TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Tuesday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2021. There are 101 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Sept. 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina (the storm was blamed for 56 deaths in the Caribbean and 29 in the United States). Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, hit by a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.

On this date:

In 1912, magician Harry Houdini first publicly performed his “Water Torture Cell” trick at the Circus Busch in Berlin.

In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of “The Texaco Star Theater” on NBC-TV.

In 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

In 1985, in North Korea and South Korea, family members who had been separated for decades were allowed to visit each other as both countries opened their borders in an unprecedented family-reunion program.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages, a day after saying the law should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians. (Although never formally repealed, DoMA was effectively overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015.)

In 2001, Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Today’s Birthdays: Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 80. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 78. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is 77. Author Stephen King is 74. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 72. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 71. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 62. Country singer Faith Hill is 54. Actor-talk show host Ricki Lake is 53. Actor Luke Wilson is 50.