Today in History
Today is Thursday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2013. There are 103 days left in the year.
On Sept. 19, 1982, the smiley emoticon was invented as Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman proposed punctuating humorously intended computer messages by employing a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal "smiley face." :-)
On this date:
In 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although the 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 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 Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.
In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.
In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named Rainier, in the Nevada desert.
In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, visiting Los Angeles, reacted angrily upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn't get to visit Disneyland.
In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro ended up staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.
In 1961, Barney and Betty Hill, a New Hampshire couple driving home from vacation, experienced what they later claimed under hypnosis was a short-term abduction by extraterrestrials.
In 1962, the Western TV series "The Virginian" debuted on NBC.
In 1970, the situation comedy "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS-TV.
In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.
Ten years ago: Former Hurricane Isabel raced from Virginia to Canada, delivering far less rain than expected but leaving millions without power. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's defense minister, Sultan Hashim Ahmad, surrendered to U.S. forces.
Five years ago: 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.
China's food safety crisis widened after the industrial chemical melamine was found in milk produced by three of the country's leading dairy companies.
Hours after performing for thousands of South Carolina college students, former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ AM were critically injured in a fiery Learjet crash that killed four people. (DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, was found dead in his apartment on Aug. 28; he was 36.)
Baseball's new instant replay system produced its first reversal when Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena had a two-run double changed to a three-run homer during the fourth inning of a game against Minnesota. (The Rays beat the Twins, 11-1.)
One year ago: Members of Congress presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. The Justice Department's internal watchdog found fault with the agency's handling of a gun-trafficking probe in Arizona that resulted in hundreds of weapons turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico. The inspector general's report referred more than a dozen people for possible disciplinary action for their roles in Operation Fast and Furious. The Windseeker ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., broke down, leaving about 20 riders who expected a three-minute thrill dangling 300 feet over the amusement park for nearly two hours.
Today's Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 93. TV host James Lipton ("Inside the Actors Studio") is 87. Actress Rosemary Harris is 86. Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown is 86. Actor Adam West is 85. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Bob Turley is 83. Actor David McCallum (TV: "NCIS") is 80. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 73. Singer Bill Medley is 73. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 73. Singer Freda Payne is 71. Golfer Jane Blalock is 68. Singer David Bromberg is 68. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 68. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 66. Former NFL running back Larry Brown is 66. Actor Jeremy Irons is 65. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 64. TV personality Joan Lunden is 63. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 62. Actor Scott Colomby is 61. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 61. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Reggie Williams is 59. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 58. Actor Kevin Hooks is 55. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 54. Country singer Jeff Bates is 50. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 49. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 48. News anchor Soledad O'Brien is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin (Society of Soul) is 44. Celebrity chef Michael Symon is 44. Actress Sanaa Lathan (suh-NAH' LAY'-thun) is 42. Actress Stephanie J. Block is 41. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 40. Comedian and TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon is 39. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 37. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney is 37. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 36. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan (TEE'-gan) Quin are 33. Actor Columbus Short is 31. Rapper Eamon is 30. Christian rock musician JD Frazier is 30. Actor Kevin Zegers is 29. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 26.
Thought for Today: "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with." -- W.C. Fields, American comedian (1880-1946).
Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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