Today in History – Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017


Today is Saturday, Sept. 2, the 245th day of 2017. There are 120 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II.

On this date:

In 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out.

In 1789, the United States Treasury Department was established.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces occupied Atlanta.

In 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.

In 1924, the Rudolf Friml operetta “Rose Marie” opened on Broadway.

In 1935, a Labor Day hurricane slammed into the Florida Keys, claiming more than 400 lives.

In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic. (Ho died on this date in 1969.)

In 1963, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers. “The CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite was lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes, becoming network television’s first half-hour nightly newscast.

In 1969, in what some regard as the birth of the Internet, two connected computers at the University of California, Los Angeles, passed test data through a 15-foot cable.

In 1972, Dave Wottle of the United States won the men’s 800-meter race at the Munich Summer Olympics.

In 1986, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced Cathy Evelyn Smith to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter for her role in the 1982 drug overdose death of comedian John Belushi. (Smith served 18 months.)

In 1998, a Swissair MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard.

Ten years ago: Following two days of talks in Geneva, the chief U.S. envoy said North Korea had agreed to account for and disable its atomic programs by the end of the year; the head of the North Korean delegation said his country’s willingness to cooperate was clear, but he did not cite any dates. Hurricane Felix strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 storm as it toppled trees and flooded homes on a cluster of Dutch islands before churning its way into the open waters of the Caribbean.

Five years ago: Campaigning his way toward the Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama slapped a “Romney doesn’t care” label on his rival’s health-care views and said Republicans wanted to repeal new protections for millions without offering a plan of their own. Mark Abrahamian, 46, lead guitarist for the rock group Starship, died in Norfolk, Nebraska, of a heart attack after a performance.

One year ago: President Barack Obama departed for China on his final official trip to Asia. Tropical Storm Hermine hit Florida as a Category 1 hurricane, wiping away beachside buildings and toppling trees onto homes. Samsung Electronics recalled all of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after finding batteries in some of the flagship gadgets exploded or caught fire. The federal government banned more than a dozen chemicals long-used in antibacterial soaps, saying manufacturers had failed to show they were safe and killed germs.

Today’s Birthdays: Dancer-actress Marge Champion is 98. Former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., is 86. Actor-comedian Chuck McCann is 83. Former United States Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth is 80. Actor Derek Fowlds (TV: “Yes, Minister”; “Yes, Prime Minister”) is 80. Singer Jimmy Clanton is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sam Gooden (The Impressions) is 78. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rosalind Ashford (Martha & the Vandellas) is 74. Singer Joe Simon is 74. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw is 69. Basketball Hall of Famer Nate Archibald is 69. Actor Mark Harmon is 66. Former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is 66. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors is 65. Actress Linda Purl is 62. Rock musician Jerry Augustyniak (10,000 Maniacs) is 59. Country musician Paul Deakin (The Mavericks) is 58. Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson is 57. Actor Keanu Reeves is 53. International Boxing Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis is 52. Actress Salma Hayek is 51. Actor Tuc Watkins is 51.

Actress Kristen Cloke is 49. Actress Cynthia Watros is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer K-Ci is 48. Actor-comedian Katt Williams is 44. Actor Michael Lombardi is 43. Actress Tiffany Hines is 40. Rock musician Sam Rivers (Limp Bizkit) is 40. Actor Jonathan Kite is 38. Actress Allison Miller is 32. Rock musician Spencer Smith is 30. Electronic music DJ/producer Zedd is 28.

Thought for Today: “Life is a tragic mystery. We are pierced and driven by laws we only half understand, we find that the lesson we learn again and again is that of accepting heroic helplessness.” — Florida Scott-Maxwell, American writer and psychologist (1884-1979).