GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

September 1, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today is Sunday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2013. There are 121 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On September 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

On this date:

In 1715, following a reign of 72 years, King Louis XIV of France died four days before his 77th birthday.

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason. (Burr was then tried on a misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.)

In 1902, the Georges Melies short film "Le Voyage dans la lune" (A Trip to the Moon) opened in France.

In 1913, the play "Androcles and the Lion" by George Bernard Shaw had its British debut at the St. James's Theatre in London (it had previously been performed in Berlin).

In 1923, the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by an earthquake that claimed some 140,000 lives.

In 1932, New York City Mayor James J. "Gentleman Jimmy" Walker resigned following charges of graft and corruption in his administration.

In 1942, U.S. District Court Judge Martin I. Welsh, ruling from Sacramento, Calif., on a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Fred Korematsu, upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.

In 1951, the United States, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, the ANZUS treaty.

In 1961, the Soviet Union ended a moratorium on atomic testing with an above-ground nuclear explosion in central Asia. A TWA Lockheed Constellation crashed shortly after takeoff from Chicago's Midway Airport, killing all 78 people on board.

In 1972, American Bobby Fischer won the international chess crown in Reykjavik, Iceland, as Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union resigned before the resumption of Game 21. An arson fire at the Blue Bird Cafe in Montreal, Canada, claimed 37 lives.

In 1983, 269 people were killed when a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 was shot down by a Soviet jet fighter after the airliner entered Soviet airspace.

In 1993, Louis Freeh was sworn in as director of the FBI.

Ten years ago: During a Labor Day trip to Richfield, Ohio, President George W. Bush announced he was creating a high-level government post to nurture the manufacturing sector. Arab TV broadcast an audiotape purportedly from Saddam Hussein denying any involvement in a bombing in Najaf, Iraq, that killed a beloved Shiite cleric. The U.S.-picked Iraqi Governing Council named a new Cabinet. Actor Rand Brooks, who played Scarlett O'Hara's first husband in the movie "Gone with the Wind," died in Santa Ynez, Calif., at age 84.

Five years ago: Hurricane Gustav slammed into the heart of Louisiana's fishing and oil industry with 110 mph winds, delivering only a glancing blow to New Orleans. Republicans opened their national convention in St. Paul, Minn., on a subdued note because of Hurricane Gustav; John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, revealed that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant. Jerry Lewis raised a record $65 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in his annual Labor Day telethon. Country singer-actor Jerry Reed died in Nashville at age 71. Voiceover artist Don LaFontaine, whose distinctive baritone graced innumerable movie trailers, died in Los Angeles at age 68.

One year ago: President Barack Obama ridiculed the just-completed Republican National Convention as better-suited to an era of black-and-white TV and "trickle-down, you're on your own" economics, and declared that Mitt Romney "did not offer a single new idea" for fixing the economy. Lyricist Hal David, 91, who teamed with Burt Bacharach on dozens of timeless songs for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, died in Los Angeles.

Today's Birthdays: Former Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird is 91. Actor George Maharis is 85. Conductor Seiji Ozawa is 78. Attorney and law professor Alan Dershowitz is 75. Comedian-actress Lily Tomlin is 74. Actor Don Stroud is 70. Conductor Leonard Slatkin is 69. Singer Archie Bell is 69. Singer Barry Gibb is 67. Rock musician Greg Errico is 65. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw is 63. Singer Gloria Estefan is 56. Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers is 52. Jazz musician Boney James is 52. Singer-musician Grant Lee Phillips (Grant Lee Buffalo) is 50. Country singer-songwriter Charlie Robison is 49. Retired NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway is 47. Rap DJ Spigg Nice (Lost Boyz) is 43. Actor Ricardo Antonio Chavira is 42. Rock singer JD Fortune is 40. Actor Scott Speedman is 38. Country singer Angaleena Presley (Pistol Annies) is 37. Rock musician Joe Trohman is 29.

Thought for Today: "When nothing is sure, everything is possible." — Margaret Drabble, British author.