Today in History – September 21

1792 – The French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

1784 – “The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser” was published for the first time in Philadelphia. It was the first daily paper in America.

1893 – Frank Duryea took what is believed to be the first gasoline- powered automobile for a test drive. The “horseless carriage” was designed by Frank and Charles Duryea.

1897 – The New York Sun ran the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” editorial. It was in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon.

1931 – Britain went off the gold standard.

1931 – Japanese forces began occupying China’s northeast territory of Manchuria.

1937 – J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” was first published.

1941 – “The Second Mrs. Burton” premiered to the entire CBS Radio Network.

1948 – Milton Berle debuted as the host of “The Texaco Star Theater” on NBC-TV. The show later became “The Milton Berle Show.” Berle was the regular host until 1967.

1948 – “Life With Luigi” debuted on CBS Radio.

1949 – Communist leaders proclaimed The People’s Republic of China.

1957 – “Perry Mason”, the television series, made its debut on CBS-TV. The show was on for 9 years.

1961 – Antonio Abertondo swam the English Channel (in both directions) in 24 hours and 25 minutes.

1964 – Malta gained independence from Britain.

1966 – The Soviet probe Zond 5 returned to Earth. The spacecraft completed the first unmanned round-trip flight to the moon.

1970 – “NFL Monday Night Football” made its debut on ABC-TV. The game was between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns won 31-21.

1973 – Henry Kissinger was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become 56th Secretary of State. He was the first naturalized citizen to hold the office of Secretary of State.

1981 – The U.S. Senate confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

1981 – Belize gained full independence from Great Britain.

1982 – National Football League (NFL) players began a 57-day strike. It was their first regular-season walkout.

1982 – Amin Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon. He was the brother of Bashir Gemayel who was the president-elect when he was assassinated.

1984 – General Motors and the United Auto Workers union reached an agreement that would end the previous six days of spot strikes.

1985 – North and South Korea opened their borders for their family reunion program.

1993 – Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin announced that he was ousting the Communist-dominated Congress. The action was effectively seizing all state power.

1996 – The board of all-male Virginia Military Institute voted to admit women.

1996 – John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island, GA.

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