Thursday Morning: Today in History

Today is Thursday, Sept. 27, the 271st day of 2012. There are 95 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 27, 1962, "Silent Spring," Rachel Carson's groundbreaking as well as controversial study on the effects of pesticides on the environment, was published in book form by Houghton Mifflin.

On this date:

In 1540, Pope Paul III issued a papal bull establishing the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, as a religious order.

In 1779, John Adams was named by Congress to negotiate the Revolutionary War's peace terms with Britain.

In 1854, the first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean passenger vessel occurred when the steamship SS Arctic sank off Newfoundland; of the more than 400 people on board, only 86 survived.

In 1862, during the Civil War, the Union Army's first all-black regiment, the self-described "Chasseurs d'Afrique" (Hunters of Africa), was formed in New Orleans (which was then under Northern control).

In 1928, the United States said it was recognizing the Nationalist Chinese government.

In 1939, Warsaw, Poland, surrendered after weeks of resistance to invading forces from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II.

In 1941, the United States launched 14 rapidly built "Liberty" military cargo vessels.

In 1942, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra performed together for the last time, at the Central Theater in Passaic, N.J., prior to Miller's entry into the Army.

In 1954, "Tonight!," hosted by Steve Allen, made its debut on NBC-TV.

In 1964, the government publicly released the report of the Warren Commission, which found that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

In 1979, Congress gave its final approval to forming the U.S. Department of Education.

In 1994, more than 350 Republican congressional candidates gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign the "Contract with America," a 10-point platform they pledged to enact if voters sent a GOP majority to the House.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush said the United Nations should have a chance to force Saddam Hussein to give up his weapons of mass destruction before the United States acted on its own against Iraq, but told a Republican fundraising event in Denver that action had to come quickly.

Five years ago: Soldiers fired into crowds of anti-government demonstrators in Yangon, Myanmar; Kenji Nagai, 50, a video journalist for Japan's APF News, was shot and killed. President George W. Bush promised to take steps to reduce air traffic congestion and long delays that were leaving travelers grounded.

One year ago: Opening statements in the Los Angeles trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, took place as prosecutors accused Murray of killing the superstar through irresponsible use of the anesthetic propofol, and the defense maintaining Jackson had caused his own death. (Murray was later convicted of felony involuntary manslaughter.) Israel gave the go-ahead for construction of 1,100 new Jewish housing units in east Jerusalem; the announcement met with swift criticism from the United States and the European Union.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Jayne Meadows is 92. Actress Kathleen Nolan is 79. Actor Wilford Brimley is 78. Actor Claude Jarman Jr. is 78. Author Barbara Howar is 78. World Golf Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth is 73. Singer-musician Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is 69. Rock singer Meat Loaf is 65. Actress Liz Torres is 65. Actor A Martinez is 64. Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt is 63. Actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa is 62. Singer Shaun Cassidy is 54. Rock singer Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind) is 48. Actor Patrick Muldoon is 44. Singer Mark Calderon is 42. Actress Amanda Detmer is 41. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow is 40. Rock singer Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down) is 34. Christian rock musician Grant Brandell (Underoath) is 31. Rapper Lil' Wayne is 30. Singer Avril Lavigne is 28.

Thought for Today: "God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages." -- Jacques Deval, French writer, director and actor (1895-1972).

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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