Today is Sunday, September 8, the 251st day of 2013. There are 114 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1494 – France’s King Charles VIII enters Turin, Italy, seeking to establish his claim to throne of Naples.
1565 – A Spanish expedition establishes the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Florida.
1664 – The Dutch surrender New Amsterdam to the British, who rename it New York.
1831 – Russia takes Warsaw after two-day battle, and Polish revolt collapses.
1900 – Galveston, Texas, is struck by a hurricane that kills about 6,000 people.
1926 – Germany is admitted to League of Nations. The league was formed to foster international cooperation and world peace.
1934 – Fire aboard luxury liner Morro Castle off New Jersey coast in the United States takes 134 lives.
1939 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a “limited national emergency” due to the outbreak of war in Europe.
1941 – The Germans begin an 872-day siege of Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Russia.
1943 – Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower announces Italy’s unconditional surrender in World War II. The Germans take over Rome and northern Italy.
1944 – The first of more than 1,000 German V-2 ballistic missiles land in Britain.
1951 – A peace treaty with Japan is signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco.
1952 – American writer Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man and the Sea” is published.
1954 – Southeast Asia Defense Treaty and Pacific Charter is signed in Manila by Britain, France, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines.
1972 – Israeli air force, in retaliation for slaying of Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics, attacks 10 Palestinian guerrilla bases and naval installations in Syria and Lebanon.
1974 – U.S. President Gerald Ford grants an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.
1979 – Three armed Lebanese surrender to Iranian authorities in Tehran after hijacking an Italian airliner the day before. The hijackers released 175 passengers in Rome and the remaining 35 in Teheran.
1983 – Ten people are killed in anti-government protests in Santiago, as Chileans continue to demand the resignation of President Augusto Pinochet and a return to civilian rule.
1986 – The president of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, escapes an attempt on his life by rebels.
1988 – About 1 million demonstrators demanding democracy paralyze Yangon, Myanmar.
1991 – Macedonians vote to become the third of six Yugoslav republics to choose independence.
1992 – Nelson Mandela calls for the removal of the homeland ruler whose troops killed 24 protesters, sparking a major confrontation between black and white leaders in South Africa.
1993 – Gunmen in Johannesburg, South Africa kill at least 21 black commuters and wound 25.
1994 – British, French and American troops pull out of Berlin, leaving the city without foreign soldiers for the first time since World War II.
1995 – The former Yugoslav republics agree in Geneva to create a state within Bosnia for rebel Serbs while maintaining the country’s unity.
1996 – Okinawa residents vote more than 10-to-1 in favor of a referendum to reduce U.S. military bases on the Japanese island.
1997 – A ferry sinks north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, drowning an estimated 200 people.
1998 – Serb forces launch a new offensive against separatists in western Kosovo a day after U.S. envoys failed to persuade Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to halt the attacks.
1999 – The United Nations delays its withdrawal from East Timor out of concern for the safety of some 2,000 East Timorese who have taken refuge in the U.N. compound.
2000 – The head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs apologizes for the federal agency’s “legacy of racism and inhumanity” that included massacres, forced relocations of tribes and attempts to wipe out native Indian cultures.
2002 – Yugoslavia wins its second straight title at the World Basketball Championships, beating Argentina, 84-77, in overtime in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yugoslavia also eliminated a U.S. team comprised of NBA stars, in a 81-78 upset.
2003 – Ariel Sharon becomes the first Israeli prime minister to visit India since the two countries established full diplomatic relations in 1992.
2004 – Russia’s top general threatens to strike terrorists “in any region of the world,” and the Kremlin offers a $10 million reward for information leading to the killing or capture of Chechnya’s top rebel leaders.
2005 – Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko fires his 7-month-old government amid allegations of corruption, dismissing his dynamic prime minister — the heroine of the Orange Revolution that swept him to power — and accepting the resignation of one of the movement’s top financial backers.
2006 – Two bombs tear through a crowd of Muslim worshippers in India who are leaving afternoon prayers at a mosque, killing 31 people and injuring 100.
2007 – A car bombing kills 28 coast guard officers in Algeria, just days after a blast ripped through a crowd waiting for the president. Al-Qaida’s North African affiliate claims responsibility for both attacks.
2008 – A landslide at an illegal mining operation in northern China kills at least 260 people.
2009 – A woman journalist convicted of public indecency in Sudan for wearing trousers outdoors is freed, despite her own desire to serve a month in prison as protest against the country’s draconian morality laws.
2010 – Fidel Castro tells a visiting American journalist that Cuba’s communist economic model does not work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years ago.
2011 – The U.S. government accuses a powerful Venezuelan general, an intelligence official and two political allies of President Hugo Chavez of providing arms, security and training to Colombia’s main rebel group.
2012 — A suicide bomber strikes at the heart of NATO’s operation in Kabul, killing six Afghan civilians in an attack officials blame on the Haqqani network — a militant group the U.S designated a terrorism organization.
Richard I, the Lion-Hearted, king of England (1157-1199); August Schlegal, German author (1767-1845); Antonin Dvorak, Bohemian composer (1841-1904); Jessie Wilcox Smith, U.S. painter/illustrator (1863-1935); Patsy Cline, U.S. country singer (1932-1963); Sid Caesar, U.S. comedian (1922–); Henry Thomas, U.S. actor (1971–); Neko Case, alt-country singer (1970–).
Thought for Today:
That pestilent cosmetic, rhetoric — T.H. Huxley, English biologist and author (1825-1895).