Today is Wednesday, September 16, the 259th day of 2015. There are 106 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On September 16, 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.
On this date:
In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.
In 1810, Mexicans were inspired to begin their successful revolt against Spanish rule by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his “Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores).”
In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”
In 1908, General Motors was founded in Flint, Michigan, by William C. Durant.
In 1919, the American Legion received a national charter from Congress.
In 1925, the Irving Berlin song “Always” (written for his future wife, Ellin Mackay) was published.
In 1953, “The Robe,” the first movie presented in the widescreen process CinemaScope, had its world premiere at the Roxy Theater in New York.
In 1965, “The Dean Martin Show” premiered on NBC-TV.
In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.
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 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 2007, 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.)
Ten years ago: 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. Gordon Gould, a pioneer in laser technology, died in New York City at age 85.
Five years ago: Pope Benedict XVI began a controversial state visit to Britain, acknowledging the Catholic Church had failed to act decisively or quickly enough to deal with priests who raped and molested children. The Seattle Storm completed their undefeated march through the postseason, beating the Atlanta Dream 87-84 for a three-game sweep in the WNBA finals. John “Jack” Goeken, founder of telecommunications giant MCI and father of air-to-ground telephone communications, died in Joliet, Illinois, at age 80.
One year 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.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 93. Actor George Chakiris is 83. Bluesman Billy Boy Arnold is 80. Movie director Jim McBride is 74. Actress Linda Miller is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelley (Martha & the Vandellas) is 71. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 67. Actress Susan Ruttan is 67. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Mudcrutch) is 67. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 66. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 65. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 64. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 62. Actor Kurt Fuller is 62. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 62. Actor Christopher Rich is 62. Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites) is 61. TV personality Mark McEwen is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount is 60. Actor Mickey Rourke is 59. Magician David Copperfield is 59. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 57. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 57. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser is 57. Retired MLB All-Star Tim Raines is 56. Actress Jayne Brook is 55. Singer Richard Marx is 52. Comedian Molly Shannon is 51. Singer Marc Anthony is 47. Comedian-actress Amy Poehler is 44. Country singer Matt Stillwell is 40. Singer Musiq (MYOO’-sihk) is 38. Actor Michael Mosley is 37. Rapper Flo Rida is 36. Actress Alexis Bledel is 34. Actress Sabrina Bryan is 31. Actress Madeline Zima is 30. Actor Ian Harding is 29. Actress Kyla Pratt is 29. Actor Daren Kagasoff is 28. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 27. Actress-dancer Bailey Buntain is 26. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 23. Actress Elena Kampouris (TV: “American Odyssey”) is 18.
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).