Today is Thursday, Sept. 23, the 266th day of 2021. There are 99 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 23, 1955, a jury in Sumner, Mississippi, acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering Black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later admitted to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)
On this date:
In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the HMS Serapis in battle off Yorkshire, England; however, the seriously damaged Bon Homme Richard sank two days later.
In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.
In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle (GAH’-luh).
In 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman announced there was evidence the Soviet Union had recently conducted a nuclear test explosion. (The test had been carried out on Aug. 29, 1949.)
In 1952, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech.
In 1957, nine Black students who’d entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.
In 1987, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., withdrew from the Democratic presidential race following questions about his use of borrowed quotations and the portrayal of his academic record.
In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter apparently burned up as it attempted to go into orbit around the Red Planet.
In 2001, President George W. Bush returned the American flag to full staff at Camp David, symbolically ending a period of national mourning following the 9/11 attacks.
In 2002, Gov. Gray Davis signed a law making California the first state to offer workers paid family leave.
In 2018, capping a comeback from four back surgeries, Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship in Atlanta, the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.
Ten years ago: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas took his people’s quest for independence to the United Nations, seeking the world body’s recognition of Palestine and sidestepping negotiations that had foundered for nearly two decades. Pope Benedict XVI, visiting his native Germany, met with victims of sexual abuse by priests and expressed “deep compassion and regret,” according to the Vatican. After 41 years, the soap opera “All My Children” broadcast its final episode on ABC-TV.
Five years ago: Sen. Ted Cruz announced on Facebook he would vote for Donald Trump, a dramatic about-face months after the fiery Texas conservative called the Republican nominee a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.” President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security. (Both the House and Senate voted to override the veto.)
One year ago: A Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for the shooting death of a Black woman, Breonna Taylor, during a failed drug raid; prosecutors said officers were justified in using force to protect themselves after facing gunfire. (Charges of wanton endangerment were filed against fired Officer Bret Hankison for shooting into a neighboring home.) In Louisville and cities nationwide, protesters took to the streets in anger over the killings of Black people by police; two officers in Louisville were shot and wounded during the demonstrations. Police in Portland, Oregon, said protesters hurled firebombs at officers in what police said were the most violent protests Portland had seen in months of unrest. President Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he were to lose the election, telling reporters, “We’re going to have to see what happens.” The parent company of the Uncle Ben’s rice brand changed the name to Ben’s Original and dropped a logo criticized as a racial stereotype. Pro football Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers died at 77.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Julio Iglesias is 78. Actor Paul Petersen (TV: “The Donna Reed Show”) is 76. Actor/singer Mary Kay Place is 74. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 72. Director/playwright George C. Wolfe is 67. Rock musician Leon Taylor (The Ventures) is 66. Actor Rosalind Chao is 64. Golfer Larry Mize is 63. Actor Jason Alexander is 62. Actor Chi McBride is 60. Actor Erik Todd Dellums is 57. Actor LisaRaye is 55. Singer Ani (AH’-nee) DiFranco is 51. Rock singer Sam Bettens (K’s Choice) is 49. Recording executive Jermaine Dupri is 49. Actor Kip Pardue is 45. Actor Anthony Mackie is 43. Pop singer Erik-Michael Estrada (TV: “Making the Band”) is 42. Actor Aubrey Dollar is 41. Actor Brandon Victor Dixon is 40. Actor David Lim is 38. Actor Cush Jumbo is 36. Actor Skylar Astin is 34. Former tennis player Melanie Oudin (oo-DAN’) is 30.
Wednesday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2021. There are 100 days left in the year. Autumn arrives at 3:20 p.m. EDT.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 22, 2014, the United States and five Arab nations launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, sending waves of planes and Tomahawk cruise missiles against an array of targets.
On this date:
In 1761, Britain’s King George III and his wife, Charlotte, were crowned in Westminster Abbey.
In 1776, during the Revolutionary War, Capt. Nathan Hale, 21, was hanged as a spy by the British in New York.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of January 1, 1863.
