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Today in History 9/17/20

Today is Thursday, Sept. 17, the 261st day of 2020. 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, more than 3,600 men were killed in the Civil War Battle of Antietam in Maryland.

In 1908, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge of the U.S. Army Signal Corps became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer, at Fort Myer, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

In 1937, the likeness of President Abraham Lincoln’s head was dedicated at Mount Rushmore.

In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland during World War II, 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 1971, citing health reasons, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, 85, retired. (Black, who was succeeded by Lewis F. Powell Jr., died eight days after making his announcement.)

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; in a speech at Independence Hall, President Ronald Reagan acclaimed the framing of the Constitution as a milestone “that would profoundly and forever alter not just these United States but the world.”

In 1997, Comedian Red Skelton died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 84.

In 2001, six days after 9/11, stock prices nosedived but stopped short of collapse in an emotional, flag-waving reopening of Wall Street; the Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 684.81 at 8,920.70.

In 2011, a demonstration calling itself Occupy Wall Street began in New York, prompting similar protests around the U.S. and the world.

Ten years ago

Thousands of cheering Catholic schoolchildren feted Pope Benedict XVI on his second day in Britain, offering a boisterous welcome, as the pontiff urged their teachers to make sure to provide a trusting, safe environment.

Five years ago

The Federal Reserve kept U.S interest rates at record lows in the face of threats from a weak global economy, persistently low inflation and unstable financial markets.

One year ago

New York became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes; the move came as federal health officials investigated a surge of severe breathing illnesses linked to vaping.

Broadcast journalist Cokie Roberts, who had chronicled Washington for NPR and ABC News, died of complications from breast cancer at the age of 75.

Israeli elections left Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu well short of the parliamentary majority he had sought.

Today’s Birthdays

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, is 87.

Retired Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter is 81.

Singer LaMonte McLemore (The Fifth Dimension) is 85.

Retired U.S. Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni is 77.

Basketball Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson is 75.

Singer Fee Waybill is 72.

Actor Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”) is 69.

Comedian Rita Rudner is 67.

Muppeteer Kevin Clash (former voice of Elmo on “Sesame Street”) is 60.

Movie director Baz Luhrmann is 58.

Singer BeBe Winans is 58.

TV personality/businessman Robert Herjavec (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 57.

Rapper Doug E. Fresh is 54.

Rapper Vinnie (Naughty By Nature) is 50.

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is 45.

NHL forward Alex Ovechkin is 35.

Actor Danielle Brooks is 31.

Gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds is 31.

Actor-singer Denyse Tontz is 26.

NHL center Auston Matthews is 23.