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September 2, 2013

Today in History

Today is Monday, Sept. 2, the 245th day of 2013. There are 120 days left in the year. This is Labor Day.

Today’s highlight in history:

On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, ending World War II.

On this date:

In 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out.

In 1789, the United States Treasury Department was established.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s forces occupied Atlanta.

In 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.

In 1924, the Rudolf Friml operetta “Rose Marie” opened on Broadway.

In 1935, a Labor Day hurricane slammed into the Florida Keys, claiming more than 400 lives.

In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic. (Ho died on this date in 1969.)

In 1963, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers. “The CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite was lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes, becoming network television’s first half-hour nightly newscast.

In 1972, Dave Wottle of the United States won the men’s 800-meter race at the Munich Summer Olympics.

In 1986, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced Cathy Evelyn Smith to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter for her role in the 1982 drug overdose death of comedian John Belushi. (Smith served 18 months.)

In 1993, the United States and Russia formally ended decades of competition in space by agreeing to a joint venture to build a space station.

In 1998, a Swissair MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard.

Ten years ago: A court in Jakarta, Indonesia, sentenced Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to four years in prison for sedition (his conviction was later overturned after he’d spent more than two years behind bars.) A federal appeals court in San Francisco threw out more than 100 death sentences in Arizona, Montana and Idaho because the inmates had been sent to death row by judges instead of juries.

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