Today is Wednesday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2013. There are 97 days left in the year.
On Sept. 25, 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.
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 1904, a New York City police officer ordered a female automobile passenger on Fifth Avenue to stop smoking a cigarette. A male companion was arrested and later fined $2 for “abusing” the officer.
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 1932, the Spanish region of Catalonia received a Charter of Autonomy. However, the charter was revoked by Francisco Franco at the end of the Spanish Civil War.
In 1957, nine black students who’d been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
In 1962, Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in Round 1 to win the world heavyweight title at Comiskey Park in Chicago. “The Longest Day,” 20th Century Fox’s epic recreation of the D-Day invasion, based on the book by Cornelius Ryan, had its world premiere in France.
In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
In 1992, the Mars Observer blasted off on a $980 million mission to the Red Planet. The probe disappeared just before entering Martian orbit in August 1993. A judge in Orlando, Fla., ruled in favor of Gregory Kingsley, a 12-year-old seeking to “divorce” his biological parents.
In 2001, Saudi Arabia formally severed relations with Afghanistan’s hard-line Taliban government. Former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan, who’d left professional basketball after winning a half-dozen championship rings, announced he was returning to the game with the Washington Wizards.
Ten years ago: France reported a staggering death toll of 14,802 from the summer heat wave. An Islamic court in Nigeria overturned the conviction of an illiterate mother sentenced to be stoned to death for having sex out of wedlock. Aquila al-Hashimi of the Iraqi Governing Council died five days after being shot by assailants. Fifteen people died in a nursing home fire in Nashville, Tenn. Author, journalist and editor George Plimpton died in New York at age 76. Nobel-winning economist Franco Modigliani died in Cambridge, Mass., at age 85.
Five 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.
One year ago: President Barack Obama, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, pledged U.S. support for Syrians trying to oust President Bashar Assad, calling him “a dictator who massacres his own people.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “We must stop the violence and flows of arms to both sides.” Mitt Romney joined running mate Paul Ryan for two days of campaigning in Ohio. A survey of consumer confidence reached its highest level since February on expectations that hiring would soon pick up. The NFL met with locked-out referees and admitted that a blown call the previous night had cost the Green Bay Packers a game against the Seattle Seahawks. Singer and TV host Andy Williams died at his Branson, Mo., home at the age of 84.