Today is Sunday, Sept. 6, the 249th day of 2009. There are 116 days left in the year.
On Sept. 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. (McKinley died eight days later; he was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. Czolgosz was executed the next month.)
ON THIS DATE
In 1757, the Marquis de Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution, was born in Auvergne, France.
In 1837, the Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio went co-educational.
In 1909, American explorer Robert Peary sent a telegram from Indian Harbor, Labrador, announcing that he had reached the North Pole five months earlier.
In 1916, the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tenn., by Clarence Saunders.
In 1939, the Union of South Africa declared war on Germany.
In 1948, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands was inaugurated as queen, two days after the abdication of her mother, Queen Wilhelmina.
In 1959, death claimed actress Kay Kendall in London at age 33 and actor Edmund Gwenn in Los Angeles at age 81.
In 1966, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was stabbed to death by an apparently deranged page during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.
In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three U.S.-bound jetliners. Two were later blown up on the ground in Jordan, along with a plane hijacked on Sept. 9; the fourth plane was destroyed on the ground in Egypt; there was no loss of life.
In 1978, James Wickwire and Louis Reichardt became the first Americans to reach the summit of Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, after Mount Everest.
In 1999, in Detroit, striking teachers and the school board agreed on a tentative agreement aimed at ending a weeklong walkout. (The teachers ratified the contract two days later.)
In 2004, former President Bill Clinton underwent successful heart bypass surgery during a four-hour procedure at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia. In Iraq, seven members of the First Marine Division from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and three U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers were killed by a car bomb near Fallujah. What was once hurricane Frances pounded the Florida Panhandle as a tropical storm.
In 2008, in the wake of Russia’s military standoff with Georgia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that now was not the right time for the U.S. to move forward on a once-celebrated deal for civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia. (President George W. Bush canceled the deal two days later.) More than 100 people died in a rock slide that crashed into a shantytown just outside Cairo, Egypt. Actress Anita Page died in Los Angeles at age 98.
Comedian JoAnne Worley is 72. Country singer David Allan Coe is 70. Country singer Mel McDaniel is 67. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 66. Actress Swoosie Kurtz is 65. Comedian-actress Jane Curtin is 62. Country singer-songwriter Buddy Miller is 57. Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 52. Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 51. Actor-comedian Michael Winslow is 51. Rock musician Perry Bamonte is 49. Actor Steven Eckholdt is 48. Rock musician Scott Travis (Judas Priest) is 48. Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha) is 48. Rock musician Kevin Miller is 47. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 47. Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 46. Actress Rosie Perez is 45. Singer CeCe Peniston is 40. R&B singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 40. Rock singer Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) is 38. Actor Dylan Bruno (TV’s “Numb3ers”) is 37. Actor Idris Elba (TV’s “The Wire”) is 37. Actress Anika Noni Rose is 37. Rock singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 35. Actor Justin Whalin is 35. Actress Naomie Harris is 33. NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo is 33. Rapper Noreaga is 32. Rapper Foxy Brown is 30.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” — Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish author and philosopher (1919-1999).