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Today in History — September 4

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day.
/ Source: The Associated Press

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Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 4, the 247th day of 2007. There are 118 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

Fifty years ago, on Sept. 4, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus used Arkansas National Guardsmen to prevent nine black students from entering all-white Central High School in Little Rock. (The situation escalated in the coming weeks, with President Dwight D. Eisenhower finally ordering U.S. Army troops to escort the black students into the school and protect them.)

On this date:

In 1781, Los Angeles was founded by Spanish settlers.

In 1888, George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film box camera, and registered his trademark: “Kodak.”

In 1893, English author Beatrix Potter first told the story of Peter Rabbit in the form of a “picture letter” to Noel Moore, the son of Potter’s former governess.

In 1907, 100 years ago, composer Edvard Grieg died in Bergen, Norway, at age 64.

In 1917, the American Expeditionary Forces in France suffered their first fatalities during World War I when a German plane attacked a British-run base hospital.

In 1951, President Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco in the first live, coast-to-coast television broadcast.

In 1957, Ford Motor Co. began selling its ill-fated Edsel.

In 1967, Detroit TV station WKBD aired an interview with Michigan Gov. George Romney in which the Republican presidential hopeful attributed his previous support for the war in Vietnam to a “brainwashing” he’d received from U.S. officials there during a 1965 visit — a comment that damaged his White House bid.

In 1971, an Alaska Airlines jet crashed near Juneau, killing 111 people.

In 1987, a Soviet court convicted West German pilot Mathias Rust of charges stemming from his daring flight to Moscow’s Red Square, and sentenced him to four years in a labor camp. (Rust served about 14 months.)

Ten years ago: A triple suicide bombing in the heart of Jerusalem claimed the lives of seven people, including the three assailants.

Five years ago: President Bush promised to seek congressional approval for “whatever is necessary” to oust Saddam Hussein, including using military force. Secretary of State Colin Powell was heckled by dozens of activists on the closing day of the World Summit in South Africa. Texas cocktail waitress and aspiring pop star Kelly Clarkson was crowned the first “American Idol” on Fox Television.

One year ago: “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, 44, died after a stingray’s barb pierced his chest. Two U.S. warplanes accidentally strafed allied forces in southern Afghanistan, killing one Canadian soldier. A gunman opened fire on tourists in Amman, Jordan, killing a British man (a suspect was later convicted and sentenced to death). The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, took off from Toulouse, France, with a full load of passengers for the first time.

Today’s Birthdays: ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey is 89. Actress Mitzi Gaynor is 76. Singer Merald “Bubba” Knight (Gladys Knight & The Pips) is 65. Actress Jennifer Salt is 63. Golfer Tom Watson is 58. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ronald LaPread is 57. Actress Judith Ivey is 56. Rock musician Martin Chambers (The Pretenders) is 56. Actress Khandi Alexander is 50. Actor-comedian Damon Wayans is 47. Rock musician Kim Thayil is 47. Actor Noah Taylor is 38. Actress Ione Skye is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Richard Wingo (Jagged Edge) is 32. Actor Wes Bentley is 29. Singer Dan Miller (“Making the Band”) is 27. Singer Beyonce Knowles is

26. Actor Trevor Gagnon is 12.

Thought for Today: “One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.” — Bertrand Russell, English mathematician-philosopher (1872-1970).