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September 17, 2013

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2013. There are 105 days left in the year.

Today’s 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.

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