Today in History
Sept. 19 is the 263rd day of 2020. There are 103 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 19, 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2¢ months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.
On this date:
In 1783, Jacques Etienne Montgolfier launched a duck, a sheep and a rooster aboard a hot-air balloon at Versailles in France.
In 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published. In it, America’s first chief executive advised, “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”
In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of 20-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.
In 1955, President Juan Peron of Argentina was ousted after a revolt by the army and navy.
In 1984, Britain and China completed a draft agreement on transferring Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule by 1997.
In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.
In 1986, federal health officials announced that the experimental drug AZT would be made available to thousands of AIDS patients.
In 1995, The New York Times and The Washington Post published the manifesto of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, which proved instrumental in identifying and capturing him.
In 1996, IBM announced it would extend health benefits to the partners of its gay employees.
In 2001, The Pentagon ordered dozens of advanced aircraft to the Persian Gulf region as the hour of military retaliation for deadly terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 drew closer.
In 2004, Hu Jintao became the undisputed leader of China with the departure of former President Jiang Zemin from his top military post.
In 2008, struggling to stave off financial catastrophe, the Bush administration laid out a radical bailout plan calling for a takeover of a half-trillion dollars or more in worthless mortgages and other bad debt held by tottering institutions. Relieved investors sent stocks soaring on Wall Street and around the globe.
Ten years ago: The BP oil well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico was declared “effectively dead” by retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government’s point man on the blowout disaster, after it was sealed with a permanent cement plug. On the final day of his four-day visit to Britain, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th century Anglican convert.
Five years ago: Pope Francis, arriving in Havana, hailed detente between Cuba and the United States as a model of reconciliation for the world as he launched a 10-day tour of the former Cold War foes. President Barack Obama paid tribute to Black women for their role in helping shape American democracy as he delivered the keynote address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner. Jackie Collins, 77, the bestselling author of dozens of novels including “Hollywood Wives,” died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Under orders from the Trump administration, the intelligence community’s inspector general refused to tell members of a House panel what was in a whistleblower’s complaint about a private conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s president. Trump began responding to published reports about the phone call, tweeting that he would never “say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call,” and that he would only “do what is right anyway.” As the U.S. and Saudi Arabia considered a response to a drone-and-missile strike on the Saudi oil industry, Iran’s top diplomat warned that an attack by either country would bring “all-out war.” New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German was put on administrative leave as Major League Baseball investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend. (The pitcher would miss the rest of the season as part of a suspension that would also cover all of the abbreviated 2020 season.)
Today’s Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 100. Actor Rosemary Harris is 93. Actor David McCallum is 87. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 80. Singer Bill Medley is 80. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 80. R&B singer Freda Payne is 78. Retired professional golfer Jane Blalock is 75. Singer David Bromberg is 75. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 75. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 73. Former NFL running back Larry Brown is 73. Actor Jeremy Irons is 72. Actor Twiggy Lawson is 71. TV personality Joan Lunden is 70. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 69. Actor Scott Colomby is 68. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 68. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 65. Rock singer Lita Ford is 62. Actor Kevin Hooks is 62. Actor Carolyn McCormick is 61. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is 60. Actor-comedian Cheri Oteri is 58. Country singer Jeff Bates is 57. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 56. News anchor Soledad O’Brien is 54. Celebrity chef Michael Symon is 51. Actor Victor Williams is 50. Actor Sanaa Lathan is 49. Actor Stephanie J. Block is 48. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 47. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon is 46. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 44. Actor-TV host Alison Sweeney is 44. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 43. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan Quin are 40. Actor Columbus Short is 38. Rapper Eamon is 37. Actor Kevin Zegers is 36. Actor Danielle Panabaker is 33. Actor Katrina Bowden is 32.
Sept. 20 is the 264th day of 2020. There are 102 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, struck the island, wiping out as much as 75 percent of the power distribution lines and causing an island-wide blackout.
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 1873, panic swept the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures.
In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.
In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York City department store when he was stabbed in the chest by Izola Curry. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent; she died at a Queens, N.Y., nursing home in 2015 at age 98.)
In 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.)
In 1963, President Kennedy proposed a joint U-S-Soviet expedition to the moon.
In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.
In 1973, singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash near Natchitoches, La.; he was 30.
In 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing at least 14 people, including two Americans and 12 Lebanese. The family sitcoms “The Cosby Show” and “Who’s the Boss?” premiered on NBC and ABC, respectively.
In 1995, in a move that stunned Wall Street, AT&T Corp. announced it was splitting into three companies.
In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there was insufficient evidence to warrant charges against President and Mrs. Clinton.
In 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush announced a new Cabinet-level office to fortify homeland security and named Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge its director.
Ten years ago: The United Nations opened a three-day Millennium Development Goals summit to assess members’ progress in the decade since promising to end global poverty. President Barack Obama reached out to skeptical voters who were still hurting long after the declared end of the recession, imploring them to stick with him in upcoming midterm congressional elections.
Five years ago: Pope Francis met with Fidel Castro after urging tens of thousands of Cubans to serve one another and not an ideology during a Mass in Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution. The CEO of Volkswagen apologized and VW customers said they felt duped after the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the German automaker had skirted clean air rules by rigging emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars. At the Emmys, the HBO series “Game of Thrones” won a record 12 awards; Viola Davis became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for best drama series actress for “How to Get Away with Murder.” Poet C.K. Williams, 78, died in Hopewell, N.J. Actor Jack Larson, 87, TV’s Jimmy Olsen in “Adventures of Superman,” died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: President Donald Trump angrily defended himself against a complaint from an intelligence official over his contacts with the president of Ukraine; he said the complaint came from a “partisan whistleblower,” even though Trump also said he didn’t know who had made it. Walmart said it would stop selling electronic cigarettes at its namesake stores and at Sam’s Clubs in the U.S. once it sold out of its existing inventory. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that he had let down his supporters, and all Canadians of color, by appearing years earlier in brownface and blackface. Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, the 1979 site of the nation’s worst commercial nuclear power accident, was shut down by its owner after producing electricity for 45 years. Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct; he had played just one game since being signed by the Patriots.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sophia Loren is 86. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 72. Actor Tony Denison is 71. Hockey Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur is 69. Actor Debbi Morgan is 69. Jazz musician Peter White is 66. Actor Betsy Brantley is 65. Actor Gary Cole is 64. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 60. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 59. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 56. Actor Kristen Johnston is 53. Rock singers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson are 53. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 52. Actor Enuka Okuma is 48. Actor-model Moon Bloodgood is 45. Actor Jon Bernthal is 44. Singer The-Dream is 43. Actor Charlie Weber is 42. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (Lifehouse) is 41. Rapper Yung Joc is 40. Actor Crystle Stewart is 39. Actor Aldis Hodge is 34. Rock drummer Jack Lawless is 33. Actor Malachi Kirby is 31.