Today in History

September 5, 2021 GMT

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Sept. 5, the 248th day of 2021. There are 117 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 5, 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic delegation at the Munich Games, killing 11 Israelis and a police officer. German forces killed five of the gunmen.

On this date:

In 1774, the first Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia.

In 1864, voters in Louisiana approved a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

In 1939, four days after war had broken out in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring U.S. neutrality in the conflict.

In 1957, the novel “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, was first published by Viking Press.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, California.


In 1984, the space shuttle Discovery ended its inaugural flight as it landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1986, four hijackers who had seized a Pan Am jumbo jet on the ground in Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire when the lights inside the plane failed; a total of 20 people were killed before Pakistani commandos stormed the jetliner.

In 1991, the 35th annual Naval Aviation Symposium held by the Tailhook Association opened in Las Vegas; during the four-day gathering, there were reports that dozens of people, most of them women, were sexually assaulted or otherwise harassed. (The episode triggered the resignation of Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett and the early retirement of Adm. Frank B. Kelso, then the chief of naval operations.)

In 1997, breaking the royal reticence over the death of Princess Diana, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II delivered a televised address in which she called her former daughter-in-law “a remarkable person.” Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at age 87; conductor Sir Georg Solti (johrj SHOL’-tee) died in France at age 84.

In 2006, Katie Couric began a five-year run as principal anchor of “The CBS Evening News.”

In 2018, The New York Times published an opinion piece from an anonymous senior administration official claiming to be part of an internal “resistance” working to thwart President Donald Trump’s “worst inclinations;” Trump responded that if such a “gutless” person exists, “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to the government at once!”

In 2019, the NFL opened its 100th season in Chicago, where the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 10-3 in the season’s first game.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama used a boisterous Labor Day rally in Detroit to put congressional Republicans on the spot, challenging them to place the country’s interests above all else and vote to create jobs and put the economy back on a path toward growth.


Five years ago: Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) announced the close of the G-20 summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou, saying it had contributed to encouraging new progress in boosting global growth. Hugh O’Brian, the actor who shot to fame as Sheriff Wyatt Earp in what was hailed as television’s first adult Western, died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 91. Phyllis Schlafly, the outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group, died in St. Louis at age 92.

One year ago: New wildfires in Southern California included one caused by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used during a gender-reveal party. Hundreds of people gathered for Black Lives Matter rallies and marches in Portland, Oregon, as often violent nightly demonstrations that had taken place for 100 days showed no signs of ceasing; Molotov cocktails were thrown in the street during a march, sparking a large fire and prompting police to declare a riot. Authentic led all the way to win a Kentucky Derby held in front of an empty grandstand and in September rather than May because of the coronavirus; it was a record-tying sixth Derby victory for trainer Bob Baffert.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-actor Bob Newhart is 92. Actor-singer Carol Lawrence is 89. Actor Lucille Soong is 86. Former NFL All-Pro quarterback and college football Hall of Famer Billy Kilmer is 82. Actor William Devane is 82. Actor George Lazenby is 82. Actor Raquel Welch is 81. Movie director Werner Herzog is 79. Singer Al Stewart is 76. Actor-director Dennis Dugan is 75. College Football Hall of Famer Jerry LeVias is 75. Singer Loudon Wainwright III is 75. Soul/rock musician Mel Collins is 74. “Cathy” cartoonist Cathy Guisewite (GYZ’-wyt) is 71. Actor Michael Keaton is 70. Actor Debbie Turner-Larson (Marta in “The Sound of Music”) is 65. Actor Kristian Alfonso is 58. R&B singer Terry Ellis is 58. Rock musician Brad Wilk is 53. TV personality Dweezil Zappa is 52. Actor Rose McGowan is 48. Actor Carice Van Houten is 45. Rock musician Kyle O’Quin (Portugal. The Man) is 36. Olympic gold medal figure skater Yuna Kim is 31. Actor Skandar Keynes is 30.