Today is Monday, September 14, the 257th day of 2015. There are 108 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British bombardment during the War of 1812; the poem later became the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
On this date:
In 1715, Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon, credited with advances in the production of champagne, died in Hautvillers, France, at age 76.
In 1861, the first naval engagement of the Civil War took place as the USS Colorado attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida.
In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin; Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.
In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice (nees), France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of the sports car she was riding in.
In 1944, the Great Atlantic Hurricane passed close to North Carolina and Virginia before heading up the northeastern U.S. coast; nearly 400 people died, most at sea.
In 1954, the Soviet Union detonated a 40-kiloton atomic test weapon.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI opened the third session of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, also known as “Vatican II.” (The session closed two months later.)
In 1965, the much-reviled situation comedy “My Mother the Car,” starring Jerry Van Dyke as a man who acquires an antique automobile that’s the reincarnation of his mother (voiced by Ann Sothern), premiered on NBC-TV.
In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.
In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly actress Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before; Lebanon’s president-elect, Bashir Gemayel (bah-SHEER’ jeh-MAY’-el), was killed by a bomb.
In 1985, Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon released the Rev. Benjamin Weir (weer) after holding him captive for 16 months. The situation comedy “The Golden Girls” premiered on NBC.
In 1994, on the 34th day of a strike by players, Acting Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the 1994 season was over.
Ten years ago: The United Nations opened a three-day summit marking the 60th anniversary of the world body. More than a dozen coordinated bombings killed at least 178 people in Baghdad. Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines each filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Both carriers emerged from bankruptcy reorganization in 2007.) Movie director Robert Wise (“West Side Story”; “The Sound of Music”) died in Los Angeles at age 91.
Five years ago: Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers detained by Iran, was freed on $500,000 bail after 410 days in prison. Reggie Bush announced he was forfeiting his 2005 Heisman title, citing a scandal over improper benefits while he was a star running back at Southern California; it was the first time college football’s top award had been relinquished by a recipient. Dodge Morgan, who became the first American to sail around the world without stopping in 1986, died in Boston at age 78.
One year ago: Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her return to Iowa for the first time since the 2008 presidential campaign, implored Democrats to choose shared economic opportunity over “the guardians of gridlock.” North Korea’s Supreme Court sentenced Matthew Miller, a 24-year-old American, to six years with labor for entering the country illegally and trying to commit an act of espionage. (Miller was released in November 2014 along with another detained American, Kenneth Bae.) Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfelt said he would resign after his center-right coalition lost a parliamentary election to a left-leaning opposition led by Social Democrats. South Korean teenager Hyo-Joo Kim beat Australian veteran Karrie Webb by one shot to win the Evian Championship and become the third youngest major winner at 19 years, 2 months. Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (For her talent performance, Kazantsev sang Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” while sitting cross-legged on the stage and banging a red plastic cup on the floor.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Zoe Caldwell is 82. Feminist author Kate Millett is 81. Actor Walter Koenig (KAY’-nihg) is 79. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown is 75. Singer-actress Joey Heatherton is 71. Actor Sam Neill is 68. Singer Jon “Bowzer” Bauman (Sha Na Na) is 68. Rock musician Ed King is 66. Actor Robert Wisdom is 62. Rock musician Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) is 60. Country singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is 59. Actress Mary Crosby is 56. Singer Morten Harket (a-ha) is 56. Country singer John Berry is 56. Actress Melissa Leo is 55. Actress Faith Ford is 51. Actor Jamie Kaler is 51. Actress Michelle Stafford is 50. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is 50. Rock musician Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers) is 49. Actor Dan Cortese is 48. Contemporary Christian singer Mark Hall is 46. Actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry is 46. Actor Ben Garant is 45. Rock musician Craig Montoya (Tri Polar) is 45. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley is 44. Actor Andrew Lincoln is 42. Rapper Nas is 42. Actor Austin Basis is 39. Country singer Danielle Peck is 37. Pop singer Ayo is 35. Actor Sebastian Sozzi is 33. Actor Adam Lamberg is 31. Singer Alex Clare is 30. Actress Jessica Brown Findlay is 28. Actor-singer Logan Henderson is 26.
Thought for Today: “What one has not experienced, one will never understand in print.” — Isadora Duncan (1877-1927).