Monday, September 2

Today is Monday, September 2, the 245th day of 2013. There are 120 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1666 – Great Fire of London burns for five days, nearly destroying the city, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, but claims few lives.

1773 – Warren Hastings, first British governor general of India, forms alliance with state of Oudh for campaign against the Mahrathas.

1789 – The U.S. Treasury Department is established.

1796 – The September Massacres, which killed some 1,200 people, begin when an armed band attacks prisoners being transferred between jails in Paris in the belief that they are counterrevolutionaries.

1807 – The British navy shells Copenhagen to force Denmark to surrender its fleet.

1866 – Crete, after long discontent with Turkish authority, revolts and merges with Greece.

1870 – Emperor Napoleon III and 83,000 French troops surrender at Sedan to encircling German troops, deciding the Franco-German War after six weeks.

1898 – British forces under Horatio Kitchener defeat the Khalifa’s army at Omdurman, Sudan. The young Winston Churchill takes part in a cavalry charge.

1935 – A hurricane slams into the Florida Keys, claiming 423 lives.

1945 – Independent Vietnam Republic is proclaimed by Ho Chi Minh, who becomes president.

1952 – The U.S. Commerce Department announces an agreement with Western Europe to tighten controls on shipment of 200 strategic commodities and keep them from reaching Iron Curtain countries.

1963 – Alabama Governor George C. Wallace prevents the racial integration of Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers.

1970 – The U.S. announces cutbacks in fighting strength in Saigon as North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces continue on the offensive.

1976 – Riot police battle 3,000 mixed-race and black student demonstrators in Cape Town, in the first unrest to reach the white area of a South African city.

1980 – Members of the October First Revolutionary Anti-Fascist Group ambushed the car of Gen. Enrique Briz Armengol, killing him as he was being driven to work in Barcelona, Spain.

1985 – A U.S.-French expedition locates the Titanic wreckage, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) off Newfoundland, Canada, where the ship sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage, killing some 1,500 people.

1987 – “Tanker war” in Gulf escalates, with Iraq claiming its jet planes hit three ships while Iran raids five others.

1988 – Iran accuses Iraq of more than 70 violations during two-week cease-fire.

1989 – Riot police arrest more than 400 anti-apartheid protesters in downtown Cape Town, South Africa.

1990 – Saudi defense minister says his country cannot be used as jumping-off point for attack on Iraq.

1995 – A boat on its way to a protest at the edge of Cuban territorial waters sinks near Key West, Florida, with 47 Cuban exiles on board. One person dies.

1996 – Muslim rebels and the Philippine government sign a pact formally ending a 26-year insurgency that killed more than 120,000 people. A Tokyo court orders cult guru Shoko Asahara to pay US$7.5 million in damages to victims of 1995 nerve gas attack on the city’s subways.

1997 – The Dow Jones Industrial stock averages scores its biggest point gain in history to that date, rising 257.36 at the New York Stock Exchange.

1998 – A Swissair jetliner crashes off Nova Scotia, killing all 220 aboard.

2002 – The Sudanese government suspends peace talks with the country’s main rebel group, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, or SPLA, after rebels seize the strategic town of Torit.

2003 – The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, votes to apply retroactively a recent Supreme Court decision on death-penalty sentencing procedures, overturning more than 100 death sentences in Arizona, Idaho and Montana.

2005 – A Belfast judge orders a suspected Irish Republican Army dissident to stand trial for the murders of 29 people in a 1998 car bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland’s deadliest terrorist attack.

2006 – Thousands of unpaid teachers across the Palestinian territories go on strike, shutting down schools on the first day of clases — a backlash that tests the Hamas-led government’s ability to survive.

2007 – The chief U.S. negotiator says North Korea has agreed to declare and disable all its nuclear facilities by the end of the year.

2008 – Thailand’s prime minister declares a state of emergency in Bangkok to restore order after overnight clashes between government opponents and supporters left one person dead and 43 injured.

2009 – A Taliban suicide bomber attacks officials leaving a mosque east of Kabul, killing the country’s deputy intelligence chief and 23 other people in a major blow to Afghanistan’s security forces.

2010 – British physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking argues in his new book that there need not be a God behind the creation of the universe.

2011 – Turkey expels Israel’s ambassador and cuts military ties over Israel’s refusal to apologize for last year’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, further straining a relationship that had been a cornerstone of regional stability.

2012 – A Muslim cleric is accused of stashing pages of a Quran in a Christian girl’s bag to make it seem like she burned Islamic holy book, a surprising twist in a case that caused an international outcry over the country’s strict blasphemy laws.

Today’s Birthdays:

Ewald von Hertzberg, Prussian statesman (1725-1795); John Howard, English prison reformer (1726-1798); Hirobumi Ito, premier of Japan (1841-1909); Jimmy Connors, U.S. tennis player (1952–); Keanu Reeves, U.S. actor (1964–); Salma Hayek U.S. actress (1966–).

Thought for Today:

Integrity needs no rules — Albert Camus, French author and philosopher (1913-1960).

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