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Today in History — September 17

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

Today is Monday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2007. There are 105 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

On this date:

In 1862, in the bloodiest battle day in U.S. history, Union forces hurled back a Confederate invasion in the Civil War Battle of Antietam at Sharpsburg, Md.

In 1907, Warren Earl Burger, the 15th chief justice of the United States, was born in St. Paul, Minn.

In 1920, the American Professional Football Association — a precursor of the National Football League — was formed in Canton, Ohio.

In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany had launched its assault.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied paratroopers launched Operation Market Garden, landing behind German lines in the Netherlands. (After initial success, the Allies were beaten back by the Germans.)

In 1947, James V. Forrestal was sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Defense.

In 1948, the United Nations mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, was assassinated in Jerusalem by Jewish extremists.

In 1957, two male attorneys “stood in” as actress Sophia Loren and producer Carlo Ponti were married by proxy in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Legal issues later forced an annulment; the couple wed in Sevres, France, in 1966.)

In 1978, after meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.

In 1987, the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic document.

Ten years ago: A U.N. helicopter slammed into a fog-shrouded mountain in central Bosnia and burst into flames, killing German diplomat Gerd Wagner, five Americans and six others. President Clinton rejected a ban on land mines endorsed by 89 countries. Comedian Red Skelton died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 84.

Five years ago: After years of denials by his country, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted that North Korean spies had abducted about a dozen Japanese citizens decades earlier, and that at least four of the Japanese were still alive. NBA star Patrick Ewing announced his retirement.

One year ago: Pope Benedict XVI said he was “deeply sorry” his recent remarks on Islam and violence had offended Muslims, but the unusual expression of papal regret drew a mixed reaction from Islamic leaders, some of whom said it wasn’t enough. Five Duquesne basketball players were shot and wounded during an apparent act of random violence on campus. (Two alleged gunmen and two women who allegedly helped facilitate the shooting are awaiting trial.) Patricia Kennedy Lawford, the sister of President John F. Kennedy and ex-wife of actor Peter Lawford, died in New York City at age 82.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor David Huddleston is 77. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is 74. Actor Paul Benedict is 69. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is 68. Singer LaMonte McLemore (The Fifth Dimension) is 68. Singer Fee Waybill is 57. Actress Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”) is 56. Comedian Rita Rudner is 51. Muppeteer Kevin Clash is 47. Movie director Baz Luhrmann is 45. Singer BeBe Winans is 45. Actor Kyle Chandler is

42. Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 41. Actor Malik Yoba is 40. Rock musician Keith Flint (Prodigy) is 38. Actor Matthew Settle is 38. Rapper Vinnie (Naughty By Nature) is 37. Rock singer Anastacia is

34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marcus Sanders (Hi-Five) is 34. Actress-singer Nona Gaye is 33. Pop singer Maile Misajon (Eden’s Crush) is 31. Country singer-songwriter Stephen Cochran is 28. Rock musician Chuck Comeau (Simple Plan) is 28. Country singer Desi Wasdin (3 of Hearts) is 24. Rock musician Jon Walker (Panic! at the Disco) is 22.

Thought for Today: “There is no grief which time does not lessen and soften.” — Cicero, Roman scholar (106-43 B.C.).