Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2013. There are 105 days left in the year.
On Sept. 17, 1862, more than 3,600 men were killed, many more wounded, captured or left missing, in the Civil War Battle of Antietam in Maryland; although the battle itself proved inconclusive, it effectively halted the Confederates' advance into Maryland.
On this date:
In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
In 1908, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge of the U.S. Army Signal Corps became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer, at Fort Myer, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.
In 1911, Calbraith P. Rodgers set off from Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., aboard a Wright biplane in an attempt to become the first flier to travel the width of the United States. (The 49-day journey required 69 stops before ending in Pasadena, Calif.)
In 1937, the likeness of President Abraham Lincoln's head was dedicated at Mount Rushmore.
In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.
In 1947, James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.
In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev traveled by train from Washington, D.C., to New York City, where he received a low-key welcome from New Yorkers. A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
In 1962, U.S. space officials announced the selection of nine new astronauts, including Neil A. Armstrong, who became the first man to step onto the moon.
In 1971, citing health reasons, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, 85, retired. (Black, who was succeeded by Lewis F. Powell Jr., died eight days after making his announcement.)
In 1972, the Korean War comedy-drama "M-A-S-H" premiered on CBS.
In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (men-AH'-kem BAY'-gihn) and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.
In 1986, the Senate confirmed the nomination of William H. Rehnquist to become the 16th chief justice of the United States.
In 1987, the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic document.
Ten years ago: Spain's leading investigating judge, Baltasar Garzon, issued the first known indictment against Osama bin Laden in the Sept. 11 attacks. An audiotape purporting to carry the voice of Saddam Hussein, broadcast on Arab television, called on Iraqis to fight the American occupation. New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso resigned amid a furor over his $139.5 million pay package. Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Five years ago: Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and offered the people of Afghanistan his "personal regrets" for U.S. airstrikes that had killed civilians and said he would try to improve the accuracy of air warfare. A suicide attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa (sah-NAH'), Yemen, killed 19 people, including an American woman and six militants.
One year ago: NATO said it was scaling back operations with Afghan soldiers and policemen to lower the risk of insider attacks and reduce local tensions after an anti-Islam film was blamed for setting off protests in Afghanistan. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told reporters his comments about Americans who pay no income taxes were not "elegantly stated." Romney was recorded telling a group of wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans consider themselves victims, don't pay any income tax and expect government benefits.
Today's Birthdays: Actor David Huddleston is 83. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is 80. Retired Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is 74. Singer LaMonte McLemore (The Fifth Dimension) is 78. Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni is 70. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson is 68. Singer Fee Waybill is 63. Actress Cassandra Peterson ("Elvira, Mistress of the Dark") is 62. Comedian Rita Rudner is 60. Muppeteer Kevin Clash (former voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street") is 53. Director-actor Paul Feig is 51. Movie director Baz Luhrmann is 51. Singer BeBe Winans is 51. Actor Kyle Chandler is 48. Director-producer Bryan Singer is 48. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 47. Actor Malik Yoba is 46. Rock musician Keith Flint (Prodigy) is 44. Actor Matthew Settle is 44. Rapper Vinnie (Naughty By Nature) is 43. Actor Felix Solis is 42. Rock singer Anastacia is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marcus Sanders (Hi-Five) is 40. Actress-singer Nona Gaye is 39. Singer-actor Constantine Maroulis is 38. NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is 38. Pop singer Maile (MY'-lee) Misajon (Eden's Crush) is 37. Country singer-songwriter Stephen Cochran is 34. Rock musician Chuck Comeau (Simple Plan) is 34. Actor Billy Miller is 34. Country singer Desi Wasdin (3 of Hearts) is 30. Rock musician Jon Walker is 28.
Thought for Today: "Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection -- they have many friends and few enemies." -- Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist (1811-1884).
Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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