Today is Sunday, Sept. 8, the 251st day of 2013. There are 114 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On September 8, 1943, during World War II, Gen. Dwight E. Eisenhower announced Italy’s surrender; Nazi Germany denounced Italy’s decision as a cowardly act.
On this date:
In 1565, a Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Fla.
In 1761, Britain’s King George III married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz just a few hours after meeting her for the first time.
In 1892, an early version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy, appeared in “The Youth’s Companion.”
In 1900, Galveston, Texas, was struck by a hurricane that killed an estimated 8,000 people.
In 1913, the Victor Herbert operetta “Sweethearts” opened on Broadway.
In 1921, Margaret Gorman, 16, of Washington, D.C., was crowned the first “Miss America” in Atlantic City, N.J.
In 1935, Sen. Huey P. Long, D-La., was shot and mortally wounded inside the Louisiana State Capitol; he died two days later. (The assailant was identified as Dr. Carl Weiss, who was gunned down by Long’s bodyguards.)
In 1941, the 900-day Siege of Leningrad by German forces began during World War II.
In 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed by 49 nations in San Francisco.
In 1974, President Gerald R. Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.
In 1988, two nuclear-missile rocket motors were destroyed at an army ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas; they were the first U.S. weapons to be eliminated under an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.
In 1994, a USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.
Ten years ago: The Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry’s largest trade group, filed 261 copyright lawsuits across the country against Internet users for trading songs online. Nazi-era filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (LEH’-nee REEF’-en-stahl) died in Poecking, Germany, at age 101.
Five years ago: In a pointed but mostly symbolic expression of displeasure with Moscow, President George W. Bush canceled a once-celebrated civilian nuclear cooperation deal with Russia. Roger Federer salvaged the 2008 season by easily beating Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to win his fifth consecutive U.S. Open championship and 13th major title overall.
One year ago: Strong storms pummeled the East Coast, spawning a pair of tornadoes in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, while temperatures at Washington Dulles International Airport plunged 25 degrees in one hour, falling from 89 degrees to 64. A suicide bomber struck near NATO headquarters in Kabul, killing at least six Afghan civilians in an attack that officials blamed on the Haqqani network.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Sid Caesar is 91. Ventriloquist Willie Tyler is 73. Actor Alan Feinstein is 72. Pop singer Sal Valentino (The Beau Brummels) is 71. Author Ann Beattie is 66. Cajun singer Zachary Richard (ree-SHARD’) is 63. Musician Will Lee (“Late Show with David Letterman”) is 61. Actress Heather Thomas is 56. Singer Aimee Mann is 53. Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) is 53.
Actor Thomas Kretschmann is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) is 49. Gospel singer Darlene Zschech (chehk) is 48. Alternative country singer Neko (NEE’-koh) Case is 43. TV personality Brooke Burke-Charvet is 42. Actor Martin Freeman is 42. Actor David Arquette is 42. Rock musician Richard Hughes (Keane) is 38. Actor Larenz Tate is 38. Actor Nathan Corddry is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Pink is 34. Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas is 32.
Thought for Today: “Censorship is the height of vanity.” — Martha Graham, American modern dance pioneer (1893-1991).