Today in history

By the Associated Press

Today is Monday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2019. There are 106 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Sept. 16, 2001, President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was “no question” Osama bin Laden and his followers were the prime suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks; Bush pledged the government would “find them, get them running and hunt them down.”

On this date:

In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”

In 1910, Bessica Medlar Raiche of Mineola, N.Y., made the first accredited solo airplane flight by a woman in the United States.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

In 1976, the Episcopal Church, at its General Convention in Minneapolis, formally approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

In 1982, the massacre of between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children at the hands of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

In 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth’s ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.

In 1994, a federal jury in Anchorage, Alaska, ordered Exxon Corp. to pay $5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez (val-DEEZ’) oil spill (the U.S Supreme Court later reduced that amount to $507.5 million). Two astronauts from the space shuttle Discovery went on the first untethered spacewalk in ten years.

In 2005, President George W. Bush ruled out raising taxes to pay the massive costs of Gulf Coast reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, saying other government spending had to be cut to pay for the recovery effort.

In 2007, contractors for the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA guarding a U.S. State Department convoy in Baghdad opened fire on civilian vehicles, mistakenly believing they were under attack; 14 Iraqis died. O.J. Simpson was arrested in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors in Las Vegas. (Simpson was later convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery and sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison; he was released in 2017.)

In 2013, Aaron Alexis, a former U.S. Navy reservist, went on a shooting rampage inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 victims before being shot dead by police.

Ten years ago: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled sweeping legislation to remake the nation’s costly health care system. Mary Travers, 72, one part of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died in Danbury, Connecticut.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world and ordered 3,000 U.S. troops to the region in emergency aid muscle. After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner’s permission list while he addressed a felony charge of child abuse in Texas. (The Vikings had initially decided that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out; Peterson later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault for physically disciplining his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch.)

One year ago: At least 17 people were confirmed dead from Hurricane Florence, and the North Carolina city of Wilmington was cut off by still-rising waters as catastrophic flooding spread across the Carolinas. Some Republican senators considering the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh expressed concern over a woman’s allegation that a drunken Kavanaugh had groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 97. Actor George Chakiris is 87. Bluesman Billy Boy Arnold is 84. Movie director Jim McBride is 78. Actress Linda Miller is 77. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelley (Martha & the Vandellas) is 75. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 71. Actress Susan Ruttan is 71. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Mudcrutch) is 71. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 70. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 69. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 68. Actor Mickey Rourke is 67. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 66. Actor Kurt Fuller is 66. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 66. Actor Christopher Rich is 66. TV personality Mark McEwen is 65. Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount is 64. Magician David Copperfield is 63. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 61. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 61. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines is 60. Actress Jayne Brook is 59. Singer Richard Marx is 56. Comedian Molly Shannon is 55. Singer Marc Anthony is 51. News anchor/talk show host Tamron Hall is 49. Comedian-actress Amy Poehler is 48. Actress Toks Olagundoye (tohks oh-lah-GOON’-doh-yay) is 44. Country singer Matt Stillwell is 44. Singer Musiq (MYOO’-sihk) is 42. Actor Michael Mosley is 41. Rapper Flo Rida is 40. Actress Alexis Bledel is 38. Actress Sabrina Bryan is 35. Actress Madeline Zima is 34. Actor Ian Harding is 33. Actress Kyla Pratt is 33. Actor Daren Kagasoff is 32. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 31. Actress-dancer Bailey De Young is 30. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 27. Actress Elena Kampouris is 22.

Thought for Today: “Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.” — Laurence J. Peter, Canadian writer (born this date in 1919, died 1990).

By the Associated Press