TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2013. There are 97 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
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 Wood-row 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 However, the charter was revoked by Francisco Franco at the end of the Spanish Civil War.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 Com-iskey Park in Chicago. “The Longest Day,” 20th Century Fox’s epic re-creation 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.
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.
Today’s Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 84. Folk singer Ian Tyson is 80. Actor Josh Taylor is 70. Actor Robert Walden is 70. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 69. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 66. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 64. Actor-director Anson Williams is 64. Actor Mark Hamill is 62. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is 62. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 62. Actor Colin Friels is 61. Actor Michael Madsen is 55. Actress Heather Locklear is 52. Actress Aida Turturro is 51. Actor Tate Donovan is 50. TV personality Keely Shaye Smith is 50. Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is 48. Actor Jason Flemyng is 47. Actor Will Smith is 45. Actor Hal Sparks is 44. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 44. Rock musician Mike Luce (Drowning Pool) is 42. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 40. Actress Clea DuVall is 36. Actor Robbie Jones is 36. Actor Chris Owen is 33. Rapper T. I. is 33. Actor Van Hansis is 32. Actor Lee Norris is 32. Actress Emmy Clarke (“Monk”) is 22.