GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

September 19, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today is Thursday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2013. There are 103 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Sept. 19, 1982, the smiley emoticon was invented as Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman proposed punctuating humorously intended computer messages by employing a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal “smiley face.” :-)

On this date:

In 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although the British forces succeeded in driving out the American troops, the Americans prevailed in a second battle the following month.

In 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published.

In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2 1/2 months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as “Lord Haw-Haw,” was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.

In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named Rainier, in the Nevada desert.

In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, visiting Los Angeles, reacted angrily upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn’t get to visit Disneyland.

In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro ended up staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

In 1961, Barney and Betty Hill, a New Hampshire couple driving home from vacation, experienced what they later claimed under hypnosis was a short-term abduction by extraterrestrials.

In 1962, the Western TV series “The Virginian” debuted on NBC.

In 1970, the situation comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” debuted on CBS-TV.

In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.

Ten years ago: Former Hurricane Isabel raced from Virginia to Canada, delivering far less rain than expected but leaving millions without power. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s defense minister, Sultan Hashim Ahmad, surrendered to U.S. forces.

Five years ago: The Bush administration laid out a radical bailout plan calling for a takeover of a half-trillion dollars or more in worthless mortgages held by tottering institutions. China’s food safety crisis widened after the industrial chemical melamine was found in milk. Baseball’s new instant replay system produced its first reversal when Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena had a two-run double changed to a three-run homer during the fourth inning of a game against Minnesota. (The Rays beat the Twins, 11-1.)

One year ago: Members of Congress presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog found fault with the agency’s handling of a gun-trafficking probe in Arizona that resulted in hundreds of weapons turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico. The Windseeker ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., broke down, leaving about 20 riders who expected a three-minute thrill dangling 300 feet over the amusement park for nearly two hours.

Today’s birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 93. TV host James Lipton (“Inside the Actors Studio”) is 87. Actress Rosemary Harris and former Defense Secretary Harold Brown are 86. Actor Adam West is 85. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Bob Turley is 83. Actor David McCallum (TV: “NCIS”) is 80. Singers Paul Williams, Bill Medley and Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) are 73. Singer Freda Payne is 71. Golfer Jane Blalock, singer David Bromberg and actor Randolph Mantooth are 68. Singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) and former NFL running back Larry Brown are 66. Actor Jeremy Irons is 65. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 64. TV personality Joan Lunden is 63. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 62. Actor Scott Colomby and musician-producer Nile Rodgers are 61. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Reggie Williams is 59. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 58. Actor Kevin Hooks is 55. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 54. Country singer Jeff Bates is 50. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 49. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 48. News anchor Soledad O’Brien is 47. Singer Espraronza Griffin (Society of Soul) and celebrity chef Michael Symon are 44. Actress Sanaa Lathan is 42. Actress Stephanie J. Block is 41. Singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 40. Comedian and TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon is 39. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse and actress-TV host Alison Sweeney are 37. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 36. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan Quin are 33. Actor Columbus Short is 31. Rapper Eamon and Christian rock musician JD Frazier are 30. Actor Kevin Zegers is 29. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 26.

Thought for today: “Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.” — W.C. Fields, American comedian (1880-1946).