Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Sept. 24, the 268th day of 2020. There are 98 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On September 24, 1789, President George Washington signed a Judiciary Act establishing America’s federal court system and creating the post of attorney general.

On this date:

In 1869, thousands of businessmen were ruined in a Wall Street panic known as “Black Friday” after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.

In 1890, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Woodruff, wrote a manifesto renouncing the practice of plural marriage, or polygamy.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while on vacation in Denver.

In 1960, the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News, Virginia. “The Howdy Doody Show” ended a nearly 13-year run with its final telecast on NBC.

In 1964, the situation comedy “The Munsters” premiered on CBS television. The adventures series “Daniel Boone,” starring Fess Parker, debuted on NBC.

In 1969, the trial of the Chicago Eight (later seven) began. (Five were later convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic convention, but the convictions were ultimately overturned.)

In 1976, former hostage Patricia Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst was released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Jimmy Carter.)

In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson won the men’s 100-meter dash at the Seoul (sohl) Summer Olympics — but he was disqualified three days later for using anabolic steroids. Members of the eastern Massachusetts Episcopal diocese elected Barbara C. Harris the first female bishop in the church’s history.

In 1996, the United States and 70 other countries became the first to sign a treaty at the United Nations to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. (The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has yet to enter into force because of the refusal so far of eight nations — including the United States — to ratify it.)

In 2001, President George W. Bush ordered a freeze on the assets of 27 people and organizations with suspected links to terrorism, including Islamic militant Osama bin Laden, and urged other nations to do likewise.

In 2007, United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors plants in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976; a tentative pact ended the walkout two days later.

In 2018, China and the United States imposed new tariff hikes on each other’s goods; U.S. regulators went ahead with a planned 10 percent tax on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and China said it responded with taxes on $60 billion in American goods.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders meeting in New York sent China a firm message over territorial disputes between Beijing and its neighbors, calling for freedom of navigation in seas that China claimed as its own. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged $100 million over the next five years to Newark, New Jersey, schools a week before the release of the biographical movie “The Social Network.” Gennady Yanayev, 73, a leader of the abortive 1991 coup who had briefly declared himself Soviet president, died in Moscow.

Five years ago: A stampede and crush of Muslim pilgrims occurred at an intersection near a holy site in Saudi Arabia; The Associated Press estimated that more than 2,400 people were killed, while the official Saudi toll stood at 769. Pope Francis finished his whirlwind visit to the nation’s capital, becoming the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress and calling on the lawmakers to help immigrants “and embrace the stranger in our midst.” The pope then traveled to New York for an evening prayer service in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington, where he and President Barack Obama met for dinner at Blair House, the guest residence near the White House. A repurposed military “duck boat” carrying passengers swerved into an oncoming charter bus on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge; five international college students were killed in the crash.

One year ago: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump; the probe focused partly on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from the government of Ukraine to undermine Democratic foe Joe Biden. The Metropolitan Opera announced that Plácido Domingo had agreed to withdraw from his slate of scheduled performances following allegations of sexual harassment. Britain’s highest court ruled unanimously that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had broken the law by suspending Parliament in a way that had suppressed legitimate scrutiny of his Brexit plan; the ruling upended Johnson’s plan to keep lawmakers away for two weeks before Britain was due to leave the EU.

Today’s Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Sonny Turner (The Platters) is 81. Singer Barbara Allbut Brown (The Angels) is 80. Singer Phyllis “Jiggs” Allbut Sirico (The Angels) is 78. Singer Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) is 78. News anchor Lou Dobbs is 75. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Greene is 74. Actor Gordon Clapp is 72. Actor Harriet Walter is 70. Songwriter Holly Knight is 64. Actor Kevin Sorbo is 62. Christian/jazz singer Cedric Dent is 58. Actor-writer Nia Vardalos is 58. Rock musician Shawn Crahan (AKA Clown) (Slipknot) is 51. Country musician Marty Mitchell is 51. Actor Megan Ward is 51. Singer-musician Marty Cintron (No Mercy) is 49. Contemporary Christian musician Juan DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 45. Actor Ian Bohen is 44. Actor Justin Bruening is 41. Olympic gold medal gymnast Paul Hamm (hahm) is 38. Actor Erik Stocklin is 38. Actor Spencer Treat Clark is 33. Actor Grey Damon is 33. Actor Kyle Sullivan is 32. Actor Ben Platt is 27.