U-boat torpedoes Laconia, more than 1,600 people die
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 12, the 255th day of 2017. There are 110 days left in the year.
On September 12, 1942, during World War II, a German U-boat off West Africa torpedoed the RMS Laconia, which was carrying Italian prisoners of war, British soldiers and civilians; it’s estimated more than 1,600 people died while some 1,100 survived after the ship sank. The German crew, joined by other U-boats, began rescue operations.
On Sept. 16, the rescue effort came to an abrupt halt when the Germans were attacked by a U.S. Army bomber; as a result, U-boat commanders were ordered to no longer rescue civilian survivors of submarine attacks.
On this date:
In 1814, the Battle of North Point took place in Maryland during the War of 1812 as American forces slowed British troops advancing on Baltimore.
In 1846, Elizabeth Barrett secretly married Robert Browning at St. Marylebone Church in London.
In 1914, during World War I, the First Battle of the Marne ended in an Allied victory against Germany.
In 1938, Adolf Hitler demanded the right of self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.
In 1944, the Second Quebec Conference opened with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in attendance.
In 1953, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island.
In 1960, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addressed questions about his Roman Catholic faith, telling the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, “I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.”
In 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by Ethiopia’s military after ruling for 58 years.
In 1977, South African black student leader and anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, 30, died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.
In 1986, Joseph Cicippio, the acting comptroller at the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped. He was released in December 1991.
In 1987, reports surfaced that Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden had borrowed, without attribution, passages of a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock for one of his own campaign speeches. The Kinnock report, along with other damaging revelations, prompted Biden to drop his White House bid.
In 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour blasted off, carrying with it Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space; Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space; and Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese national to fly on a U.S. spaceship. Police in Peru captured Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman. Actor Anthony Perkins died in Hollywood at age 60.
Ten years ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced long-serving Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov with an obscure Cabinet official, Viktor Zubkov. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation.
Five years ago: The U.S. dispatched an elite group of Marines to Tripoli, Libya, after the mob attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. President Barack Obama strongly condemned the violence, and vowed to bring the killers to justice; Republican challenger Mitt Romney accused the administration of showing weakness in the face of tumultuous events in the Middle East.
One year ago: Striking a conciliatory tone after an Oval Office sitdown, President Barack Obama and the top Senate Republican declared themselves hopeful that an agreement could be reached to keep the government running and to provide money to take care of the worsening Zika crisis. Two men disrupted a live broadcast of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” by rushing onto the stage to protest Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s presence on the show. Lochte and his swimming teammates faced criticism since they were involved in an early-morning drunken encounter at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Freddie Jones is 90. Composer Harvey Schmidt (“The Fantasticks”) is 88. Actor Ian Holm is 86. Former U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is 78. Actress Linda Gray is 77. Singer Maria Muldaur is 75. Actor Joe Pantoliano is 66. Singer-musician Gerry Beckley (America) is 65. Original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood is 65. Rock musician Neil Peart (Rush) is 65. Actor Peter Scolari is 62. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is 61. Actress Rachel Ward is 60. Actress Amy Yasbeck is 55. Rock musician Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) is 52. Actor Darren E. Burrows is 51. Rock singer-musician Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five) is 51. Actor-comedian Louis C.K. is 50. Rock musician Larry LaLonde (Primus) is 49. Golfer Angel Cabrera is 48. Actor-singer Will Chase is 47. Actor Josh Hopkins is 47. Country singer Jennifer Nettles is 43. Actress Lauren Stamile is 41. Rapper 2 Chainz is 40. Actor Ben McKenzie is 39. Singer Ruben Studdard is 39. Basketball Hall of Fame player Yao Ming is 37. Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson is 36. Actor Alfie Allen is 31. Actress Emmy Rossum is 31. Country singer Kelsea Ballerini is 24. Actor Colin Ford is 21.