Today in History

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 16, 2010 05:00 hrs

. 16, the 259th day of 2010. There are 106 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Sept. 16, 1810, Mexicans were inspired to begin their ultimately successful revolt against Spanish rule by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his "Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores)." (Mexico's independence was finally achieved in 1821.)

On this date:

In 1498, Tomas de Torquemada, notorious for his role in the Spanish Inquisition, died in Avila, Spain.

In 1893, more than 100,000 settlers swarmed onto a section of land in Oklahoma known as the "Cherokee Strip."

In 1908, General Motors was founded in Flint, Mich., by William C. Durant.

In 1910, Bessica Medlar Raiche of Mineola, N.Y. made the first accredited solo airplane flight by a woman in the United States.

In 1919, the American Legion received a national charter from Congress.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history. Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera officially opened its new opera house at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with the world premiere of Samuel Barber's "Antony and Cleopatra."

In 1977, Maria Callas, the American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53.

In 1982, the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children by Israeli-allied Lebanese militiamen began in west Beirut's Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.

In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert slammed into the Mexico coast for the second time in three days.

Ten years ago: Campaign aides for Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush agreed on a series of three debates. American Nancy Johnson captured the first gold medal of the Sydney Olympics, winning the women's 10-meter air rifle.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush ruled out raising taxes to pay the massive costs of Gulf Coast reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, saying other government spending had to be cut to pay for the recovery effort. Gordon Gould, a pioneer in laser technology who'd coined the word "laser," died in New York City at age 85.

One year ago: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled sweeping legislation to remake the nation's costly health care system. Mary Travers, 72, one part of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, died in Danbury, Conn. NCAA President Myles Brand, 67, died in Indianapolis.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Janis Paige is 88. Actress Lauren Bacall is 86. Blues singer B.B. King is 85. Clergyman-author Rev. Robert H. Schuller is 84. Actor Peter Falk is 83. Actress Anne Francis is 80. Actor George Chakiris is 78. Movie director Jim McBride is 69. Actress Linda Miller is 68. Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha&the Vandellas) is 66. Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) is 62. Actress Susan Ruttan is 62. Rock musician Ron Blair (Tom Petty&the Heartbreakers; Mudcrutch) is 62. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 61. Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) is 60. Country singer-songwriter Phil Lee is 59. Actor-comedian Lenny Clarke is 57. Actor Kurt Fuller is 57. Jazz musician Earl Klugh is 57. Actor Christopher Rich is 57. Singer Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites) is 56. TV personality Mark McEwen is 56. Baseball Hall of Famer Robin Yount is 55. Actor Mickey Rourke is 54. Magician David Copperfield is 54. Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride is 52. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 52. Retired MLB All-Star Orel Hershiser is 52. Retired MLB All-Star Tim Raines is 51. Singer Richard Marx is 47. