Today in History – Monday, Sept. 5, 2016


Today is Monday, Sept. 5, the 249th day of 2016. There are 117 days left in the year. This is Labor Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 5, 1882, the nation’s first Labor Day was celebrated with a parade in New York. (Although Labor Day now takes place on the first Monday of September, this initial celebration occurred on a Tuesday.)

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On this date:

In 1774, the first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.

In 1836, Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.

In 1914, the First Battle of the Marne, resulting in a French-British victory over Germany, began during World War I.

In 1939, four days after war had broken out in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring U.S. neutrality in the conflict.

In 1945, Japanese-American Iva Toguri D’Aquino, suspected of being wartime broadcaster “Tokyo Rose,” was arrested in Yokohama. (D’Aquino was later convicted of treason and served six years in prison; she was pardoned in 1977 by President Gerald R. Ford.)

In 1957, the novel “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, was first published by Viking Press.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed legislation making aircraft hijackings a federal crime.

In 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic delegation at the Munich Games; 11 Israelis, five guerrillas and a police officer were killed in the resulting siege.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, California.

In 1986, four hijackers who had seized a Pan Am jumbo jet on the ground in Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire when the lights inside the plane failed; a total of 20 people were killed before Pakistani commandos stormed the jetliner.

In 1991, the 35th annual Naval Aviation Symposium held by the Tailhook Association opened in Las Vegas; during the four-day gathering, there were reports that dozens of people, most of them women, were sexually assaulted or otherwise harassed. (The episode triggered the resignation of Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett and the early retirement of Adm. Frank B. Kelso, then the chief of naval operations.)

In 1996, Hurricane Fran reached Cape Fear, North Carolina, hours before barreling ashore. (The National Weather Service says 26 deaths were caused by Fran, 14 of them in North Carolina.)

Ten years ago: A cook was charged with shooting and dismembering the owner of a Maine bed-and-breakfast and three other people in a Labor Day weekend rampage (Christian Nielsen was later sentenced to life in prison). Felipe Calderon was declared Mexico’s president-elect after two months of uncertainty over a disputed election. Boeing executive Alan Mulally was named president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., succeeding Bill Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford. Katie Couric began a five-year run as principal anchor of “The CBS Evening News.”

Five years ago: President Barack Obama used a boisterous Labor Day rally in Detroit to put congressional Republicans on the spot, challenging them to place the country’s interests above all else and vote to create jobs and put the economy back on a path toward growth. The prosecution’s first witness in the trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Gen. Hussein Moussa, startled the court by testifying that police had not been ordered to fire on protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, contradicting prosecutors’ central claim.

One year ago: Germans waving welcome signs in German, English and Arabic gathered at a train station to welcome the first group of a wave of migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa. Actress Setsuko Hara, 95, star of director Yasujiro Ozu’s “Tokyo Story” and many other Japanese classics, died in Kamakura.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul A. Volcker is 89. Comedian-actor Bob Newhart is 87. Actress-singer Carol Lawrence is 84. Actor William Devane is 77. Actor George Lazenby is 77. Actress Raquel Welch is 76. Movie director Werner Herzog is 74. Singer Al Stewart is 71. Actor-director Dennis Dugan is 70. College Football Hall of Famer Jerry LeVias is 70. Singer Loudon Wainwright III is 70. “Cathy” cartoonist Cathy Guisewite (GYZ’-wyt) is 66. Actor Michael Keaton is 65. Country musician Jamie Oldaker (The Tractors) is 65. Actress Debbie Turner-Larson (Marta in “The Sound of Music”) is 60. Actress Kristian Alfonso is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Terry Ellis is 53. Rock musician Brad Wilk is 48. TV personality Dweezil Zappa is 47. Actress Rose McGowan is 43. Actress Carice Van Houten is 40. Actor Andrew Ducote is 30. Actress Kat Graham is 30. Olympic gold medal figure skater Kim Yu-na is 26. Actor Skandar Keynes is 25.

Thought for Today: “Ideas are one thing, and what happens is another.” — John Cage, American avant-garde composer (born this date in 1912, died in 1992).

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