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Sep 24, 2010 4:10 PM

Today in History-September 24, 2010

Today is Friday, Sept. 24, the 267th day of 2010. There are 98 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 24, 1789, Congress passed a Judiciary Act which provided for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as "Black Friday" after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.

In 1929, Lt. James H. Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY-2 Biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight.

In 1948, Mildred Gillars, accused of being Nazi wartime radio propagandist "Axis Sally," pleaded not guilty in Washington, D.C. to charges of treason. (Gillars, later convicted, ended up serving 12 years in prison.)

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.

In 1960, the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News, Va. "The Howdy Doody Show" ended a nearly 13-year run with its final telecast on NBC.

In 1963, the U.S. Senate ratified a treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union limiting nuclear testing.

In 1969, the trial of the Chicago Eight (later seven) began. (Five were later convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic convention, but the convictions were ultimately overturned.)

In 1976, former hostage Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Jimmy Carter.)

In 1981, four Armenian gunmen seized the Turkish consulate in Paris, killing a guard and holding 56 hostages for 15 hours before surrendering.

In 1998, the government began releasing the new, harder-to-counterfeit $20 bill.

Ten years ago: For the first time, citizens of the Yugoslav federation - Serbia and Montenegro - voted directly for president. (Supporters of opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica (VAW'-yee-slahv kohsh-TOO'-nee-tzuh) declared victory the next day, but the election commission said a runoff was needed, prompting massive protests that toppled President Slobodan Milosevic (sloh-BOH'-dahn mee-LOH'-shuh-vich).)

Five years ago: Hurricane Rita struck eastern Texas and the Louisiana coast, causing more flooding in New Orleans. Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House, staging the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion. Vice President Dick Cheney had surgery to repair aneurysms on the back of both knees.

One year ago: With President Barack Obama presiding, the U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed a sweeping strategy aimed at halting the spread of nuclear weapons and ultimately eliminating them. The heads of the Group of 20 nations began a two-day meeting in Pittsburgh aimed at making sure a fledgling global recovery remained on track. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick tapped former Democratic National Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. to temporarily fill the Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy. Susan Atkins, 61, a member of the Charles Manson "family" who admitted stabbing actress Sharon Tate to death in the cult's 1969 murder rampage, died in prison at Chowchilla, Calif.

Today's Birthdays: Actor-singer Herb Jeffries is 99. Actress Sheila MacRae is 86. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sonny Turner (The Platters) is 71. Singer Barbara Allbut (The Angels) is 70. Pro Football Hall of Famer John Mackey is 69. Singer Phyllis "Jiggs" Allbut (The Angels) is 68. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 68. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 65. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Greene is 64. Actor Gordon Clapp is 62. Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass., is 58. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 52. Christian/jazz singer Cedric Dent (Take 6) is 48. Actress-writer Nia Vardalos is 48. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 41. Actress Megan Ward is 41. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 39. Contemporary Christian musician Juan DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 35. Olympic gold medal gymnast Paul Hamm is 28. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 22.

Thought for Today: "There was never a nation great until it came to the knowledge that it had nowhere in the world to go for help." - Charles Dudley Warner, American author and editor (1829-1900).

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