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Today in History — September 9

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

BC-History-Sept 9,0580

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Sept. 9, the 252nd day of 2007. There are 113 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

Fifty years ago, on Sept. 9, 1957, President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction.

On this date:

In 1776, the second Continental Congress made the term “United States” official, replacing “United Colonies.”

In 1830, Charles Durant flew a balloon from New York City across the Hudson River to Perth Amboy, N.J.

In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.

In 1893, Frances Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland, gave birth to a daughter, Esther, in the White House; it was the first time a president’s child was born in the executive mansion.

In 1926, the National Broadcasting Company was incorporated by the Radio Corporation of America.

In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea was created.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of three appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

In 1967, “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” aired as a one-time special on NBC; its success led to a regular series beginning in January 1968.

In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y., beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives.

In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Zedong died in Beijing at age 82.

Ten years ago: Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland’s future. Actor Burgess Meredith died in Malibu, Calif., at age 89.

Five years ago: Iraq challenged the United States to produce “one piece of evidence” that it was producing weapons of mass destruction. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the Security Council must be allowed to have its say on a possible attack against Iraq. An express train traveling from Calcutta to New Delhi, India, derailed, killing at least 118 people.

One year ago: After two frustrating weeks of delays, space shuttle Atlantis and its six astronauts blasted off on a 12-day mission to install a big new piece of the international space station. The Chinese movie “Still Life” won the top award at the Venice Film Festival. Third-seeded Maria Sharapova beat Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-4, 6-4 to win the U.S. Open. The Detroit Shock won their second WNBA championship in four years, beating the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs 80-75 in Game 5.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Cliff Robertson is 82. Actor Topol is

72. Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons is 65. Singer Inez Foxx is 65. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso Jackson, is 62. Singer Dee Dee Sharp is 62. Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle is 61. Country singer Freddy Weller is 60. Football commentator Joe Theismann is 58. Actor Tom Wopat is 56. Actress Angela Cartwright is 55. Musician-producer Dave Stewart is 55. Actor Hugh Grant is 47. Actor Adam Sandler is 41. Actor David Bennent is 41. Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) is 39. Model Rachel Hunter is 38. Actor Goran Visnjic is 35. Pop-jazz singer Michael Buble is 32. Latin singer Maria Rita is 30. Actress Michelle Williams is 27.

Thought for Today: “Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases, think for yourself.” — Gotthold Lessing, German dramatist-critic (1729-1781).