Today in History

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Sept. 5, the 249th day of 2020. There are 117 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 5, 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic delegation at the Munich Games, killing 11 Israelis and a police officer. German forces killed five of the gunmen.

On this date:

In 1774, the first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.

In 1793, the Reign of Terror began during the French Revolution as the National Convention instituted harsh measures to repress counter-revolutionary activities.

In 1864, voters in Louisiana approved a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

In 1939, four days after war had broken out in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring U.S. neutrality in the conflict.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed legislation making aircraft hijackings a federal crime.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, California.

In 1984, the space shuttle Discovery ended its inaugural flight as it landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1986, four hijackers who had seized a Pan Am jumbo jet on the ground in Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire when the lights inside the plane failed; a total of 20 people were killed before Pakistani commandos stormed the jetliner.

In 1995, France ended its three-year moratorium on nuclear tests, setting off an underground blast on a South Pacific atoll.

In 1997, breaking the royal reticence over the death of Princess Diana, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II delivered a televised address in which she called her former daughter-in-law “a remarkable person.” Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at age 87; conductor Sir Georg Solti (johrj SHOL’-tee) died in France at age 84.

In 2016, Phyllis Schlafly, the outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group, died in St. Louis at age 92.

In 2018, The New York Times published an opinion piece from an anonymous senior administration official claiming to be part of an internal “resistance” working to thwart President Donald Trump’s “worst inclinations;” Trump responded that if such a “gutless” person exists, “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to the government at once!”

Ten years ago: A Los Angeles police officer shot and killed Manuel Jaminez, a Guatemalan immigrant, in a case that sparked angry protests. (A civilian oversight panel later said the officer was justified in using deadly force against Jaminez, who witnessses said was drunk and threatening passersby with a knife.) Jefferson Thomas, one of nine Black students to integrate a Little Rock high school in America’s first major battle over school segregation, died in Columbus, Ohio, at age 67.

Five years ago: Germans waving welcome signs in German, English and Arabic gathered at a train station to welcome the first group of a wave of migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa.

One year ago: A jury in Oakland, California, acquitted one of the two men charged in a deadly warehouse fire and deadlocked on whether to convict or acquit the other. (Derick Almena is scheduled to be tried again in October on manslaughter charges; he was the founder of an artists’ collective at the site where the fast-moving fire trapped and killed 36 partygoers in December, 2016.) The Education Department said it was fining Michigan State University a record $4.5 million for failing to respond adequately to sexual assault complaints about Larry Nassar, a campus sports doctor who molested elite gymnasts and other female athletes. Drug chains CVS and Walgreens and grocery chain Wegmans joined retailers requesting that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in their stores, even where state laws allow it. The NFL opened its 100th season in Chicago, where the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 10-3 in the season’s first game.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-actor Bob Newhart is 91. Actor-singer Carol Lawrence is 88. Actor Lucille Soong is 85. Former NFL All-Pro quarterback and college football Hall of Famer Billy Kilmer is 81. Actor William Devane is 81. Actor George Lazenby is 81. Actor Raquel Welch is 80. Movie director Werner Herzog is 78. Singer Al Stewart is 75. Actor-director Dennis Dugan is 74. College Football Hall of Famer Jerry LeVias is 74. Singer Loudon Wainwright III is 74. Soul/rock musician Mel Collins is 73. “Cathy” cartoonist Cathy Guisewite (GYZ’-wyt) is 70. Actor Michael Keaton is 69. Actor Debbie Turner-Larson (Marta in “The Sound of Music”) is 64. Actor Kristian Alfonso is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Terry Ellis is 57. Rock musician Brad Wilk is 52. TV personality Dweezil Zappa is 51. Actor Rose McGowan is 47. Actor Carice Van Houten is 44. Rock musician Kyle O’Quin (Portugal. The Man) is 35. Actor Andrew Ducote is 34. Olympic gold medal figure skater Yuna Kim is 30. Actor Skandar Keynes is 29.