updated 9/16/2005 4:41:46 PM ET 2005-09-16T20:41:46

Today is Friday, September 16th, the 259th day of 2005. There are 106 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On September 16th, 1919, the American Legion was incorporated by an act of Congress.

On this date:
In 1638, France’s King Louis the 14th was born.

In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.

In 1893, hundreds of thousands of settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”

In 1940, President Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U-S history.

In 1940, 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 1965, “The Dean Martin Show” premiered on NBC.

In 1974, President Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam war deserters and draft-evaders.

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 hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children by Lebanese Christian militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.

Ten years ago: President Clinton voiced support for a Senate welfare overhaul plan sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Shawntel Smith of Oklahoma was crowned “Miss America” at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Five years ago: Campaign aides for Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush agreed on a series of three debates. American Nancy Johnson captured the first gold medal of the Sydney Olympics, winning the women’s ten-meter air rifle.

One year ago: Hurricane Ivan plowed into the Gulf Coast with 130 mph wind and a major storm surge; all told, Ivan was blamed for at least 115 deaths, 43 in the U.S. The number of foreigners kidnapped during the Iraq insurgency reached at least 100. The National Hockey League lockout went into effect.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 83. Actress Lauren Bacall is 81. Blues singer B.B. King is 80. Clergyman-author Reverend Robert H. Schuller is 79. Actor Peter Falk is 78. Actress Linda Miller is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) is 61. Musician Kenny Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 57. Actress Susan Ruttan is 57. Actor Ed Begley Junior is 56. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 55. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 54. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 53. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 52. Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites) is 51. TV personality Mark McEwen is 51. Actor Mickey Rourke is 49. Magician David Copperfield is 49. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 47. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 47. Actress Jayne Brook is 43. Singer Richard Marx is 42. Comedian Molly Shannon is 41. Singer Marc Anthony is 36. Singer Musiq is 28. Actress Alexis Bledel is 24. Actress Madeline Zima is 20. Actress Kyla Pratt is 19.

Thought for Today: “Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.” — Nikki Giovanni, American author and poet.

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