updated 9/15/2006 12:03:10 AM ET 2006-09-15T04:03:10

Today is Friday, Sept. 15, the 258th day of 2006. There are 107 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 15, 1789, the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State.

On this date:
In 1776, British forces occupied New York City during the American Revolution.

In 1821, independence from Spain was proclaimed for Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

In 1857, William Howard Taft, who served as president of the United States and as U.S. chief justice, was born in Cincinnati.

In 1917, Russia was proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional government.

In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws deprived German Jews of their citizenship and made the swastika the official symbol of Nazi Germany.

In 1940, during the Battle of Britain in World War II, the tide turned as the Luftwaffe sustained heavy losses inflicted by the Royal Air Force.

In 1950, during the Korean conflict, United Nations forces landed at Incheon in the south and began their drive toward Seoul.

In 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev arrived in the U.S. to begin a 13-day visit.

In 1963, four black girls were killed when a bomb went off during Sunday services at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. (Three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted for their roles in the blast.)

In 1982, Iran’s former foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, was executed after he was convicted of plotting against the government.

Ten years ago: Defense Secretary William Perry was making the rounds among American allies in the Persian Gulf region, seeking additional support for the U.S. stance against Iraq. Bahrain agreed to play host to 26 American F-16 jet fighters.

Five years ago: President Bush ordered U.S. troops to get ready for war and braced Americans for a long, difficult assault against terrorists to avenge the Sept. 11 attacks. Beleaguered Afghans streamed out of Kabul, fearing a U.S. military strike against Taliban rulers who were harboring Osama bin Laden. Fred De Cordova, executive producer of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 90.

One year ago: President Bush, addressing the nation from storm-ravaged New Orleans, acknowledged the government failed to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina, and urged Congress to approve a massive reconstruction program. Hurricane Ophelia continued to lash the Outer Banks of North Carolina with rain and wind. Producer Sid Luft, who was credited with reviving the career of his then-wife, Judy Garland, died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 89.

Today’s Birthdays: Bluesman Snooky Pryor is 85. Actor-director Jackie Cooper is 84. Actor Forrest Compton is 81. Comedian Norm Crosby is 79. Actor Henry Darrow is 73. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry is 68. Football Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen is 66. Opera singer Jessye Norman is 61. Actor Tommy Lee Jones is 60. Movie director Oliver Stone is 60. Rock musician Mitch Dorge (Crash Test Dummies) is 46. Football Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino is 45. Actor Danny Nucci is 38. Rap DJ Kay Gee is 37. Rock musician Allen Shellenberger (Lit) is 37. Actor Josh Charles is 35. Singer Ivette Sosa (Eden’s Crush) is 30. Actress Amy Davidson is 27. Britain’s Prince Henry of Wales is 22.

Thought for Today: “My heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.” — “Fiona MacLeod” (William Sharp), Scottish author and poet (1855-1905).

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