On Sept. 23, 1952, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice presidential nomination by appearing live on television to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising. (The address became known as the "Checkers" speech because of Nixon's on-air reference to the family pet, a dog named Checkers.)
On this date:
In 63 B.C., Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor, was born.
In 1779, during the Revolutionary War, the American warship Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, defeated the HMS Serapis in battle.
In 1780, British spy John Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender West Point to the British.
In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.
In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle.
In 1908, an apparent baserunning error by Fred Merkle of the New York Giants cost his team a victory against the Chicago Cubs and left the game tied 1-1. The Cubs won a rematch and with it, the National League pennant.
In 1912, Mack Sennett's first Keystone short subject, a "split-reel" of two comedies both starring Mabel Normand and Ford Sterling ("Cohen Collects a Debt" and "The Water Nymph"), was released. Houston's William Marsh Rice Institute, later renamed Rice University, opened for classes on the 12th anniversary of Rice's death.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman announced there was evidence the Soviet Union had recently conducted a nuclear test explosion. The test had been carried out on Aug. 29, 1949.
In 1957, nine black students who'd entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.
In 1962, "The Jetsons," an animated cartoon series about a Space Age family, premiered as the ABC television network's first color program.
In 1973, former Argentine president Juan Peron won a landslide election victory that returned him to power; his wife, Isabel, was elected vice president.
In 1981, the Reagan administration announced plans for what became known as Radio Marti.
In 2001, President George W. Bush returned the American flag to full staff at Camp David, symbolically ending a period of national mourning for the 9/11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thousands gathered at New York's Yankee Stadium to offer prayers for the victims of terrorism; Mayor Rudolph Giuliani pledged that "our skyline will rise again." Thirteen coal miners were killed in explosions at the Blue Creek Mine Number 5 in Brookwood, Ala.
Ten years ago: Speaking at the United Nations, President George W. Bush rejected calls from France and Germany to hasten the transfer of power in Iraq, insisting the shift to self-government could be "neither hurried nor delayed." A federal appeals court unanimously put California's recall election back on the calendar for October 7.
Five years ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused what he called "a few bullying powers" of trying to thwart his country's peaceful nuclear program and declared in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly that "the American empire" was nearing collapse. A 22-year-old gunman opened fire at his trade school in Finland, killing 10 people before fatally shooting himself.
One year ago: "Homeland" won the Emmy Award for best drama series, and its stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis each won leading actor awards. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters he would spend less time raising money and more time with voters. The Libyan militia suspected in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans said it had disbanded on orders of the country's president.
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