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Today in History — September 7

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

Today is Friday, Sept. 7, the 250th day of 2007. There are 115 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
One hundred years ago, on Sept. 7, 1907, the British liner RMS Lusitania set out on its maiden voyage, from Liverpool, England, to New York, arriving six days later. (Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine in 1915.)

On this date:
In 1807, Denmark surrendered to British forces that had bombarded the city of Copenhagen for four days.

In 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution, bade farewell to President John Quincy Adams at the White House.

In 1927, American television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, 21, succeeded in transmitting the image of a line through purely electronic means with a device called an “image dissector.”

In 1940, Nazi Germany began its initial blitz on London during World War II.

In 1957, the original version of the animated NBC peacock logo, used to denote programs “brought to you in living color,” made its debut at the beginning of “Your Hit Parade.”

In 1967, the situation comedy “The Flying Nun,” starring Sally Field as a nun who finds that she can fly, debuted on ABC.

In 1977, the Panama Canal treaties, calling for the U.S. to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama, were signed in Washington by President Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos.

In 1977, convicted Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy was released from prison after more than four years.

In 1979, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) made its cable TV debut.

In 1987, Erich Honecker became the first East German head of state to visit West Germany as he arrived for a five-day visit.

Ten years ago: Mobutu Sese Seko, the former dictator of Zaire, died in exile in Morocco at age 66.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, meeting at Camp David, said the world had to act against Saddam Hussein, arguing that the Iraqi leader had defied the United Nations and reneged on promises to destroy weapons of mass destruction. Serena Williams easily beat Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3 to win the U.S. Open and a third straight Grand Slam title. Uzi Gal, the German-born inventor of the Uzi submachine gun, died in Philadelphia at age 79.

One year ago: British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave in to a fierce revolt in his Labour Party and reluctantly promised to quit within a year. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage confirmed he was the source of a leak that had disclosed the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame, saying he didn’t realize Plame’s job was covert.

Today’s Birthdays: Heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey is 99. Pianist Arthur Ferrante is 86. Senator Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, is 83. Jazz musician Sonny Rollins is 77. Actor John Phillip Law is 70. Singer Alfa Anderson (Chic) is 61. Singer Gloria Gaynor is 58. Rock singer Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) is 56. Actress Julie Kavner is 56. Actor Corbin Bernsen is 53. Rock musician Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 53. Pianist Michael Feinstein is 51. Singer Margot Chapman is 50. Rock musician Leroi Moore (The Dave Matthews Band) is 46. Actor W. Earl Brown is 44. Actor Toby Jones is 41. Model-actress Angie Everhart is 38. Actor Tom Everett Scott is 37. Rock musician Chad Sexton (311) is 37. Actress Diane Farr is 36. Actress Shannon Elizabeth is 34. Actor Oliver Hudson is 31. Actor Devon Sawa is 29. Actress Evan Rachel Wood is 20.

Thought for Today: “Television is the first truly democratic culture — the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.” — Clive Barnes, British-born drama critic.