On Sept. 16, 1857, the song "Jingle Bells" by James Pierpont was copyrighted under its original title, "One Horse Open Sleigh." (The song, while considered a Christmastime perennial, was actually written by Pierpont for Thanksgiving.)
On this date:
In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.
In 1810, Mexicans were inspired to begin their successful revolt against Spanish rule by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his "Grito de Dolores" ("Cry of Dolores").
In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip."
In 1908, General Motors was founded in Flint, Mich., by William C. Durant.
In 1919, the American Legion received a national charter from Congress.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1953, "The Robe," the first movie presented in the widescreen process CinemaScope, had its world premiere at the Roxy Theater in New York.
In 1972, "The Bob Newhart Show" premiered on CBS.
In 1977, Maria Callas, the American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53.
In 1982, the massacre of between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children at the hands of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen began in west Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
In 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth's ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.
In 1992, former U.S. Rep. Millicent Fenwick, R-N.J., died at age 82.
Ten years ago: North Carolina Sen. John Edwards formally launched his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Actor-singer Sheb Wooley died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 82.
Five years ago: Gen. David Petraeus stepped aside as Gen. Ray Odierno took over as the top American commander of the Iraq war. President George W. Bush got a firsthand look at the fury that Hurricane Ike had unleashed on the Gulf Coast with stops in Houston and Galveston, Texas, and a helicopter tour. Motown songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield died in Los Angeles at age 67.
One year ago: In appearances on Sunday news shows, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said there was no evidence that the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, was premeditated. But Libya's interim president, Mohammed el-Megarif, told CBS he had no doubt attackers spent months planning the assault and purposely chose the date, Sept. 11.
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