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September 8, 2013

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Sept. 8, the 251st day of 2013. There are 114 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On September 8, 1943, during World War II, Gen. Dwight E. Eisenhower announced Italy's surrender; Nazi Germany denounced Italy's decision as a cowardly act.

On this date:

In 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Fla.

In 1761, Britain's King George III married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz just a few hours after meeting her for the first time.

In 1892, an early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance," written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in "The Youth's Companion."

In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an estimated 8,000 people.

In 1913, the Victor Herbert operetta "Sweethearts" opened on Broadway.

In 1921, Margaret Gorman, 16, of Washington, D.C., was crowned the first "Miss America" in Atlantic City, N.J.

In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long, D-La., was shot and mortally wounded inside the Louisiana State Capitol; he died two days later. (The assailant was identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was gunned down by Long's bodyguards.)

In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.

In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San Francisco.

In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.

In 1988, two nuclear-missile rocket motors were destroyed at an army ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas; they were the first U.S. weapons to be eliminated under an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.

In 1994, a USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.

Ten years ago: The Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry's largest trade group, filed 261 copyright lawsuits across the country against Internet users for trading songs online. Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl died in Poecking, Germany, at age 101.

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