In 1927, Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in the famous “long-count” fight in Chicago.
In 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb.
In 1950, Omar N. Bradley was promoted to the rank of five-star general, joining an elite group that included Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall and Henry H. “Hap” Arnold.
In 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting racial discrimination on interstate buses.
In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot President Gerald R. Ford outside a San Francisco hotel, but missed.
In 1980, the Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war.
In 1993, 47 people were killed when an Amtrak passenger train fell off a bridge and crashed into Big Bayou Canot near Mobile, Alabama. (A tugboat pilot lost in fog pushed a barge into the railroad bridge, knocking the tracks 38 inches out of line just minutes before the train arrived.)
In 1995, an AWACS plane carrying U.S. and Canadian military personnel crashed on takeoff from Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska, killing all 24 people aboard.
In 2017, Sen. John McCain declared his opposition to the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” the second time in three months McCain had emerged as the destroyer of his party’s signature promise to voters.
Ten years ago: American diplomats led a walkout at the U.N. General Assembly as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhahd) fiercely attacked the United States and major West European nations as “arrogant powers” ruled by greed and eager for military adventurism. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Germany on his first state visit to his homeland.
Five years ago: Prosecutors charged a white Oklahoma police officer with first-degree manslaughter less than a week after she killed an unarmed Black man on a city street, saying in court documents the officer “reacted unreasonably.” (Betty Shelby was acquitted in May 2017 of manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher.) It was disclosed that computer hackers had swiped personal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in what was believed to have been the biggest digital break-in at an email provider.
One year ago: U.S. deaths from the coronavirus topped 200,000, by far the highest confirmed death toll from the virus in the world at that point, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. The U.N. General Assembly convened for its first-ever virtual meeting, as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged nations to tackle the coronavirus and the “economic calamity” it had unleashed, as well as the risk of a new Cold War between the United States and China. A Louisiana state trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, died after a single-vehicle crash that took place hours after he learned he would be fired for his role in the 2019 in-custody death of a Black man, Ronald Greene, following a high-speed chase. Overriding the mayor’s veto, Seattle’s City Council voted to reduce the police budget and reallocate some money to community programs. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released from a Berlin hospital after more than a month’s treatment for poisoning. (Navalny would be arrested and jailed upon his return to Russia.)
Today’s Birthdays: Dancer/choreographer/singer Toni Basil is 78. Actor Paul Le Mat is 76. Musician King Sunny Adé (ah-DAY’) is 75. Capt. Mark Phillips is 73. Rock singer David Coverdale (Deep Purple, Whitesnake) is 70. Actor Shari Belafonte is 67. Singer Debby Boone is 65. Country singer June Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 65. Singer Nick Cave is 64. Rock singer Johnette Napolitano is 64. Actor Lynn Herring is 64. Classical crossover singer Andrea Bocelli (an-DRAY’-ah boh-CHEL’-ee) is 63. Singer-musician Joan Jett is 63. Actor Scott Baio is 61. Actor Catherine Oxenberg is 60. Actor Bonnie Hunt is 60. Actor Rob Stone is 59. Actor Dan Bucatinsky (TV: “24: Legacy”) is 56. Musician Matt Sharp is 52. Rock musician Dave Hernandez is 51. Rapper Mystikal is 51. R&B singer Big Rube (Society of Soul) is 50. Actor James Hillier (TV: “The Crown”) is 48. Actor Mireille Enos is 46. Actor Daniella Alonso is 43. Actor Michael Graziadei (GRAHT’-zee-uh-day-ee) is 42. Actor Ashley Eckstein is 40. Actor Katie Lowes is 39. Rock musician Will Farquarson (Bastille) is 38. Actor Tatiana Maslany is 36. Actor Ukweli Roach (TV: “Blindspot”) is 35. Actor Tom Felton is 34. Actor Teyonah Parris is 34. Actor Juliette Goglia is 26. Actor Dalya Knapp is 11.