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Today in History for Sept. 17, 2012

Jimmie Johnson, left, points to the sky as his daughter Genevieve Marie Johnson watches before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Jimmie Johnson, left, points to the sky as his daughter Genevieve Marie Johnson watches before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Johnson turns 37 on Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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From page A2 | September 17, 2012 | Leave Comment

Today is Monday, Sept. 17, the 261st day of 2012. There are 105 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Sept. 17, 1862, more than 3,600 men were killed, many more wounded, captured or left missing, in the Civil War Battle of Antietam in Maryland; although the battle itself proved inconclusive, it effectively halted the Confederates’ advance into Maryland.

On this date:

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1908, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge of the U.S. Army Signal Corps became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer, at Fort Myer, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.

In 1911, Calbraith P. Rodgers set off from Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., aboard a Wright biplane in an attempt to become the first flier to travel the width of the United States. (The 49-day journey required 69 stops before ending in Pasadena.)

In 1937, the likeness of President Abraham Lincoln’s head was dedicated at Mount Rushmore.

In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.

In 1947, James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.

In 1962, U.S. space officials announced the selection of nine new astronauts, including Neil A. Armstrong, who became the first man to step onto the moon.

In 1971, citing health reasons, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, 85, retired. (Black, who was succeeded by Lewis F. Powell Jr., died eight days after making his announcement.)

In 1972, the Korean War comedy-drama “M-A-S-H” premiered on CBS.

In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.

In 1986, the Senate confirmed the nomination of William H. Rehnquist to become the 16th chief justice of the United States.

In 1987, the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic document.

Ten years ago: After years of denials by his country, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted that North Korean spies had abducted about a dozen Japanese citizens decades earlier, and that at least four of the Japanese were still alive. NBA star Patrick Ewing announced his retirement.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush nominated former federal judge Michael Mukasey to become attorney general. The Iraqi government revoked the license of Blackwater USA security firm a day after a shooting incident that had claimed the lives of civilians. During a forum at the University of Florida, Andrew Meyer, a student with a history of taping his own practical jokes, was Tasered by campus police and arrested after repeatedly trying to question Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

One year ago: A demonstration calling itself Occupy Wall Street began in New York, prompting similar protests around the U.S. and the world. Charles H. Percy, 91, a Chicago businessman who became a U.S. senator and was once widely viewed as a top presidential contender, died in Washington.

Today’s birthdays: Actor David Huddleston is 82. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is 79. Retired Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is 73. Singer LaMonte McLemore (The Fifth Dimension) is 77. Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni (ret.) is 69. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson is 67. Singer Fee Waybill is 62. Actress Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”) is 61. Comedian Rita Rudner is 59. Muppeteer Kevin Clash is 52. Director-actor Paul Feig is 50. Movie director Baz Luhrmann is 50. Singer BeBe Winans is 50. Actor Kyle Chandler is 47. Director-producer Bryan Singer is 47. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 46. Actor Malik Yoba is 45. Rock musician Keith Flint (Prodigy) is 43. Actor Matthew Settle is 43. Rapper Vinnie (Naughty By Nature) is 42. Actor Felix Solis is 41. Rock singer Anastacia is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marcus Sanders (Hi-Five) is 39. Actress-singer Nona Gaye is 38. Singer-actor Constantine Maroulis is 37. NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is 37. Pop singer Maile Misajon (Eden’s Crush) is 36. Country singer-songwriter Stephen Cochran is 33. Rock musician Chuck Comeau (Simple Plan) is 33. Actor Billy Miller is 33. Country singer Desi Wasdin (3 of Hearts) is 29. Rock musician Jon Walker is 27.

Thought for today: “Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection — they have many friends and few enemies.” — Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist (1811-1884).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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