By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 23, the 267th day of 2020. There are 99 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 23, 1952, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech.
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On this date:
In 63 B.C., Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor, was born.
In 1806, the Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis more than two years after setting out for the Pacific Northwest.
In 1846, Neptune was identified as a planet by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle (GAH’-luh).
In 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded.
In 1939, Sigmund Freud (froyd), the founder of psychoanalysis, died in London at age 83.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman announced there was evidence the Soviet Union had recently conducted a nuclear test explosion. (The test had been carried out on Aug. 29, 1949.)
In 1955, a jury in Sumner, Mississippi, acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering Black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later admitted to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)
In 1957, nine Black students who’d entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.
In 1987, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., withdrew from the Democratic presidential race following questions about his use of borrowed quotations and the portrayal of his academic record.
In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter apparently burned up as it attempted to go into orbit around the Red Planet.
In 2001, President George W. Bush returned the American flag to full staff at Camp David, symbolically ending a period of national mourning following the 9/11 attacks.
In 2002, Gov. Gray Davis signed a law making California the first state to offer workers paid family leave.
Ten years ago: The U.S. delegation walked out of a U.N. speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhahd) after he said some in the world had speculated that the U.S. staged the September 11, 2001 attacks in an attempt to assure Israel’s survival. Congressional Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America,” a strongly worded manifesto promising to return government to the people. Teresa Lewis, 41, was executed by the state of Virginia for arranging the killings of her husband and stepson to collect on a $250,000 insurance policy.
Five years ago: In the first canonization on U.S. soil, Pope Francis elevated to sainthood Junipero Serra, an 18th-century missionary who’d brought Catholicism to the American West Coast. Earlier in the day, the pontiff met with President Barack Obama at the White House and was greeted by adoring crowds during an outdoor procession. Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Seattle, addressed Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and other top American and Chinese business leaders, vowing his country would work to remove barriers to foreign investment and improve intellectual property protections. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned, days after admitting that the world’s top-selling carmaker had rigged diesel emissions to pass U.S. tests during his tenure; Winterkorn denied any personal wrongdoing.
One year ago: During a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations, President Donald Trump denied telling the president of Ukraine that his country would only get U.S. aid if Ukraine investigated the son of Democratic rival Joe Biden. World leaders gathered at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations pledged to do more to prevent a warming world from reaching even more dangerous levels; even before they spoke, they were scolded in a speech by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who shamed then for their inaction by repeatedly asking, “How dare you?” Hundreds of thousands of travelers were left stranded across the world after the British tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed, immediately halting almost all of its flights and hotel services and laying off employees; the 178-year-old company had helped create the package tour industry.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Julio Iglesias is 77. Actor Paul Petersen (TV: “The Donna Reed Show”) is 75. Actor/singer Mary Kay Place is 73. Rock star Bruce Springsteen is 71. Director/playwright George C. Wolfe is 66. Rock musician Leon Taylor (The Ventures) is 65. Actor Rosalind Chao is 63. Golfer Larry Mize is 62. Actor Jason Alexander is 61. Actor Chi McBride is 59. Country musician Don Herron (BR549) is 58. Actor Erik Todd Dellums is 56. Actor LisaRaye is 54. Singer Ani (AH’-nee) DiFranco is 50. Rock singer Sam (formerly Sarah) Bettens (K’s Choice) is 48. Recording executive Jermaine Dupri is 48. Actor Kip Pardue is 44. Actor Anthony Mackie is 42. Pop singer Erik-Michael Estrada (TV: “Making the Band”) is 41. Actor Aubrey Dollar is 40. Actor Brandon Victor Dixon is 39. Actor David Lim is 37. Pop singer Diana Ortiz (Dream) is 35. Actor Cush Jumbo is 35. Actor Skylar Astin is 33. Former tennis player Melanie Oudin (oo-DAN’) is 29.