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September 30, 2013

Today in History

Today is Monday, Sept. 30, the 273rd day of 2013. There are 92 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Sept. 30, 1955, actor James Dean, 24, was killed in a two-car collision near Cholame, Calif.

On this date:

In 1777, the Continental Congress -- forced to flee in the face of advancing British forces -- moved to York, Pa.

In 1791, Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” premiered in Vienna, Austria.

In 1809, a treaty was signed by Indiana Territory Gov. William Henry Harrison and representatives of four Indian tribes under which the Indians sold some 3 million acres of land to be used for U.S. settlements.

In 1846, Boston dentist William Morton used ether as an anesthetic for the first time as he extracted an ulcerated tooth from merchant Eben Frost.

In 1938, after co-signing the Munich Agreement allowing Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said, “I believe it is peace for our time.”

In 1949, the Berlin Airlift came to an end.

In 1954, the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was commissioned by the Navy.

In 1962, black student James Meredith was escorted by federal marshals to the campus of the University of Mississippi, where he enrolled for classes the next day.

In 1986, the U.S. released accused Soviet spy Gennadiy Zakharov, one day after the Soviets released American journalist Nicholas Daniloff.

In 1988, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev retired President Andrei A. Gromyko from the Politburo and fired other old-guard leaders in a Kremlin shake-up.

In 2001, under threat of U.S. military strikes, Afghanistan’s hard-line Taliban rulers said explicitly for the first time that Osama bin Laden was still in the country and that they knew where his hideout was located.

Ten years ago: The FBI began a full-scale criminal investigation into whether White House officials had illegally leaked the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame. Eighteen accused al-Qaida sympathizers were convicted in Belgium’s biggest terrorism trial.

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