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Today in History

Today is Friday, Sept. 13, the 256th day of 2019. There are 109 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 13, 2001, two days after the 9/11 terror attacks, the first few jetliners returned to the nation’s skies, but several major airports remained closed and others opened only briefly. President George W. Bush visited injured Pentagon workers and said he would carry the nation’s prayers to New York.

On this date:

In 1788, the Congress of the Confederation authorized the first national election, and declared New York City the temporary national capital.

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British naval forces began bombarding Fort McHenry in Baltimore but were driven back by American defenders in a battle that lasted until the following morning.

In 1860, General of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing was born in Laclede, Mo.

In 1948, Republican Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was elected to the U.S. Senate; she became the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.

In 1962, Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett rejected the U.S. Supreme Court’s order for the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith, a black student, declaring in a televised address, “We will not drink from the cup of genocide.”

In 1971, a four-day inmates’ rebellion at the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York ended as police and guards stormed the prison; the ordeal and final assault claimed the lives of 32 inmates and 11 hostages.

In 1993, at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy.

In 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur died at a Las Vegas hospital six days after he was wounded in a drive-by shooting; he was 25.

In 1997, funeral services were held in Calcutta, India, for Nobel peace laureate Mother Teresa.

In 1998, former Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace died in Montgomery at age 79.

In 2008, rescue crews ventured out to pluck people from their homes in an all-out search for thousands of Texans who had stubbornly stayed behind overnight to face Hurricane Ike.

In 2017, firefighters who were called to a sweltering nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, where air conditioning had been knocked out by Hurricane Irma found three people dead and evacuated 145 others to hospitals; five others died later in the day. Former Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, New Mexico’s longest-serving senator, died in Albuquerque at the age of 85.

Ten years ago: The body of missing Yale University graduate student Annie Le was found behind a research lab wall on what would have been her wedding day. A lab technician, Raymond Clark III, was later sentenced to 44 years in prison for murdering Le. Kim Clijsters, capping a comeback from two years out of tennis, became the first unseeded woman to win the U.S. Open as she defeated No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki, 7-5, 6-3.