Today is Monday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2013. There are 106 days left in the year.
On Sept. 16, 1857, the song “Jingle Bells” by James Pierpont was copyrighted under its original title, “One Horse Open Sleigh.” (The song, while considered a Christmastime perennial, was actually written by Pierpont for Thanksgiving.)
On this date:
In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.
In 1810, Mexicans were inspired to begin their successful revolt against Spanish rule by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores”).
In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”
In 1908, General Motors was founded in Flint, Mich., by William C. Durant.
In 1919, the American Legion received a national charter from Congress.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1953, “The Robe,” the first movie presented in the widescreen process CinemaScope, had its world premiere at the Roxy Theater in New York.
In 1972, “The Bob Newhart Show” premiered on CBS.
In 1977, Maria Callas, the American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53.
In 1982, the massacre of between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children at the hands of Israeli-allied Christian Phalange militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
In 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth’s ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.
In 1992, former U.S. Rep. Millicent Fenwick, R-N.J., died at age 82.
Ten years ago: North Carolina Sen. John Edwards formally launched his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Five years ago: Gen. David Petraeus stepped aside as Gen. Ray Odierno took over as the top American commander of the Iraq war. President George W. Bush got a firsthand look at the fury that Hurricane Ike had unleashed on the Gulf Coast with stops in Houston and Galveston, Texas, and a helicopter tour.
One year ago: In appearances on Sunday news shows, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said there was no evidence that the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, was premeditated. But Libya’s interim president, Mohammed el-Megarif, told CBS he had no doubt attackers spent months planning the assault and purposely chose the date, Sept. 11.
Today’s birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 91. Actress Lauren Bacall is 89. Blues singer B.B. King is 88. Clergyman-author Rev. Robert H. Schuller is 87. Actor George Chakiris is 81. Bluesman Billy Boy Arnold is 78. Movie director Jim McBride is 72. Actress Linda Miller is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) is 69. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who), actress Susan Ruttan and musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Mudcrutch) are 65. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 64. Singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 63. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 62. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke, actors Kurt Fuller and Christopher Rich, and jazz musician Earl Klugh are 60. Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites)and TV personality Mark McEwen are 59. Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount is 58. Actor Mickey Rourke and magician David Copperfield are 57. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride, actress Jennifer Tilly and retired MLB All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser are 55. Retired MLB All-Star Tim Raines is 54. Actress Jayne Brook is 53. Singer Richard Marx is 50. Comedian Molly Shannon is 49. Singer Marc Anthony is 45. Comedian-actress Amy Poehler is 42. Country singer Matt Stillwell is 38. Singer Musiq is 36. Actress Alexis Bledel is 32. Actress Sabrina Bryan is 29. Actress Madeline Zima is 28. Actress Kyla Pratt is 27. Actor Daren Kagasoff is 26. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 25. Actress-dancer Bailey Buntain (TV: “Bunheads”) is 24. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 21.
Thought for today: “Stoicism is the wisdom of madness and cynicism the madness of wisdom.” — Bergen Evans, American lexicographer (1904-1978).