Today in History

Today in History

Today is Monday, Sept. 21, the 265th day of 2020. There are 101 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

In 1937, “The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien, was first published by George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London.

In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

In 1970, “NFL Monday Night Football” made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.

In 1976, Orlando Letelier (leh-tel-YEHR’), onetime foreign minister to Chilean President Salvador Allende (ah-YEN’-day), was killed when a bomb exploded in his car in Washington D.C. (The bombing, which also killed Letelier’s assistant, Ronni Moffitt, was blamed on Chile’s secret police.)

In 1982, Amin Gemayel, brother of Lebanon’s assassinated president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was himself elected president. National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1985, in North Korea and South Korea, family members who had been separated for decades were allowed to visit each other as both countries opened their borders in an unprecedented family-reunion program.

In 1987, NFL players called a strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. (The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.)

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina (the storm was blamed for 56 deaths in the Caribbean and 29 in the United States). Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, hit by a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages, a day after saying the law should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians. (Although never formally repealed, DoMA was effectively overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015.)

In 2001, Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 2008, baseball said farewell to the original Yankee Stadium as the Bronx Bombers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Ten years ago: The mayor and ex-city manager of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell were among eight current and former city officials arrested in a corruption scandal that authorities said cost the blue-collar city more than $5.5 million in excessive salaries and illegal personal loans. Two men filed a lawsuit accusing Atlanta megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long of coercing them into sexual relationships when they were teenage members of his congregation. (Long, who denied the allegations, later reached out-of-court settlements with them and two other men.)

Five years ago: Pope Francis traveled to Cuba’s fourth-largest city, Holguin, where he celebrated a Mass marking the anniversary of the day he decided as a teenager to become a priest by pressing a subtle message to Cubans: Overcome ideological preconceptions and be willing to change. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker abandoned his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. A federal judge in Albany, Georgia, sentenced former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell to 28 years in prison for his role in a deadly 2008-9 salmonella outbreak blamed for nine deaths.

One year ago: In a tweet, President Donald Trump said his July conversation with Ukraine’s president was “perfectly fine and routine,” and added: “Nothing was said that was in any way wrong.” Officials reported a handful of arrests from a three-day gathering near Nevada’s once-secret Area 51 military base; it had been prompted by an appeal from an internet hoaxster for people to “storm” the base to see space aliens.

Today’s Birthdays: Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 79. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 77. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is 76. Musician Don Felder is 73. Author Stephen King is 73. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 71. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 70. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 63. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 63. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 61. Actor David James Elliott is 60. Actor Serena Scott-Thomas is 59. Actor Nancy Travis is 59. Actor Rob Morrow is 58. Actor Angus Macfadyen is 57. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 57. Actor Cheryl Hines is 55. Country singer Faith Hill is 53. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 53. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 52. Actor-talk show host Ricki Lake is 52. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 52. Actor Billy Porter is 51. Actor Rob Benedict is 50. Actor James Lesure is 49. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro (rih-BEHR’-oh) is 49. Actor Luke Wilson is 49. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 42. Actor Bradford Anderson is 41. Actor Autumn Reeser is 40. TV personality Nicole Richie is 39. Actor Maggie Grace is 37. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 37. Actor Ahna O’Reilly is 36. Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 36. R&B singer Jason Derulo is 34. Actor Ryan Guzman is 33. Actors Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino are 22.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

Back in the Day | National News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up