Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2018. There are 97 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 25, 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
On this date:
In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.
In 1690, one of the earliest American newspapers, Publick Occurrences, published its first — and last — edition in Boston.
In 1775, American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal. (Allen was released by the British in 1778.)
In 1789, the first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)
In 1911, ground was broken for Boston’s Fenway Park.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colo., during a national speaking tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles.
In 1956, the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable officially went into service with a three-way ceremonial call between New York, Ottawa and London.
In 1957, nine black students who’d been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
In 1974, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tommy John underwent an experimental graft reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow of his throwing arm to repair a career-ending injury; the procedure, which proved successful, is now referred to as “Tommy John surgery.”
In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.
In 1992, NASA’s Mars Observer blasted off on a $980 million mission to the red planet (the probe disappeared just before entering Martian orbit in August 1993).
In 1997, President Bill Clinton pulled open the door of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, as he welcomed nine blacks who had faced hate-filled mobs 40 years earlier.
Ten years ago: Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama sat down with President George W. Bush at the White House to discuss a multibillion-dollar Wall Street bailout plan, but the session, which also included top congressional leaders, devolved into what the McCain campaign described afterward as a “contentious shouting match.” Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin defended her remark that the close proximity of Russia to her home state of Alaska gave her foreign policy experience, explaining in a CBS interview that “we have trade missions back and forth.” Anti-apartheid activist Kgalema Motlanthe became the third president of South Africa since the end of white rule. After a 43-year wait, Paul McCartney performed his first concert in Israel, saying he was on a mission of peace for Israel and the Palestinians.
Five years ago: Nearly a dozen of Syria’s powerful rebel factions, including one linked to al-Qaida, formally broke with the main opposition group in exile and called for Islamic law in the country, dealing a severe blow to the Western-backed coalition. Skipper Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA won the America’s Cup with one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, speeding past Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand in the winner-take-all Race 19 on San Francisco Bay.
One year ago: Former congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months behind bars for illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl. North Korea’s top diplomat said his country had the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes, after President Donald Trump’s weekend tweet suggesting that the North’s Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer.” Britain’s Prince Harry and girlfriend Meghan Markle made their first public appearance as a couple, attending a wheelchair tennis event at the Invictus Games for wounded veterans in Toronto.
Today’s Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 89. Folk singer Ian Tyson is 85. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 77. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is 75. Actor Josh Taylor is 75. Actor Robert Walden is 75. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 74. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 71. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 70. Movie director Pedro Almodovar is 69. Actor-director Anson Williams is 69. Actor Mark Hamill is 67. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is 67. Actor Colin Friels is 66. Actor Michael Madsen is 60. Actress Heather Locklear is 57. Actress Aida Turturro is 56. Actor Tate Donovan is 55. TV personality Keely Shaye Smith is 55. Actress Maria Doyle Kennedy is 54. Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is 53. Actor Jason Flemyng is 52. Actor Will Smith is 50. Actor Hal Sparks is 49. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 49. Rock musician Mike Luce (Drowning Pool) is 47. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 45. Actress Clea DuVall is 41. Actor Robbie Jones is 41. Actor Joel David Moore is 41. Actor Chris Owen is 38. Rapper T. I. is 38. Actor Van Hansis is 37. Actor Lee Norris is 37. Actor/rapper Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) is 35. Actor Zach Woods is 34. Actor Jordan Gavaris is 29. Olympic silver medal figure skater Mao Asada is 28. Actress Emmy Clarke is 27.
Thought for Today: “History is too serious to be left to historians.” — Iain Macleod, British politician (1913-1970).