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Today in History — September 19

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

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2007. There are 103 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 19, 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published. In it, the nation’s first chief executive wrote, “Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

On this date:
In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, American soldiers won the first Battle of Saratoga.

In 1783, Jacques Etienne Montgolfier launched a duck, a sheep and a rooster aboard a hot-air balloon at Versailles in France.

In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 2½ months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.

In 1907, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. was born in Suffolk, Va.

In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as “Lord Haw-Haw,” was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.

In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named “Rainier,” in the Nevada desert.

In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev reacted angrily during a visit to Los Angeles upon being told that, for security reasons, he would not be allowed to visit Disneyland.

In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro accepted an invitation to stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

In 1986, federal health officials announced that the experimental drug AZT would be made available to thousands of AIDS patients.

Ten years ago: In his first public comments since the death of Princess Diana, Prince Charles told the British people he would always feel the loss of his former wife, and thanked them for their support. Six people were killed when an express passenger train and a freight train collided in west London. The crime drama “L.A. Confidential” opened.

Five years ago: President Bush asked Congress for authority to “use all means,” including military force if necessary, to disarm and overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein if he did not quickly meet United Nations demands to abandon all weapons of mass destruction. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a Tel Aviv bus, killing five other people.

One year ago: President Bush, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, tried to quell anti-Americanism in the Middle East by assuring Muslims he was not waging war against Islam. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered an emotional farewell address, appealing to the world to unite against human rights abuses, religious divisions, brutal conflicts and an unjust world economy. The chief judge in Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial was replaced amid complaints he was being too easy on the deposed Iraqi leader.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 87. Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown is 80. Actor Adam West is 77. Actor David McCallum is 74. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 67. Singer Bill Medley is 67. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 67. Golfer Jane Blalock is 62. Singer David Bromberg is 62. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 62. Singer Freda Payne is 62. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 60. Actor Jeremy Irons is 59. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 58. TV personality Joan Lunden is 57. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 56. Actor Scott Colomby is 55. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 55. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 52. Actor Kevin Hooks is 49. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 48. Country singer Jeff Bates is 44. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 43. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 42. News anchor Soledad O’Brien is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin is 38. Actress Sanaa Lathan is 36. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 34. Comedian Jimmy Fallon is 33. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 31. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 30. Actor Columbus Short is 25. Rapper Eamon is 24. Actor Kevin Zegers is 23. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 20.

Thought for Today: “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” — President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).