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Sep 10, 2010 6:07 PM by Melissa Canone

Today in History September 10, 2010

Today is Friday, Sept. 10, the 253rd day of 2010. There are 112 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 10, 1960, Hurricane Donna, a dangerous Category 4 storm, struck the Florida Keys. (In the days that followed, Donna crossed over the Florida Peninsula and headed northward, subjecting the East Coast to hurricane-force winds; the storm was blamed for 364 deaths.)

On this date:

1608 John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia.

1813 Oliver H. Perry sent the message, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours," after an American naval force defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

1846 Elias Howe of Spencer, Mass., received a patent for the sewing machine.

1919 New York City welcomed home Gen. John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers who'd served in the U.S. First Division during World War I.

1924 A judge in Chicago sentenced Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb to life in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks - a "thrill killing" that had shocked the nation.

1935 Sen. Huey P. Long, the "Kingfish" of Louisiana politics, died two days after being shot in Baton Rouge.

1939 Canada declared war on Nazi Germany as Parliament acted at the behest of Prime Minister Wiliam Lyon Mackenzie King.


1945 Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death in Norway for collaborating with the Nazis (he was executed by firing squad in Oct. 1945).

1948 American-born Mildred Gillars, the Nazi wartime radio broadcaster known as "Axis Sally," was indicted in Washington, D.C., for treason.

1955 "Gunsmoke" premiered on CBS. (It ran for 20 years, longer than any other network prime-time series.)

1963 Twenty black students entered public schools in Birmingham, Tuskegee and Mobile, Ala., following a standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C. Wallace.

1977 A convicted murderer became the last person to be executed by the guillotine in France.

1979 four Puerto Rican nationalists imprisoned for a 1954 attack on the U.S. House of Representatives and a 1950 attempt on the life of President Harry S. Truman were freed from prison after being granted clemency by President Jimmy Carter.

1983 John Vorster (FAWS'-tur), prime minister of white-ruled South Africa from 1966 to 1978, died in Cape Town at age 67.

1988 Steffi Graf of West Germany achieved tennis' Grand Slam - winning all four major tournaments in a calendar year - by taking the U.S. Open women's title.

1989 Hungary stopped enforcing East German visa restrictions and opened its borders, beginning a flood of emigration that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall two months later.

2000 The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats" closed after 7,485 performances over nearly 18 years as the longest-running show in Broadway history.

2000 NBC's "The West Wing" won a record nine Emmy awards, including best drama series.

2002 Switzerland became the 190th member of the United Nations.

2003 Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, 46, was stabbed in a Stockholm department store; she died the next day.

2008 The world's largest particle collider passed its first major tests by firing two beams of protons in opposite directions around a 17-mile ring under the Franco-Swiss border.
Ten years ago: The space shuttle Atlantis docked with the international space station. Controversial basketball coach Bob Knight was fired by Indiana University for what was called a pattern of unacceptable behavior. Marat Safin (mah-RAHT' SA'-fihn) beat Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to become the first Russian to win the U.S. Open. Tiger Woods won the Canadian Open by one stroke over Grant Waite. NBC's "The West Wing" won a record-setting nine Emmy awards, including best drama series; NBC's "Will and Grace" won best comedy. The musical "Cats" closed on Broadway after 7,485 performances.

Five years ago: Cadaver dogs and boatloads of forensic workers fanned out across New Orleans to collect the corpses left behind by Hurricane Katrina; cleanup crews towed away abandoned cars and even began readying a hotel for reopening. Kim Clijsters won her first major title, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Mary Pierce at the U.S. Open. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the singer and guitarist who'd built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died in Orange, Texas, at age 81.

One year ago: President Barack Obama said he'd accepted Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's apology for shouting "You lie!" during the president's health-care speech to Congress. A frail Sen. Robert Byrd addressed the Senate for the first time in months to pay tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy, his one-time rival and longtime dear friend. The activist group ACORN fired two employees of its Baltimore office after they were seen in hidden-camera video giving tax advice to a pair of conservative activists, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, who were posing as a pimp and a prostitute.

Today's Birthdays: Golfer Arnold Palmer is 81. Actor Philip Baker Hall is 79. Country singer Tommy Overstreet is 73. Actor Greg Mullavey is 71. Jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers is 70. Singer Danny Hutton (Three Dog Night) is 68. Singer Jose Feliciano is 65. Actor Tom Ligon is 65. Actress Judy Geeson is 62. Former Canadian first lady Margaret Trudeau is 62. Political commentator Bill O'Reilly is 61. Rock musician Joe Perry (Aerosmith) is 60. Actress Amy Irving is 57. Country singer Rosie Flores is 54. Actress Kate Burton is 53. Movie director Chris Columbus is 52. Actor Colin Firth is 50. Rock singer-musician David Lowery (Cracker) is 50. Actor Sean O'Bryan is 47. MLB All-Star pitcher Randy Johnson is 47. Rock musician Robin Goodridge (Bush) is 45. Rock musician Stevie D. (Buckcherry) is 44. Rock singer-musician Miles Zuniga (Fastball) is 44. Rapper Big Daddy Kane is 42. Movie director Guy Ritchie is 42. Contemporary Christian singer Sara Groves is 38. Actor Ryan Phillippe (FIHL'-ih-pee) is 36. Rock musician Mikey Way (My Chemical Romance) is 30. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Timothy Goebel is 30. Rock musician Matthew Followill (Kings of Leon) is 26. Singer Sanjaya Malakar ("American Idol") is 21. Actress Hannah Hodson is 19.

Thought for Today: "History is but a confused heap of facts." - Lord Chesterfield, British statesman (1694-1773).

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