Today is Sunday, Sept. 25, the 269th day of 2016. There are 97 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 25, 1956, the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable officially went into service with a three-way ceremonial call between New York, Ottawa and London.
On this date:
In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.
In 1690, one of the earliest American newspapers, Publick Occurrences, published its first — and last — edition in Boston.
In 1775, American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal. (Allen was released by the British in 1778.)
In 1789, the first United States Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)
In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a measure establishing Sequoia National Park.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colorado, during a national speaking tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’).
In 1932, the Spanish region of Catalonia received a Charter of Autonomy (however, the Charter was revoked by Francisco Franco at the end of the Spanish Civil War).
In 1957, nine black students who’d been forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
In 1962, Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in round one to win the world heavyweight title at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
In 1991, Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie died in Lyon, France, at age 77.
Ten years ago: British forces in Iraq shot and killed Omar al-Farouq, a leading al-Qaida terrorist, more than a year after he embarrassed the U.S. military by escaping from a maximum security military prison in Afghanistan. Four French tourists kidnapped in Yemen were freed after more than two weeks in captivity. The Louisiana Superdome, a symbol of misery during Hurricane Katrina, reopened for a New Orleans Saints game. (The Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 23-3.)
Five years ago: Declaring they’d been detained because of their nationality, not their actions, Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, two American hikers held for more than two years in an Iranian prison, returned to the United States. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah decreed that women would, for the first time, have the right to vote and run in local elections due in 2015. Wangari Maathai (wan-GAH’-ree mah-DY’), 71, the first African woman recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, died in Nairobi.
One year ago: House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation. President Barack Obama laid out a fresh threat of sanctions for economic espionage emanating from China, even as he and President Xi Jinping pledged their countries would not conduct or support such hacking. During a visit to New York City, Pope Francis offered comfort to 9/11 victims’ families at ground zero, warnings to world leaders at the United Nations and encouragement to schoolchildren in Harlem. International leaders at the United Nations approved an ambitious 15-year plan to tackle the world’s biggest problems, from eradicating poverty to preserving the planet.
Today’s Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 87. Folk singer Ian Tyson is 83. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is 73. Actor Josh Taylor is 73. Actor Robert Walden is 73. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 72. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 69. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 68. Movie director Pedro Almodovar is 67. Actor-director Anson Williams is 67. Actor Mark Hamill is 65. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is 65. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 65. Actor Colin Friels is 64. Actor Michael Madsen is 58. Actress Heather Locklear is 55. Actress Aida Turturro is 54. Actor Tate Donovan is 53. TV personality Keely Shaye Smith is 53. Actress Maria Doyle Kennedy is 52. Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is 51. Actor Jason Flemyng is 50. Actor Will Smith is 48. Actor Hal Sparks is 47. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 47. Rock musician Mike Luce (Drowning Pool) is 45. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 43. Actress Clea DuVall is 39. Actor Robbie Jones is 39. Actor Joel David Moore is 39. Actor Chris Owen is 36. Rapper T. I. is 36. Actor Van Hansis is 35. Actor Lee Norris is 35. Actor/rapper Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) is 33. Actor Zach Woods is 32. Actor Jordan Gavaris is 27. Olympic silver medal figure skater Mao Asada is 26. Actress Emmy Clarke is 25.
Thought for Today: “History is too serious to be left to historians.” — Iain Macleod, British politician (1913-1970).