Today in History

Today is Saturday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2013. There are 108 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write a poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry,” after witnessing how an American flag flying over the Maryland fort withstood 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 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops entered Moscow following the Battle of Borodino to find the Russian city largely abandoned and parts set ablaze.

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, Fla.

In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, N.Y., 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 1963, Mary Ann Fischer of Aberdeen, S.D., gave birth to four girls and a boy, the first known surviving quintuplets in the United States.

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 1988, Hurricane Gilbert slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 5 storm after forcing thousands of residents to flee.

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: Swedes rejected adopting the European common currency in a referendum overshadowed by the killing of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, an ardent euro supporter. World Trade Organization talks designed to change global trade collapsed in Cancun, Mexico, amid differences between rich and poor nations. An older half-sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, Yetunde Price, was shot to death in Compton, Calif. (Gang member Robert Edward Maxfield later pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.)

Five years ago: Losing its devastating punch as a major hurricane, Ike nevertheless drubbed the Midwest with powerful winds and floodwaters. Carlos Zambrano pitched the first no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs in 36 years, striking out 10 in a 5-0 win over Houston in a game relocated to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.

One year ago: Fury over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad spread across the Muslim world, with deadly clashes near Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, an American fast-food restaurant set ablaze in Lebanon, and international peacekeepers attacked in the Sinai. A French gossip magazine’s publication of topless photos of Prince William’s wife, Kate, prompted an immediate lawsuit from the royal couple and statements of outrage from palace officials. The National Hockey League locked out its players at 11:59 p.m.; it was the league’s fourth shutdown in a decade and one that would cost the league nearly half its season.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Zoe Caldwell is 80. Feminist author Kate Millett is 79. Actor Walter Koenig is 77. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown is 73. Singer-actress Joey Heatherton is 69. Actor Sam Neill is 66. Singer Jon “Bowzer” Bauman (Sha Na Na) is 66. Rock musician Ed King is 64. Actor Robert Wisdom is 60. Rock musician Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) is 58. Country singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is 57. Actress Mary Crosby is 54. Singer Morten Harket (a-ha) is 54. Country singer John Berry is 54. Actress Melissa Leo is 53. Actress Faith Ford is 49. Actor Jamie Kaler is 49. Actress Michelle Stafford is 48. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is 48. Rock musician Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers) is 47. Actor Dan Cortese is 46. Contemporary Christian singer Mark Hall is 44. Actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry is 44. Actor Ben Garant is 43. Rock musician Craig Montoya (Tri Polar) is 43. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley is 42. Actor Andrew Lincoln is 40. Rapper Nas is 40. Actor Austin Basis is 37. Country singer Danielle Peck is 35. Pop singer Ayo is 33. Actor Sebastian Sozzi is 31. Actor Adam Lamberg is 29. Singer Alex Clare is 28. Actress Jessica Brown Findlay is 26. Actor-singer Logan Henderson is 24.

Thought for Today: “America has been called a melting pot, but it seems better to call it a mosaic, for in it each nation, people or race which has come to its shores has been privileged to keep its individuality, contributing at the same time its share to the unified pattern of a new nation.” — King Baudouin (boh-doo-AHN’) I of Belgium (1930-1993).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, Sept. 14)

Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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