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Today in History — September 16

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

BC-History-Sept 16,0607

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2007. There are 106 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 16, 1810, Mexico began its successful revolt against Spanish rule.

On this date:

In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”

In 1919, the American Legion was formally chartered by an act of Congress.

In 1940, President Franklin D. 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 1966, the Metropolitan Opera opened its new opera house at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

In 1967, the TV series “Mannix,” starring Mike Connors, premiered on CBS.

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 Israeli-allied Lebanese militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.

In 1987, two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth’s ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.

Ten years ago: Attorney General Janet Reno named Charles La Bella the Justice Department’s new lead prosecutor in the campaign fund-raising investigation.

Five years ago: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced that Iraq had unconditionally accepted the return of U.N. weapons inspectors.

One year ago: The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI “sincerely” regretted offending Muslims with his reference to an obscure medieval text characterizing some of the teachings of Islam’s founder as “evil and inhuman,” but the statement stopped short of the apology demanded by Islamic leaders. Mexico extradited accused drug kingpin Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix to the U.S. to face drug charges. (He later pleaded guilty to federal charges of selling cocaine in a San Diego motel.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 85. Actress Lauren Bacall is 83. Blues singer B.B. King is 82. Clergyman-author the Rev. Robert H. Schuller is 81. Actor Peter Falk is 80. Actress Anne Francis is 77. Movie director Jim McBride is 66. Actress Linda Miller is 65. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) is 63. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 59. Actress Susan Ruttan is 59. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 58. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 57. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 56. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 55. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 54. Actor Christopher Rich is 54. Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites) is

53. TV personality Mark McEwen is 53. Actor Mickey Rourke is 51. Magician David Copperfield is 51. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 49. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 49. Singer Richard Marx is

44. Comedian Molly Shannon is 43. Singer Marc Anthony is 38. Comedian Amy Poehler is 36. Singer Musiq is 30. Actress Alexis Bledel is 26. Actress Madeline Zima is 22. Actress Kyla Pratt is

21. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 19.

Thought for Today: “Who loves himself best need fear no rival.” — Latin proverb.