Today in History – Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017


Today is Wednesday, Sept. 6, the 249th day of 2017. There are 116 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz (CHAWL’-gawsh) at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. (McKinley died eight days later; Czolgosz was executed on October 29.)

On this date:

In 1861, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant occupied Paducah, Kentucky, during the Civil War.

In 1916, the first self-serve grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.

In 1925, the silent film horror classic “The Phantom of the Opera,” starring Lon Chaney, had its world premiere at the Astor Theater in New York.

In 1939, the Union of South Africa declared war on Germany.

In 1943, 79 people were killed when a New York-bound Pennsylvania Railroad train derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.

In 1954, groundbreaking took place for the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in western Pennsylvania.

In 1966, birth control advocate Margaret Sanger died in Tucson, Arizona, at age 86, eight days before her birthday. South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd (fehr-FOORT’) was stabbed to death by an apparently deranged page during a parliamentary session in Cape Town.

In 1970, Palestinian guerrillas seized control of three U.S.-bound jetliners. (Two were later blown up on the ground in Jordan, along with a London-bound plane hijacked on Sept. 9; the fourth plane was destroyed on the ground in Egypt. No hostages were harmed.)

In 1975, 18-year-old tennis star Martina Navratilova of Czechoslovakia, in New York for the U.S. Open, requested political asylum in the United States.

In 1985, all 31 people aboard a Midwest Express Airlines DC-9 were killed when the Atlanta-bound jetliner crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee’s Mitchell Field.

In 1997, a public funeral was held for Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in London, six days after her death in a car crash in Paris.

In 2002, meeting outside Washington, D.C. for only the second time since 1800, Congress convened in New York to pay homage to the victims and heroes of September 11.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo jin-tow), in Sydney, Australia, for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, called for greater international cooperation in tackling climate change without stifling economic growth. Death claimed opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy, at age 71 and author Madeleine L’Engle (“A Wrinkle in Time”) in Litchfield, Connecticut, at age 88.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama conceded only halting progress toward solving the nation’s economic woes, but vowed in a Democratic National Convention finale, “Our problems can be solved, our challenges can be met.” Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police officer who gained notoriety after his much-younger wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007, was convicted of murdering a previous wife, Kathleen Savio. (Peterson was later sentenced to 38 years in prison.) Rihanna won video of the year at the MTV Awards for “We Found Love.” One Direction won best pop video, best new artist and most share-worthy video for “What Makes You Beautiful.”

One year ago: On the campaign trail, Democrat Hillary Clinton accused Republican Donald Trump of insulting America’s veterans and pressing dangerous military plans, while Trump declared “our country is going to hell” because of policies he said Clinton would make even worse. Hospital officials in northern France announced the death the previous April of Isabelle Dinoire, a Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant; she was 49.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian JoAnne Worley is 82. Country singer David Allan Coe is 78. Rock singer-musician Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) is 74. Actress Swoosie Kurtz is 73. Comedian-actress Jane Curtin is 70. Rock musician Mick Mashbir is 69. Country singer-songwriter Buddy Miller is 65. Actor James Martin Kelly is 63. Country musician Joe Smyth (Sawyer Brown) is 60. Actor-comedian Jeff Foxworthy is 59. Actor-comedian Michael Winslow is 59. Rock musician Perry Bamonte is 57. Actor Steven Eckholdt is 56. Rock musician Scott Travis (Judas Priest) is 56. Pop musician Pal Waaktaar (a-ha) is 56. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is 55. Rock musician Kevin Miller is 55. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is 55. Country singer Mark Chesnutt is 54. Actress Betsy Russell is 54. Actress Rosie Perez is 53. Rhythm and blues singer Macy Gray is 50. Singer CeCe Peniston is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darryl Anthony (Az Yet) is 48. Actress Daniele Gaither is 47. Rock singer Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) is 46. Actor Dylan Bruno is 45. Actor Idris Elba is 45. Actress Justina Machado is 45. Actress Anika Noni (ah-NEE’-kuh NOH’-nee) Rose is 45. Rock singer Nina Persson (The Cardigans) is 43. Actor Justin Whalin is 43. Actress Naomie Harris is 41. Rapper Noreaga is 40. Actress Natalia Cigliuti is 39. Rapper Foxy Brown is 39. Actor Howard Charles is 34. Actress Lauren Lapkus is 32. Rock singer Max George (The Wanted) is 29.

Thought for Today: “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” — Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish author and philosopher (1919-1999).