Sep 21, 2010 3:44 PM

Today in History-September 21, 2010

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2010. There are 101 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 21, 1893, one of America's first horseless carriages was taken for a short test drive in Springfield, Mass. by Frank Duryea, who had designed the gasoline-powered vehicle with his brother, Charles.

On this date:

In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

In 1897, the New York Sun ran its famous editorial that declared, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

In 1931, Britain went off the gold standard.

In 1937, "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkien, was first published.

In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV.

In 1970, "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.

In 1982, Amin Gemayel, brother of Lebanon's assassinated president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was himself elected president. National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1987, NFL players called a strike, mainly over the issue of free agency. (The 24-day walkout prompted football owners to hire replacement players.)

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo, packing sustained winds up to 135 mph, crashed into Charleston, S.C. Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, involved in a collision with a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.

Ten years ago: An Iranian appeals court reduced the prison terms for ten Jews convicted of "cooperating" with Israel in a case that had drawn international criticism.

Five years ago: Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 5, 165-mph monster as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were evacuated. A JetBlue Airbus circled Southern California for hours, crippled by a faulty landing gear, while inside the cabin, passengers were able to watch the drama unfold on live television; the plane landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport. Japan's Parliament re-elected Junichiro Koizumi (joon-ee-chee-roh koh-ee-zoo-mee) prime minister. Former National Organization for Women president Molly Yard died in Pittsburgh at age 93.

One year ago: Record flooding hit the Atlanta area, leaving neighborhoods, schools and even sections of roller coasters submerged in several feet of water. Deposed President Manuel Zelaya (zuh-LY'-uh) of Honduras defied threats of arrest and returned to his country, three months after he was forced into exile. (Zelaya took shelter at the Brazilian Embassy for four months until he was allowed to fly to the Dominican Republic.)

Today's Birthdays: Actor Karl Slover ("The Wizard of Oz") is 92. Actor Larry Hagman is 79. Poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen is 76. Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 66. Author Stephen King is 63. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 63. Musician Don Felder is 63. Retired NBA All-Star Artis Gilmore is 61. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 60. Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye is 59. Rock musician Philthy Animal is 56. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 53. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 53. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 51. Actor David James Elliott is 50. Actress Serena Scott-Thomas is 49. Actress Nancy Travis is 49. Actor Rob Morrow is 48. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 47. Actress Cheryl Hines is 45. Country singer Faith Hill is 43. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 43. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 42. Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake is 42. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 42. Actor James Lesure is 39. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is 39. Actor Luke Wilson is 39. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 32. TV personality Nicole Richie is 29. Actress Maggie Grace is 27. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 27. Rapper Wale (WAH'-lay) is 26. Actors Nikolas and Lorenzo Brino ("7th Heaven") are 12.

Thought for Today: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (born 1788, died this date in 1860).

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



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