Today in History – Friday, Sept. 1, 2017


Today is Friday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2017. There are 121 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

On this date:

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. (Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)

In 1897, the first section of Boston’s new subway system was opened.

In 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan entered Confederation as the eighth and ninth provinces of Canada.

In 1914, the last passenger pigeon in captivity, “Martha,” died at the Cincinnati Zoo.

In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an earthquake that claimed some 140,000 lives.

In 1945, Americans received word of Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II. (Because of the time difference, it was Sept. 2 in Tokyo Bay, where the ceremony took place.)

In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.

In 1969, a coup in Libya brought Moammar Gadhafi to power.

In 1976, U.S. Rep. Wayne L. Hays, D-Ohio, resigned in the wake of a scandal in which he admitted having an affair with “secretary” Elizabeth Ray.

In 1983, 269 people were killed when a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet airspace.

In 1987, peace demonstrator S. Brian Willson lost his lower legs when he was hit by a train at the Concord Naval Weapons Station in California while protesting weapons shipments to Central America.

In 1995, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. (The hall opened to the public the next day.)

Ten years ago: Idaho Sen. Larry Craig announced his resignation, saying he would leave office on September 30, 2007, in the wake of fallout over his arrest and guilty plea in a Minnesota airport gay sex sting. (However, Craig later reversed his decision, saying he would serve out the rest of his term.) Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his second major league start, just hours after being called up by the Boston Red Sox. Buchholz struck out nine, walked three and hit one batter to give the Red Sox a 10-0 victory over Baltimore.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama ridiculed the just-completed Republican National Convention as better-suited to an era of black-and-white TV and “trickle-down, you’re on your own” economics, and declared that Mitt Romney “did not offer a single new idea” for fixing the economy. Lyricist Hal David, 91, who teamed with Burt Bacharach on dozens of timeless songs for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: A massive fireball and explosion erupted at SpaceX’s main launch pad at Cape Canaveral, destroying a rocket as well as a satellite that Facebook was counting on to spread internet service in Africa. Dallas police Chief David Brown, who oversaw the response to a July 2016 sniper attack that killed five of his officers, announced his retirement effective in October. Fred Hellerman, a member of the influential folk music quartet the Weavers, died in Weston, Connecticut, at age 89.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Maharis is 89. Conductor Seiji Ozawa (SAY’-jee oh-ZAH’-wah) is 82. Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is 79. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 78. Actor Don Stroud is 74. Conductor Leonard Slatkin is 73. Singer Archie Bell is 73. Singer Barry Gibb is 71. Rock musician Greg Errico is 69. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 67. Singer Gloria Estefan is 60. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is 56. Jazz musician Boney James is 56. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 54. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 53. Retired NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is 51. Rap DJ Spigg Nice (Lost Boyz) is 47. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira is 46. Actor Maury Sterling is 46. Rock singer JD Fortune is 44. Actor Scott Speedman is 42. Country singer Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) is 41. Actor Boyd Holbrook is 36. Actress Zoe Lister-Jones is 35. Rock musician Joe Trohman is 33. Actress Aisling (ASH’-ling) Loftus is 27.

Thought for Today: “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” — Margaret Drabble, British author.