Today is Tuesday, Sept. 25, the 268th day of 2007. There are 97 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on Sept. 25, 1957, nine black students forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., because of unruly white crowds were escorted to class by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
On this date:
In 1493, Christopher Columbus set sail from Cadiz, Spain, with a flotilla of 17 ships on his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
In 1513, Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama and sighted the Pacific Ocean.
In 1775, American Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was captured by the British as he led an attack on Montreal.
In 1789, the first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. (Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights.)
In 1890, Wilford Woodruff, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a Manifesto formally renouncing the practice of polygamy.
In 1919, President Wilson collapsed after a speech in Pueblo, Colo., during a national speaking tour in support of the Treaty of Versailles.
In 1956, the first trans-Atlantic telephone cable went into service.
In 1973, the three-man crew of the U.S. space laboratory Skylab 2 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean after spending 59 days in orbit.
In 1978, 144 people were killed when a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 and a private plane collided over San Diego.
In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
Ten years ago: President Clinton pulled open the door of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., as he welcomed nine blacks who’d faced hate-filled mobs 40 years earlier. Sportscaster Marv Albert ended his trial in Arlington, Va., by pleading guilty to assault and battery; within hours, NBC fired him (the network later rehired him). The NBC prime-time drama “ER” did its season premiere live for the Eastern United States, then repeated the performance live for the West Coast.
Five years ago: American schoolchildren escaped a rebel-held Ivory Coast city that was under siege as U.S. special forces and French troops moved in to rescue Westerners caught in the West African nation’s bloody uprising. Tropical Storm “Isidore” drenched the Gulf Coast.
One year ago: British forces in Iraq shot and killed Omar al-Farouq, a leading al-Qaida terrorist, more than a year after he embarrassed the U.S. military by escaping from a maximum security military prison in Afghanistan. Four French tourists kidnapped in Yemen were freed after more than two weeks in captivity. The Louisiana Superdome, a symbol of misery during Hurricane Katrina, reopened for a New Orleans Saints game. (The Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 23-3.)
Today’s Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Barbara Walters is 78. Country singer Ian Tyson is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer Joe Russell is 68. Actor Robert Walden is 64. Actor-producer Michael Douglas is 63. Model Cheryl Tiegs is 60. Actress Mimi Kennedy is 58. Actor-director Anson Williams is 58. Actor Mark Hamill is 56. Polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr is 56. Actor Colin Friels is 55. Actor Michael Madsen is 49. Actress Heather Locklear is 46. Actress Aida Turturro is 45. Actor Tate Donovan is 44. Basketball player Scottie Pippen is 42. Actor Jason Flemyng is 41. Actor Will Smith is 39. Actor Hal Sparks is 38. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is 38. Actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras is 34. Actor Chris Owen is 27. Rapper T. I. is 27. Actor Lee Norris is 26. Singer Diana Ortiz (Dream) is 22. Actress Emmy Clarke (“Monk”) is 16.
Thought for Today: “It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink (at) facts because they are not to our taste.” — John Tyndall, English physicist (1820-1893).