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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2023. There are 102 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 20, 1973, in their so-called “battle of the sexes,” tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
On this date:
In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)
In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.
In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival, lasting 16 days, opened in France.
In 1962, James Meredith, a Black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett.
In 1964, The Beatles concluded their first full-fledged U.S. tour by performing in a charity concert at the Paramount Theater in New York.
In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.
In 1973, singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash near Natchitoches, Louisiana at age 30.
In 1995, in a move that stunned Wall Street, AT&T Corporation announced it was splitting into three companies.
In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there was insufficient evidence to warrant charges against Bill and Hillary Clinton.
In 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush announced the new Cabinet-level Dept. of Homeland Security and named Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge its director.
In 2011, repeal of the U.S. military’s 18-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise took effect, allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly.
In 2012, Space Shuttle Endeavour, riding atop a Boeing 747, landed at a California Air Force base en route to its eventual retirement home, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, struck the island, wiping out as much as 75 percent of power distribution lines and causing an island-wide blackout.
In 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected as head of his ruling Liberal Democratic party in a landslide. (Abe would be assassinated after leaving office in 2022.)
In 2019, Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, the 1979 site of the nation’s worst commercial nuclear power accident, was shut down by its owner after producing electricity for 45 years.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sophia Loren is 89. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 75. Actor Tony Denison is 74. Actor Debbi Morgan is 72. Jazz musician Peter White is 69. Actor Betsy Brantley is 68. Actor Gary Cole is 67. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 63. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 62. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 59. Actor Kristen Johnston is 56. Rock singers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson are 56. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 55. Actor Enuka Okuma is 51. Actor-model Moon Bloodgood is 48. Actor Jon Bernthal is 47. Singer The-Dream is 46. Actor Charlie Weber is 45. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (WOOL’-sten-hyoolm) (Lifehouse) is 44. Rapper Yung Joc is 43. Actor Crystle Stewart is 42. Actor Aldis Hodge is 37. Rock drummer Jack Lawless is 36. Actor Malachi (MAL’-ah-ky) Kirby is 34.