Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Sept. 10, the 253rd day of 2015. There are 112 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 10, 1955, the Western series “Gunsmoke,” starring James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon, began a 20-season run on CBS Television.

On this date:

In 1608, John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia.

In 1813, an American naval force commanded by Oliver H. Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. (Afterward, Perry sent out the message, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”)

In 1846, Elias Howe received a patent for his sewing machine.

In 1919, New York City welcomed home Gen. John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers who’d served in the U.S. First Division during World War I.

In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long died in Baton Rouge, two days after being shot in the Louisiana state Capitol, allegedly by Dr. Carl Weiss.

In 1939, Canada declared war on Germany.

In 1945, Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death in Norway for collaborating with the Nazis (he was executed by firing squad in October 1945).

In 1963, 20 black students entered Alabama public schools following a standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C. Wallace.

In 1974, the West African country of Guinea-Bissau became fully independent of Portugal.

In 1979, four Puerto Rican nationalists imprisoned for a 1954 attack on the U.S. House of Representatives and a 1950 attempt on the life of President Harry S. Truman were freed from prison after being granted clemency by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1987, Pope John Paul II arrived in Miami, where he was welcomed by President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan as he began a 10-day tour of the United States.

In 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee opened hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ten years ago: Cadaver dogs and boatloads of forensic workers fanned out across New Orleans to collect the corpses left behind by Hurricane Katrina; cleanup crews towed away abandoned cars and even began readying a hotel for reopening. Kim Clijsters won her first major title, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Mary Pierce at the U.S. Open. Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, the singer and guitarist who’d built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died in Orange, Texas, at age 81.

Five years ago: During a White House press conference, President Barack Obama blamed Republicans and election-year politics for thwarting his efforts to do more to spur a listless national economy. Juan Mari Bras, 82, an elder statesman of Puerto Rico’s independence movement, died in Rio Piedras.

One year ago: During a prime-time address, President Barack Obama announced he was authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of a “steady, relentless effort” to root out Islamic State extremists. Missouri executed Earl Ringo Jr. for a 1998 robbery and double murder. Richard Kiel, 74, the towering actor best known for portraying the steel-toothed villain “Jaws” in a pair of James Bond movies, died in Fresno, California.

Today’s Birthdays: World Golf Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer is 86. Actor Philip Baker Hall is 84. Actor Greg Mullavey is 82. Country singer Tommy Overstreet is 78. Jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers is 75. Actor Tom Ligon is 75. Singer Danny Hutton (Three Dog Night) is 73. Singer Jose Feliciano is 70. Actress Judy Geeson is 67. Former Canadian first lady Margaret Trudeau is 67. Political commentator Bill O’Reilly is 66. Rock musician Joe Perry (Aerosmith) is 65. Actress Amy Irving is 62. Country singer Rosie Flores is 59. Actress Kate Burton is 58. Movie director Chris Columbus is 57. Actor Colin Firth is 55. Rock singer-musician David Lowery (Cracker) is 55. Actor Sean O’Bryan is 52. Actor Raymond Cruz is 51. Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson is 52. Rock musician Robin Goodridge (Bush) is 50. Rock musician Stevie D. (Buckcherry) is 49. Rock singer-musician Miles Zuniga (Fastball) is 49. Actress Nina Repeta (NY’-nuh ruh-PEHT’-ah) is 48. Rapper Big Daddy Kane is 47. Movie director Guy Ritchie is 47. Actor Johnathan Schaech (shehk) is 46. Contemporary Christian singer Sara Groves is 43. Actor Ryan Phillippe (FIHL’-ih-pee) is 41. Actor Kyle Bornheimer is 40. Rock musician Mikey Way (My Chemical Romance) is 35. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Timothy Goebel is 35. Ballerina Misty Copeland is 33. Rock musician Matthew Followill (Kings of Leon) is 31. Singer Ashley Monroe (Pistol Annies) is 29. Singer Sanjaya Malakar (“American Idol”) is 26. Actor Chandler Massey is 25. Actress Hannah Hodson is 24.

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