Today is Wednesday, Sept. 14, the 258th day of 2016. There are 108 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British bombardment during the War of 1812; the poem later became the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
On this date:
In 1715, Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon, credited with advances in the production of champagne, died in Hautvillers, France, at age 76.
In 1829, the Treaty of Adrianople was signed, ending war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.
In 1861, the first naval engagement of the Civil War took place as the USS Colorado attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida.
In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin; Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.
In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice (nees), France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of the sports car she was riding in.
In 1941, Vermont passed a resolution enabling its servicemen to receive wartime bonuses by declaring the U.S. to be in a state of armed conflict, giving rise to headlines that Vermont had “declared war on Germany.”
In 1954, the Soviet Union detonated a 40-kiloton atomic test weapon.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI opened the third session of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, also known as “Vatican II.” (The session closed two months later.)
In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.
In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly actress Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before; Lebanon’s president-elect, Bashir Gemayel (bah-SHEER’ jeh-MAY’-el), was killed by a bomb.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, appeared together on radio and television to appeal for a “national crusade” against drug abuse.
In 1991, the government of South Africa, the African National Congress and the Inkatha (in-KAH’-tah) Freedom Party signed a national peace pact.
Ten years ago: Authorities advised people to avoid eating bagged fresh spinach, the suspected (later confirmed) source of an outbreak of E. coli illnesses that killed three people. Three men became the first rabbis ordained in Germany since World War II during a ceremony in Dresden. Actor-bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, husband of actress Jayne Mansfield and father of actress Mariska Hargitay, died in Los Angeles at age 80.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama urged enthusiastic college students at North Carolina State University to join him in his fight to get Congress to act on his new jobs bill. A government panel released a report saying that BP bore ultimate responsibility for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
One year ago: Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim boy, was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, that was mistaken for a possible bomb; police declined to seek any charges against the teenager. Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis returned to work for the first time since she was jailed for defying a federal court and announced that she would no longer block her deputies from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump renewed his campaign against illegal immigration, telling a cheering crowd of thousands at the American Airlines Center in Dallas that “it’s disgusting what’s happening to our country.” At least a dozen people were killed in flash floods that struck in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, along with seven hikers who drowned in a narrow canyon in Zion National Park and a man from Hurricane, Utah. Fred Deluca, 67, the Subway co-founder who turned a sandwich shop he started as a teenager into the world’s largest fast-food chain, died in New York.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Zoe Caldwell is 83. Feminist author Kate Millett is 82. Actor Walter Koenig is 80. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown is 76. Singer-actress Joey Heatherton is 72. Actor Sam Neill is 69. Singer Jon “Bowzer” Bauman (Sha Na Na) is 69. Rock musician Ed King is 67. Actor Robert Wisdom is 63. Rock musician Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) is 61. Country singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is 60. Actress Mary Crosby is 57. Singer Morten Harket (a-ha) is 57. Country singer John Berry is 57. Actress Melissa Leo is 56. Actress Faith Ford is 52. Actor Jamie Kaler is 52. Actress Michelle Stafford is 51. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is 51. Rock musician Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers) is 50. Actor Dan Cortese is 49. Contemporary Christian singer Mark Hall is 47. Actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry is 47. Actor Ben Garant is 46. Rock musician Craig Montoya (Tri Polar) is 46. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley is 45. Actor Andrew Lincoln is 43. Rapper Nas is 43. Actor Austin Basis is 40. Country singer Danielle Peck is 38. Pop singer Ayo is 36. Actor Sebastian Sozzi is 34. Actor Adam Lamberg is 32. Singer Alex Clare is 31. Actress Jessica Brown Findlay is 29. Actor-singer Logan Henderson is 27.
Thought for Today: “I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” — Adlai E. Stevenson, American statesman (1900-1965).