Today in History
Today is the 254th day of 2018. There are 111 days left in the year.
On Sept. 11, 2001, on America’s single-worst day of terrorism, nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida members hijacked four passenger jetliners, sending two of the planes smashing into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania.
On this date:
In 1297, Scottish rebels led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated English troops in the Battle of Stirling Bridge during the First War of Scottish Independence.
In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
In 1814, an American fleet scored a decisive victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812.
In 1857, the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place in present-day southern Utah as a 120-member Arkansas immigrant party was slaughtered by Mormon militiamen aided by Paiute Indians.
In 1936, Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) began operation as President Franklin D. Roosevelt pressed a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam’s first hydroelectric generator.
In 1941, groundbreaking took place for the Pentagon. In a speech that drew accusations of anti-Semitism, Charles A. Lindbergh told an America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa, that “the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration” were pushing the United States toward war.
In 1954, the Miss America pageant made its network TV debut on ABC; Miss California, Lee Meriwether, was crowned the winner.
In 1967, the comedy-variety program “The Carol Burnett Show” premiered on CBS.
In 2003, actor John Ritter died six days before his 55th birthday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. — the same hospital where he was born in 1948.
In 2006, in a prime-time address, President George W. Bush invoked the memory of the victims of the 9/11 attacks as he staunchly defended the war in Iraq, though he acknowledged that Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the attacks.
In 2007, a new Osama bin Laden videotape was released on the sixth anniversary of 9/11; in it, the al-Qaida leader’s voice is heard commemorating one of the suicide hijackers and calling on young Muslims to follow his example by martyring themselves in attacks.
In 2012, a mob armed with guns and grenades launched a fiery nightlong attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost and a CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Ten years ago: Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama put aside politics as they visited ground zero together on the anniversary of 9/11 to honor its victims. ABC News broadcast an interview with John McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who said she was ready to be president if called upon, but sidestepped questions on whether she had the national security credentials needed to be commander in chief.
Five years ago: A car bomb tore through a Libyan Foreign Ministry building in the eastern city of Benghazi on the anniversary of a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate there as well as the 2001 terror attacks in the United States. More than 1 million people showed their support for Catalan independence by joining hands to form a 250-mile human chain across the northeastern region of Spain.
One year ago: Authorities sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to help with search-and-rescue operations in Florida, where a flyover of the Keys revealed what Gov. Rick Scott described as scenes of devastation from Hurricane Irma. Irma weakened to a tropical storm, and then a tropical depression, and finally left Florida after a run up the entire 400-mile length of the state. An estimated 13 million people in Florida remained without power.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Earl Holliman is 90. Comedian Tom Dreesen is 79. Movie director Brian De Palma is 78. Singer-actress-dancer Lola Falana is 76. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The Dead) is 75. Singer-musician Leo Kottke is 73. Actor Phillip Alford is 70. Actress Amy Madigan is 68. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 65. Sports reporter Lesley Visser is 65. Actor Reed Birney is 64. Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is 61. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 61. Actor Scott Patterson is 60. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 60. Actress Roxann Dawson is 60. Actor John Hawkes is 59. Actress Anne Ramsay is 58. Actress Virginia Madsen is 57. Actress Kristy McNichol is 56. Musician-composer Moby is 53. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is 53. Business reporter Maria Bartiromo is 51. Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 51. Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 50. Actress Taraji P. Henson is 48. Actress Laura Wright is 48. Rock musician Jeremy Popoff is 47. Blogger Markos Moulitsas is 47. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 43. Rapper Mr. Black is 41. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 41. Rapper Ludacris is 41. Rock singer Ben Lee is 40. Actor Ryan Slattery is 40. Actress Ariana Richards is 39. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 37. Actress Elizabeth Henstridge is 31. Actor Tyler Hoechlin is 31. Actress Mackenzie Aladjem is 17.
Thought for Today: “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist (1803-1882).