Today is Tuesday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2021. There are 101 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Sept. 21, 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.
On this date:
In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.
In 1912, magician Harry Houdini first publicly performed his “Water Torture Cell” trick at the Circus Busch in Berlin.
In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.
In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of “The Texaco Star Theater” on NBC-TV.
In 1961, the first Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter made its first hovering flight.
In 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
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 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 (Although never formally repealed, DoMA was effectively overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015.)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: Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, two Americans jailed in Iran as spies, left Tehran for the Gulf state of Oman, closing a high-profile drama that brought more than two years of hope and heartbreak for their families. The state of Texas executed Lawrence Russell Brewer for his role in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. The state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, who used his last words to declare his innocence in the killing of police officer Mark MacPhail. Alternative rock group R.E.M. announced on its website that it had “decided to call it a day as a band.”
Five years ago: Outraged Republican and Democratic lawmakers grilled Heather Bresch, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Mylan, about the significant cost increase of its life-saving EpiPens; defending her company’s business practices, Bresch told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee she wished the company had “better anticipated the magnitude and acceleration” of the rising prices for some families.
One year ago: President Donald Trump met at the White House with Amy Coney Barrett, as the conservative judge emerged as an early favorite for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. An enormous wildfire in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles was one of more than two dozen major fires burning across California, including five of the largest wildfires in state history. The Las Vegas Raiders, playing their first game a new $2 billion stadium following their move from Oakland, defeated the New Orleans Saints 34-24; there were no fans in attendance because of the coronavirus.
Today’s Birthdays: Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 80. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 78. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is 77. Musician Don Felder is 74. Author Stephen King is 74. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 72. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 71. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 64. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 64. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 62. Actor David James Elliott is 61. Actor Serena Scott Thomas is 60. Actor Nancy Travis is 60. Actor Rob Morrow is 59. Actor Angus Macfadyen is 58. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 58. Actor Cheryl Hines is 56. Country singer Faith Hill is 54. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 54. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 53. Actor-talk show host Ricki Lake is 53. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 53. Actor Billy Porter is 52. Actor Rob Benedict is 51. Actor James Lesure is 50. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro (rih-BEHR’-oh) is 50. Actor Luke Wilson is 50. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 43. Actor Bradford Anderson is 42. Actor Autumn Reeser is 41. TV personality Nicole Richie is 40. Actor Maggie Grace is 38. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 38. Actor Ahna O’Reilly is 37. Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 37. R&B singer Jason Derulo is 35. Actor Ryan Guzman is 34. Actor Nikolas Brino is 23.
Monday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2021. There are 102 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 20, 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush announced a new Cabinet-level office to fortify homeland security and named Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge its director.
On this date:
In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)
In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.
In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival, lasting 16 days, opened in France.
In 1962, James Meredith, a Black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)
In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.
In 1973, in their so-called “battle of the sexes,” tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
In 1976, Playboy magazine released an interview in which Democratic presidential nominee Jimmy Carter admitted he’d “looked on a lot of women with lust.”
In 1984, a suicide car bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in north Beirut, killing at least 14 people, including two Americans and 12 Lebanese. The family sitcoms “The Cosby Show” and “Who’s the Boss?” premiered on NBC and ABC, respectively.
In 1995, in a move that stunned Wall Street, AT&T Corporation announced it was splitting into three companies.
In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there was insufficient evidence to warrant charges against President and Mrs. Clinton.
In 2004, CBS News apologized for a “mistake in judgment” in its story questioning President George W. Bush’s National Guard service, saying it could not vouch for the authenticity of documents featured in the report.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, struck the island, wiping out as much as 75 percent of the power distribution lines and causing an island-wide blackout.
Ten years ago: Repeal of the U.S. military’s 18-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise took effect, allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly. A suicide bomber posing as a Taliban peace envoy assassinated former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani (boor-HAHN’-uh-deen ruh-BAH’-nee).
Five years ago: In their final speeches at the annual gathering of world leaders, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon railed against leaders who kept “feeding the war machine” in Syria, while U.S. President Barack Obama said there was no military solution to the five-year conflict. A Black police officer fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott, a Black man, at a Charlotte, North Carolina, apartment complex, prompting days of civil unrest. (Charlotte-Mecklenburg police later said that the shooting was justified.)
One year ago: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said the Republican effort to approve a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the November election was an “abuse of power”; he said voters should pick the president who would pick the justice. (Amy Coney Barrett would be confirmed days before the election.) “Schitt’s Creek,” a Canadian show about a fish-out-of-water family, made history at the Emmy Awards by sweeping the comedy categories; the virtual awards ceremony included remote links to 100-plus nominees. Byron DeChambeau closed with a 3-under-par 67 for a six-shot victory over Matthew Wolff in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York, on a course so tough that no one else broke par. Tour de France rookie Tadej Pogacar won cycling’s showpiece race on the eve of his 22nd birthday.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sophia Loren is 87. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 73. Actor Tony Denison is 72. Hockey Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur is 70. Actor Debbi Morgan is 70. Jazz musician Peter White is 67. Actor Betsy Brantley is 66. Actor Gary Cole is 65. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 61. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 60. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 57. Actor Kristen Johnston is 54. Rock singers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson are 54. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 53. Actor Enuka Okuma is 49. Actor-model Moon Bloodgood is 46. Actor Jon Bernthal is 45. Singer The-Dream is 44. Actor Charlie Weber is 43. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (WOOL’-sten-hyoolm) (Lifehouse) is 42. Rapper Yung Joc is 41. Actor Crystle Stewart is 40. Actor Aldis Hodge is 35. Rock drummer Jack Lawless is 34. Actor Malachi (MAL’-ah-ky) Kirby is 32.