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September 3, 2013

Today in History for Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On September 3, 1943, Allied forces invaded Italy during World War II, the same day Italian officials signed a secret armistice with the Allies.

On this date

In 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the Revolutionary War.

In 1939, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany.

In 1972, American swimmer Mark Spitz won the sixth of his seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics as he placed first in the 100-meter freestyle.

In 1976, America’s Viking 2 lander touched down on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the planet’s surface.

In 1999, a French judge closed a two-year inquiry into the car crash that killed Princess Diana, dismissing all charges against nine photographers and a press motorcyclist, and concluding the accident was caused by an inebriated driver.

Ten years ago

Paul Hill, 49, a former minister who said he murdered an abortion doctor and his bodyguard to save the lives of unborn babies, was executed in Florida by injection, becoming the first person put to death in the United States for anti-abortion violence. President George W. Bush signed legislation to begin free trade with Singapore and Chile.

Five years ago

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s choice of running mate, roused delegates at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., as she belittled Democrat Barack Obama and praised her new boss. Thousands of New Orleans residents who had fled Hurricane Gustav forced the city to reluctantly open its doors, while President George W. Bush returned to the scene to show that the government had turned a corner since its bungled response to Katrina. Baseball’s first use of instant replay backed an onfield call of a home run for Alex Rodriguez during the ninth inning of a New York Yankees game against the Tampa Bay Rays. (The Yankees won the game, 8-4.)

One year ago

President Barack Obama consoled victims of Hurricane Isaac along the Gulf Coast and stoked the enthusiasm of union voters in the industrial heartland, blending a hard political sell with a softer show of sympathy on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

Prolific character actor Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, died in Los Angeles. Sun Myung Moon, 92, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, died in Gapeyeong, South Korea.

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