola Curry stabbed him in the chest. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent.)
In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.
In 1973, in their so-called battle of the sexes, tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
In 1979, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, self-styled head of the Central African Empire, was overthrown in a French-supported coup while on a visit to Libya.
In 1980, Spectacular Bid, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, ran as the only entry in the Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park in New York after three potential challengers dropped out in horse racing's first walkover since 1949.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton announced that he was signing the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill outlawing same-sex marriages, but said it should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians.
Ten years ago: Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of Iraq's Governing Council, was shot in Baghdad; she died five days later. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi easily won re-election as head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. A sightseeing helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon, killing all seven on board. Five of six children riding on an all-terrain vehicle in Coffee County, Georgia, were killed when they were hit by a motorist.
Five years ago: The Bush administration asked Congress for the power to buy $700 billion in toxic assets clogging the financial system and threatening the economy as negotiations began on the largest bailout since the Great Depression. A suicide truck bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killed 53 people, including the Czech ambassador.
One year ago: On a day when thousands of angry Pakistanis tried to make their way to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the embassy aired an ad on Pakistani TV showing President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing an anti-Islamic video produced in the United States. Space shuttle Endeavour landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California en route to its eventual retirement home, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Gogi Grant is 89. Actress-comedian Anne Meara is 84. Actress Sophia Loren is 79. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Taylor is 78. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 66. Actor Tony Denison is 64. Hockey Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur is 62. Actress Debbi Morgan is 62. Jazz musician Peter White is 59. Actress Betsy Brantley is 58. Actor Gary Cole is 57. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 53. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 52. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 49. Actress Kristen Johnston is 46. Rock singers Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson are 46. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 45. Actress-model Moon Bloodgood is 38. Actor Jon Bernthal is 37. Singer The Dream is 36. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (Lifehouse) is 34. Actress Crystle Stewart is 32. Rapper Yung Joc is 31. Actor Aldis Hodge is 27.
Thought for Today: "Politics is very much like taxes — everybody is against them, or everybody is for them as long as they don't apply to him." — Fiorello La Guardia, New York City mayor (1882-1947).
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