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Today in History: Sept. 16

Here's a look at things that have happened on this date.

Today is Sunday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2018.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Sept. 16, 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth’s ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.

On this date:

In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.

In 1857, the song “Jingle Bells” by James Pierpont was copyrighted under its original title, “One Horse Open Sleigh.” (The song, while considered a Christmastime classic, was actually written for Thanksgiving.)

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”

In 1908, General Motors was founded in Flint, Michigan, by William C. Durant.

In 1919, the American Legion received a national charter from Congress.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1964, the rock-and-roll show “Shindig!” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

In 1982, the massacre of between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children at the hands of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

In 1994, a federal jury in Anchorage, Alaska, ordered Exxon Corp. to pay $5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez (val-DEEZ’) oil spill (the U.S Supreme Court later reduced that amount to $507.5 million). Two astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery went on the first untethered spacewalk in ten years.

In 2001, President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was “no question” Osama bin Laden and his followers were the prime suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks; Bush pledged the government would “find them, get them running and hunt them down.”

In 2007, contractors for the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA guarding a U.S. State Department convoy in Baghdad opened fire on civilian vehicles, mistakenly believing they were under attack; 14 Iraqis died. O.J. Simpson was arrested in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in Las Vegas. (Simpson was later convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison; he was released in 2017.)

Ten years ago: Gen. David Petraeus stepped aside as Gen. Ray Odierno took over as the top American commander of the Iraq war. President George W. Bush got a firsthand look at the fury that Hurricane Ike had unleashed on the Gulf Coast with stops in Houston and Galveston, Texas, and a helicopter tour.

Five years ago: Aaron Alexis, a former U.S. Navy reservist, went on a shooting rampage inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 victims before being shot dead by police.

One year ago: Tropical Storm Maria, which would batter the Caribbean as a powerful hurricane, formed in the Atlantic. British police said they had arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the bomb that partially exploded a day earlier in a London subway car. California lawmakers voted to move the state’s presidential primary up by about three months to March, a move that would force candidates to mount expensive campaigns earlier.

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© 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.