Today in History 9/19/19

Published 8:34 am Thursday, September 19, 2019

Today is Thursday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2019. There are 103 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 19, 2008, struggling to stave off financial catastrophe, the Bush administration laid out a radical bailout plan calling for a takeover of a half-trillion dollars or more in worthless mortgages and other bad debt held by tottering institutions. Relieved investors sent stocks soaring on Wall Street and around the globe.

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On this date:

In 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although British forces succeeded in driving out the American troops, the Americans prevailed in a second battle the following month.

In 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published. In it, America’s first chief executive advised, “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2-1/2 months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of 20-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

In 1970, the “Mary Tyler Moore” show debuted on CBS-TV.

In 1982, the smiley emoticon was invented by Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman, who suggested punctuating humorously intended computer messages with a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal “smiley face.” 🙂

In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.

In 1986, federal health officials announced that the experimental drug AZT would be made available to thousands of AIDS patients.

In 1995, The New York Times and The Washington Post published the manifesto of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, which proved instrumental in identifying and capturing him.

In 1996, IBM announced it would extend health benefits to the partners of its gay employees.

In 2001, The Pentagon ordered dozens of advanced aircraft to the Persian Gulf region as the hour of military retaliation for deadly terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 drew closer.

In 2004, Hu Jintao became the undisputed leader of China with the departure of former President Jiang Zemin from his top military post.

Ten years ago: Russia said it would scrap a plan to deploy missiles near Poland after Washington dumped a planned missile shield in Eastern Europe. Art Ferrante, 88, half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher, died in Longboat Key, Fla. (Lou Teicher had died in 2008 at age 83.)

Five years ago: President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing the military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants in the Middle East. Shortly after President Obama and his daughters left the White House by helicopter, a man with a knife jumped the fence and made it into the presidential residence before being tackled. (Omar Gonzalez, an Army veteran with mental health issues, was later sentenced to 17 months in prison.) Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba debuted as a publicly traded company and swiftly climbed nearly 40 percent in a mammoth IPO.

One year ago: President Donald Trump visited North and South Carolina to survey the wreckage left by Hurricane Florence. Wanda Barzee, who had helped her then-husband kidnap Utah teen Elizabeth Smart 15 years earlier, was released from prison; Smart had said she was shocked and disappointed by the news that Barzee would be freed.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 99. Host James Lipton (TV: “Inside the Actors Studio”) is 93. Actress Rosemary Harris is 92. Actor David McCallum is 86. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 79. Singer Bill Medley is 79. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 79. R&B singer Freda Payne is 77. Retired professional golfer Jane Blalock is 74. Singer David Bromberg is 74. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 74. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 72. Former NFL running back Larry Brown is 72. Actor Jeremy Irons is 71. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 70. TV personality Joan Lunden is 69. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 68. Actor Scott Colomby is 67. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 67. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 64. Rock singer Lita Ford is 61. Actor Kevin Hooks is 61. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 60. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is 59. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 57. Country singer Jeff Bates is 56. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 55. News anchor Soledad O’Brien is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin (Society of Soul) is 50. Celebrity chef Michael Symon is 50. Actor Victor Williams is 49. Actress Sanaa Lathan is 48. Actress Stephanie J. Block is 47. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 46. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon is 45. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 43. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney is 43. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 42. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan Quin are 39. Actor Columbus Short is 37. Rapper Eamon is 36. Christian rock musician JD Frazier is 36. Actor Kevin Zegers is 35. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 32. Actress Katrina Bowden is 31.

Thought for Today: “Do not let yourself be tainted with a barren skepticism.” — Louis Pasteur, French scientist (1822-1895).