Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 19, the 263rd day of 2012. There are 103 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Sept. 19, 1982, the smiley emoticon was invented as Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman proposed punctuating humorously intended computer messages by employing a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal "smiley face." :-)
On this date:
In 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although the British forces succeeded in driving out the American troops, the Americans prevailed in a second battle the following month.
In 1796, President George Washington's farewell address was published.
In 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died 21/2 months after being shot by Charles Guiteau; Chester Alan Arthur became president.
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, visiting Los Angeles, reacted angrily upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn't get 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 ended up staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.
In 1961, Barney and Betty Hill, a New Hampshire couple driving home from vacation, experienced what they later claimed under hypnosis was a short-term abduction by extraterrestrials.
In 1962, the Western TV series "The Virginian" debuted on NBC.
In 1970, the situation comedy "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS-TV.
In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.
Ten years ago: President George W. 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 victims.
Five years ago: The Senate blocked legislation that would have regulated the amount of time troops spent in combat, a blow for Democrats struggling to challenge President George W. Bush's Iraq policies. A powerful bomb killed anti-Syria lawmaker Antoine Ghanem and six others in Beirut, Lebanon.
One year ago: In a White House address, a combative President Barack Obama demanded that the richest Americans pay higher taxes to help cut soaring U.S. deficits by more than $3 trillion. Mariano Rivera set a major league record with his 602nd save, closing out the New York Yankees' 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. Dolores Hope, the sultry-voiced songstress who was married to Bob Hope for 69 years and sometimes sang on his shows for U.S. troops and on his television specials, died in Los Angeles at age 102.
Today's Birthdays: Author Roger Angell is 92. TV host James Lipton ("Inside the Actors Studio") is 86. Actress Rosemary Harris is 85. Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown is 85. Actor Adam West is 82. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Bob Turley is 82. Actor David McCallum (TV: "NCIS") is 79. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 72. Singer Bill Medley is 72. Singer Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia) is 72. Singer Freda Payne is 70. Golfer Jane Blalock is 67. Singer David Bromberg is 67. Actor Randolph Mantooth is 67. Rock singer-musician Lol Creme (10cc) is 65. Former NFL running back Larry Brown is 65. Actor Jeremy Irons is 64. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 63. TV personality Joan Lunden is 62. Singer-producer Daniel Lanois is 61. Actor Scott Colomby is 60. Musician-producer Nile Rodgers is 60. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Reggie Williams is 58. Singer-actor Rex Smith is 57. Actor Kevin Hooks is 54. Actress Carolyn McCormick is 53. Country singer Jeff Bates is 49. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 48. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 47. News anchor Soledad O'Brien is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Espraronza Griffin is 43. Actress Sanaa Lathan is 41. Actress Stephanie J. Block is 40. Rock singer A. Jay Popoff (Lit) is 39. Comedian and TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon is 38. TV personality Carter Oosterhouse is 36. Actress-TV host Alison Sweeney is 36. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 35. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan Quin are 32. Actor Columbus Short is 30. Rapper Eamon is 29. Christian rock musician JD Frazier is 29. Actor Kevin Zegers is 28. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 25.
Thought for Today: "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with." -- W.C. Fields, American comedian (1880-1946).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.