Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 21, 2018

Today is Friday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2018. 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.

Email newsletter signup

On this date:

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

In 1893, one of America’s first horseless carriages was taken for a short test drive in Springfield, Mass., by Frank Duryea, who had designed the vehicle with his brother, Charles.

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 1977, after weeks of controversy over past business and banking practices, President Jimmy Carter’s embattled budget director, Bert Lance, resigned.

In 1983, in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly described a special advisory panel as consisting of “a black … a woman, two Jews and a cripple.” Although Watt later apologized, he ended up resigning.

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, John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island, Georgia. The board of all-male Virginia Military Institute voted to admit women.

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.

Ten years ago: South African President Thabo Mbeki (TAH’-boh um-BEH’-kee) announced his resignation. “Mad Men” became the first basic-cable show to win the top series Emmy; “30 Rock” and its stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin won comedy awards. The United States took back the Ryder Cup with a 16 1/2-11 1/2 victory over Europe. Baseball said farewell to the original Yankee Stadium as the Bronx Bombers defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Five years ago: Days after mass shootings in Washington and Chicago, President Barack Obama urged the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to help push stalled legislation out of Congress so dangerous people wouldn’t get their hands on guns. Islamic militants attacked an upscale shopping center in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya in 15 years. An Afghan wearing a security forces uniform turned his weapon against U.S. troops, killing three in eastern Afghanistan.

One year ago: Millions on Puerto Rico faced the prospect of weeks or months without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the ongoing crisis involving North Korea. Facebook said it would provide congressional investigators with the contents of 3,000 ads that had been bought by a Russian agency; it had already released the ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Today’s Birthdays: Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 77. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 75. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is 74. Musician Don Felder is 71. Author Stephen King is 71. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 69. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 68. Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is 67. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 61. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 61. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 59. Actor David James Elliott is 58. Actress Serena Scott-Thomas is 57. Actress Nancy Travis is 57. Actor Rob Morrow is 56. Actor Angus Macfadyen is 55. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 55. Actress Cheryl Hines is 53. Country singer Faith Hill is 51. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 51. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 50. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 50. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 50. Actor Rob Benedict is 48. Actor James Lesure is 47. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 47. Actor Luke Wilson is 47. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 40. Actor Bradford Anderson is 39. Actress Autumn Reeser is 38. TV personality Nicole Richie is 37. Actress Maggie Grace is 35. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 35. Actress Ahna O’Reilly is 34. Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 34. Actor Ryan Guzman is 31. Actors Lorenzo and Nikolas Brino are 20.