On Sept. 18, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a commission naming Rabbi Jacob Frankel of Rodeph Shalom Congregation in Philadelphia the first Jewish chaplain of the U.S. Army.
On this date:
In 1759, the French formally surrendered Quebec to the British.
In 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol.
In 1810, Chile made its initial declaration of independence from Spain with the forming of a national junta.
In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning escaped slaves to their owners.
In 1927, the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) made its on-air debut with a basic network of 16 radio stations.
In 1931, an explosion in the Chinese city of Mukden damaged a section of Japanese-owned railway track; Japan, blaming Chinese nationalists, invaded Manchuria the next day.
In 1947, the National Security Act, which created a National Military Establishment, went into effect.
In 1961, United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia.
In 1970, rock star Jimi Hendrix died in London at age 27.
In 1975, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was captured by the FBI in San Francisco, 19 months after being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.
In 1981, a museum honoring former President Gerald R. Ford was dedicated in Grand Rapids, Mich.
In 1990, the city of Atlanta was named the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics. The organized crime drama “GoodFellas,” directed by Martin Scorsese, had its U.S. premiere in New York.
Ten years ago: The Bush administration pressed Congress to take the lead in authorizing force against Iraq, with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld asserting, “It serves no U.S. or U.N. purpose to give Saddam Hussein excuses for further delay.” In Paris, wartime collaborator Maurice Papon, 92, walked out of prison after judges ruled him too old and sick to finish his ten-year sentence for helping send Jews to Nazi death camps. (Papon died in 2007 at age 96.)
Five years ago: President George W. Bush, cheered on by Iraq war veterans and their families on the White House’s South Lawn, urged lawmakers to back his plan to withdraw some troops from Iraq but keep at least 130,000 through the summer of 2008 or longer. O.J. Simpson was charged with seven felonies, including kidnapping, in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in a Las Vegas casino-hotel room. (Simpson is currently serving a nine- to 33-year prison sentence.)
One year ago: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, broke his silence four months after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault, calling his encounter with the woman a “moral failing” he deeply regretted, but insisting in an interview on French television that no violence was involved. A magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook northeastern India and Nepal, resulting in some 100 deaths. For a second year, Emmy Awards for drama and comedy went to “Mad Men” and “Modern Family.”
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Jimmie Rodgers is 79. Actor Robert Blake is 79. Former Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, is 79. Actor Eddie Jones is 78. Actor Fred Willard is 73. Singer Frankie Avalon is 72. Rock musician Kerry Livgren is 63. Actress Anna Deavere Smith is 62. Basketball coach Rick Pitino is 60. College Football Hall of Famer and retired NFL player Billy Sims is 57. Movie director Mark Romanek is 53. Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is 53. Actor James Gandolfini is 51. Alt-country-rock musician Mark Olson is 51. Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) is 50. Actress Holly Robinson Peete is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) is 45. Actress Aisha Tyler is 42. Racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is 41. Opera singer Anna Netrebko is 41. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is 41. Actor James Marsden is 39. Actress Emily Rutherfurd is 38. Actor Travis Schuldt is 38. Rapper Xzibit is 38. Comedian-actor Jason Sudeikis (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 37. Actress Sophina Brown is 36. Actor Barrett Foa is 35. TV personality Sara Haines is 35. Actress Alison Lohman is 33. Actors Taylor and Brandon Porter are 19. Actor C.J. Sanders is 16.
Thought for Today: “We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.” — Jessamyn West, American author (1902-1984).