Valdosta Daily Times

September 17, 2013

Today in History for Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013


The Associated Press

-- — Highlight in History

On Sept. 17, 1862, more than 3,600 men were killed, many more wounded, captured or left missing, in the Civil War Battle of Antietam in Maryland; although the battle itself proved inconclusive, it effectively halted the Confederates’ advance into Maryland.



On this date

In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1908, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge of the U.S. Army Signal Corps became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer, at Fort Myer, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.

In 1911, Calbraith P. Rodgers set off from Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., aboard a Wright biplane in an attempt to become the first flier to travel the width of the United States. (The 49-day journey required 69 stops before ending in Pasadena, Calif.)

In 1937, the likeness of President Abraham Lincoln’s head was dedicated at Mount Rushmore.

In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.

In 1947, James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.

In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev traveled by train from Washington, D.C., to New York City, where he received a low-key welcome from New Yorkers. A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

In 1962, U.S. space officials announced the selection of nine new astronauts, including Neil A. Armstrong, who became the first man to step onto the moon.

In 1971, citing health reasons, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, 85, retired. (Black, who was succeeded by Lewis F. Powell Jr., died eight days after making his announcement.)

In 1972, the Korean War comedy-drama “M-A-S-H” premiered on CBS.

In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.

In 1986, the Senate confirmed the nomination of William H. Rehnquist to become the 16th chief justice of the United States.

In 1987, the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic document.



Ten years ago

Spain’s leading investigating judge, Baltasar Garzon, issued the first known indictment against Osama bin Laden in the Sept. 11 attacks. An audiotape purporting to carry the voice of Saddam Hussein, broadcast on Arab television, called on Iraqis to fight the American occupation. New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso resigned amid a furor over his $139.5 million pay package. Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.



Five years ago

Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and offered the people of Afghanistan his “personal regrets” for U.S. airstrikes that had killed civilians and said he would try to improve the accuracy of air warfare. A suicide attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, killed 19 people, including an American woman and six militants.



One year ago

NATO said it was scaling back operations with Afghan soldiers and policemen to lower the risk of insider attacks and reduce local tensions after an anti-Islam film was blamed for setting off protests in Afghanistan.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told reporters his comments about Americans who pay no income taxes were not “elegantly stated.” Romney was recorded telling a group of wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans consider themselves victims, don’t pay any income tax and expect government benefits.