Today in History – Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017


Today is Sunday, Sept. 3, the 246th day of 2017. There are 119 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 3, 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland; in a radio address, Britain’s King George VI said, “With God’s help, we shall prevail.” The same day, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the British liner SS Athenia some 250 miles off the Irish coast, killing more than 100 out of the 1,400 or so people on board.

On this date:

In 1189, England’s King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

In 1658, Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England, died in London; he was succeeded by his son, Richard.

In 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.

In 1868, the Japanese city of Edo was renamed Tokyo.

In 1914, Cardinal Giacomo Della Chiesa became pope; he took the name Benedict XV.

In 1923, the United States and Mexico resumed diplomatic relations.

In 1940, Artie Shaw and his Gramercy Five recorded “Summit Ridge Drive” and “Special Delivery Stomp” for RCA Victor.

In 1951, the television soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” made its debut on CBS.

In 1967, Nguyen Van Thieu (nwen van too) was elected president of South Vietnam under a new constitution. Motorists in Sweden began driving on the right-hand side of the road instead of the left. The original version of the TV game show “What’s My Line?,” hosted by John Charles Daly, broadcast its final episode after more than 17 years on CBS.

In 1976, America’s Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the red planet’s surface.

In 1989, a Cubana de Aviacion jetliner crashed after takeoff in Havana, killing all 126 aboard and 45 people on the ground.

In 1995, the online auction site eBay was founded in San Jose, California, by Pierre Omidyar under the name “AuctionWeb.”

Ten years ago: Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, 63, went missing after taking off in a single-engine plane in western Nevada. (The wreckage of the plane and traces of his remains were found more than a year later.) President George W. Bush, accompanied by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, paid a surprise visit to Iraq, where he was briefed by U.S. military commanders and Iraqi leaders. Panama blasted away part of a hillside next to the canal, marking the start of the waterway’s biggest expansion since it opened in 1914.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama consoled victims of Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast and stoked the enthusiasm of union voters in the industrial heartland, blending a hard political sell with a softer show of sympathy on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. Prolific character actor Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, died in Los Angeles. Sun Myung Moon, 92, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, died in Gapeyeong, South Korea.

One year ago: President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) sealed their nations’ participation in the Paris climate change agreement during a ceremony on the sidelines of a global economic summit in Hangzhou (hahn-joh). Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited the Great Faith Ministries International, a predominantly black church in Detroit, to call for a “civil rights agenda for our time.” Authorities in Minnesota said they had identified the remains of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old boy kidnapped by a masked gunman in October 1989 near his home in St. Joseph; the case was solved when a man confessed to sexually assaulting and killing the boy.

Today’s Birthdays: “Beetle Bailey” cartoonist Mort Walker is 94. Actress Pauline Collins is 77. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 75. Actress Valerie Perrine is 74. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is 69. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 62. Actor Steve Schirripa is 60. Actor Holt McCallany is 53. Rock singer-musician Todd Lewis is 52. Actor Costas Mandylor is 52. Actor Charlie Sheen is 52. Singer Jennifer Paige is 44. Dance-rock musician Redfoo is 42. Actress Ashley Jones is 41. Actress Nichole Hiltz is 39. Actor Joel Johnstone is 39. Actor Nick Wechsler is 39. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 38. Bluegrass musician Darren Nicholson (Balsam Range) is 34. Actress Christine Woods is 34. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 33. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White is 31. Hip-hop singer August Alsina is 25.

Thought for Today: “It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.” — Muriel Spark, Scottish author (1918-2006).