Today is Wednesday, Sept. 5, the 249th day of 2012. There are 117 days left in the year.
On Sept. 5, 1972, terrorism struck the Munich Olympics as members of the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli delegation; 11 Israelis, five guerrillas and a police officer were killed in the resulting siege.
On this date:
In 1774, the first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.
In 1793, the Reign of Terror began during the French Revolution as the National Convention instituted harsh measures to repress counter-revolutionary activities.
In 1836, Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.
In 1912, American avant-garde composer John Cage was born in Los Angeles.
In 1914, the First Battle of the Marne, resulting in a French-British victory over Germany, began during World War I.
In 1939, four days after war had broken out in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring U.S. neutrality in the conflict.
In 1945, Japanese-American Iva Toguri D’Aquino, suspected of being wartime broadcaster “Tokyo Rose,” was arrested in Yokohama. (D’Aquino was later convicted of treason and served six years in prison; she was pardoned in 1977 by President Gerald R. Ford.)
In 1957, the novel “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, was first published by Viking Press.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed legislation making aircraft hijackings a federal crime.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, Calif.
In 1986, four hijackers who had seized a Pan Am jumbo jet on the ground in Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire when the lights inside the plane failed; a total of 22 people were killed in the hijacking.
In 1997, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II broke the royal reticence over Princess Diana’s death, delivering a televised address in which she called her former daughter-in-law “a remarkable person.” Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at age 87; conductor Sir Georg Solti died in France at age 84.
Ten years ago: Afghan President Hamid Karzai survived an assassination attempt in Kandahar, hours after an explosives-packed car tore through a Kabul market. Actor Cliff Gorman, who’d won a Tony for portraying comedian Lenny Bruce in the 1971 play “Lenny,” died in New York at age 65.
Five years ago: German officials announced that three militants from an Islamic group linked to al-Qaida were planning “imminent” bomb attacks against Americans in Germany when an elite anti-terrorist unit raided their small-town hideout. Fred Thompson announced on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” that he was running for the Republican presidential nomination; his candidacy lasted less than five months. Alicia Sacramone’s floor routine rallied the United States to the world women’s gymnastics title in Stuttgart, Germany.
One year ago: President Barack Obama used a boisterous Labor Day rally in Detroit to put congressional Republicans on the spot, challenging them to place the country’s interests above all else and vote to create jobs and put the economy back on a path toward growth. The prosecution’s first witness in the trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Gen. Hussein Moussa, startled the court by testifying that police had not been ordered to fire on protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, contradicting prosecutors’ central claim.