Today is Wednesday, Sept. 11, the 254th day of 2013. There are 111 days left in the year.
On Sept. 11, 2001, America faced its worst day of terrorism. Nearly 3,000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida members hijacked four passenger jetliners. Two planes smashed into New York’s World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to fall; one plowed into the Pentagon; and the fourth was crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania.
On this date:
In 1777, during the American Revolution, forces under Gen. George Washington were defeated by the British in the Battle of Brandywine.
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 1922, the British Mandate for Palestine went into effect.
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 1962, The Beatles completed their first single for EMI, “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You,” at EMI studios in London.
In 1971, former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev died at age 77.
In 1972, the troubled Munich Summer Olympics ended. Northern California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit system began operations.
In 1973, Chilean President Salvador Allende died during a violent military coup.
In 1989, the exodus of East German refugees from Hungary to West Germany began.
Ten years ago: Israel issued an ominous threat to “remove” Yasser Arafat for failing to halt suicide bombings. Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh died from stab wounds inflicted when she was attacked in a Stockholm department store a day earlier. 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.
Five 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.
One year ago: A mob armed with guns and grenades launched a fiery nightlong attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney toned down the campaign rhetoric and pulled negative ads amid commemorations of the 9/11 attacks, saying it was not a day for politics.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Betsy Drake is 90. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, is 89. Actor Earl Holliman is 85. Comedian Tom Dreesen is 74. Movie director Brian De Palma is 73. Rock singer-musician Jack Ely (The Kingsmen) is 70. Rock musician Mickey Hart (The Dead) is 70. Singer-musician Leo Kottke is 68. Actor Phillip Alford is 65. Actress Amy Madigan is 63. Rock singer-musician Tommy Shaw (Styx) is 60. Sports reporter Lesley Visser is 60. Actor Reed Birney is 59. Singer-songwriter Diane Warren is 57. Musician Jon Moss (Culture Club) is 56. Actor Scott Patterson is 55. Rock musician Mick Talbot (The Style Council) is 55. Actress Roxann Dawson is 55. Actor John Hawkes is 54. Actress Anne Ramsay is 53. Actress Virginia Madsen is 52. Actress Kristy McNichol is 51. Musician-composer Moby is 48. Business reporter Maria Bartiromo is 46. Singer Harry Connick Jr. is 46. Rock musician Bart Van Der Zeeuw is 45. Actress Taraji (tuh-RAH’-jee) P. Henson is 43. Actress Laura Wright is 43. Rock musician Jeremy Popoff (Lit) is 42. Blogger Markos Moulitsas is 42. Singer Brad Fischetti (LFO) is 38. Rapper Mr. Black is 36. Rock musician Jon Buckland (Coldplay) is 36. Rapper Ludacris is 36. Rock singer Ben Lee is 35. Actor Ryan Slattery is 35. Actress Elizabeth Henstridge is 26. Actor Tyler Hoechlin is 26. Country singer Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) is 32. Actress Mackenzie Aladjem is 12.
Thought for Today: “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet and author (1772-1834).