Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, September 26, the 269th day of 2015. There are 96 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 26, 1960, the first-ever debate between presidential nominees took place as Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon faced off before a national TV audience from Chicago.

On this date:

In 1777, British troops occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution.

In 1789, Thomas Jefferson was confirmed by the Senate to be the first United States secretary of state; John Jay, the first chief justice; Edmund Randolph, the first attorney general.

In 1892, John Philip Sousa and his newly formed band performed publicly for the first time, at the Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, New Jersey.

In 1914, the Federal Trade Commission was established.

In 1918, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, resulting in an Allied victory against the Germans, began during World War I.

In 1937, the radio drama “The Shadow,” starring Orson Welles, premiered on the Mutual Broadcasting System.

In 1945, Hungarian-born composer Bela Bartok, 64, died in New York City.

In 1955, following word that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had suffered a heart attack, the New York Stock Exchange saw its worst price decline since 1929.

In 1964, the situation comedy “Gilligan’s Island” premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1986, William H. Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court as its 103rd member.

In 1990, the Motion Picture Association of America announced it had created a new rating, NC-17, to replace the X rating. (The first movie to receive the new rating was “Henry & June.”)

In 1991, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Arizona, called Biosphere 2. (They emerged from Biosphere on this date in 1993.)

Ten years ago: Army Pfc. Lynndie England was convicted by a military jury in Fort Hood, Texas, on six of seven counts stemming from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. (England was sentenced to three years in prison; she ended up serving half that time.) International weapons inspectors backed by Protestant and Catholic clergymen announced the Irish Republican Army’s full disarmament.

Five years ago: Gloria Stuart, the 1930s Hollywood beauty who later became the oldest Academy Award acting nominee as the spunky survivor in “Titanic,” died in Los Angeles at age 100.

One year ago: Fire broke out in the basement of a suburban Chicago air traffic control center, temporarily halting operations at O’Hare and Midway airports; an FAA contract employee, Brian Howard, was accused of cutting cables and setting the fire before slashing his throat. (Howard pleaded guilty to willfully destroying an air navigation facility and using fire to commit a felony, and was sentenced on September 11, 2015 to 12 1/2 years in prison.) American warplanes and drones hit Islamic State group targets in Syria and Iraq as the U.S.-led coalition expanded to include Britain, Denmark and Belgium. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton gave birth in New York to her first child, a daughter named Charlotte.

Today’s Birthdays: Retired baseball All-Star Bobby Shantz is 90. Actor Philip Bosco is 85. Actor Richard Herd is 83. South African nationalist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is 79. Country singer David Frizzell is 74. Actor Kent McCord is 73. Television host Anne Robinson is 71. Singer Bryan Ferry is 70. Actress Mary Beth Hurt is 69. Singer Olivia Newton-John is 67. Actor James Keane is 63. Rock singer-musician Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos) is 61. Country singer Carlene Carter is 60. Actress Linda Hamilton is 59. Country singer Doug Supernaw is 55. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cindy Herron (En Vogue) is 54. Actress Melissa Sue Anderson is 53. Actor Patrick Bristow is 53. Rock musician Al Pitrelli is 53. Singer Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl) is 53. TV personality Jillian Barberie is 49. Contemporary Christian guitarist Jody Davis (Newsboys) is 48. Actor Jim Caviezel (kuh-VEE’-zuhl) is 47. Actress Tricia O’Kelley is 47. Actor Ben Shenkman is 47. Actress Melanie Paxon is 43. Singer Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) is 43. Jazz musician Nicholas Payton is 42. Actor Mark Famiglietti (fah-mihl-YEH’-tee) is 36. Singer-actress Christina Milian (MIHL’-ee-ahn) is 34. Tennis player Serena Williams is 34.

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