Today in history

Today is Sunday, Sept. 24, the 267th day of 2017. There are 98 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 24, 1717, English author Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, was born in London.

On this date:

In 1789, President George Washington signed a Judiciary Act establishing America’s federal court system and creating the post of attorney general.

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 1890, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Woodruff, wrote a manifesto renouncing the practice of plural marriage, or polygamy.

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 1934, Babe Ruth made his farewell appearance as a player with the New York Yankees in a game against the Boston Red Sox. (The Sox won, 5-0.)

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 1957, the Los Angeles-bound Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.

In 1960, the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News, Virginia. “The Howdy Doody Show” ended a nearly 13-year run with its final telecast on NBC.

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 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson won the men’s 100-meter dash at the Seoul (sohl) Summer Olympics — but he was disqualified three days later for using anabolic steroids. Members of the eastern Massachusetts Episcopal diocese elected Barbara C. Harris the first female bishop in the church’s history.

In 1996, the United States and 70 other countries became the first to sign a treaty at the United Nations to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. (The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has yet to enter into force because of the refusal so far of eight nations — including the United States — to ratify it.)

Ten years ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the official version of the 9/11 attacks and defended the right to cast doubt on the Holocaust in a tense appearance at Columbia University in New York. United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors plants in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976; a tentative pact ended the walkout two days later. The situation comedy “The Big Bang Theory” premiered on CBS.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama told the ABC talk show “The View” there was “no doubt” that the assault of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, “wasn’t just a mob action” but a sign of extremism in nations lacking stability. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused Obama of minimizing the Benghazi attack as a mere “bump in the road.”

One year ago: The new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors in Washington, D.C. Police arrested a suspect in a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, a day earlier that left five people dead. Musician Buckwheat Zydeco, 68, died in Lafayette, La.

Today’s Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Sonny Turner (The Platters) is 78. Singer Barbara Allbut Brown (The Angels) is 77. Singer Phyllis “Jiggs” Allbut Sirico (The Angels) is 75. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 75. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 72. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Greene is 71. Actor Gordon Clapp is 69. Actress Harriet Walter is 67. Songwriter Holly Knight is 61. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., is 65. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 59. Christian/jazz singer Cedric Dent is 55. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 55. Rock musician Shawn Crahan (AKA Clown) (Slipknot) is 48. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 48. Actress Megan Ward is 48. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 46. Contemporary Christian musician Juan DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 42. Actor Ian Bohen is 41. Actor Justin Bruening is 38. Olympic gold medal gymnast Paul Hamm (hahm) is 35. Actor Erik Stocklin is 35. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 29. Actor Ben Platt is 24.

Thought for Today: “Men are often capable of greater things than they perform. They are sent into the world with bills of credit, and seldom draw to their full extent.” — Horace Walpole (1717-1797).

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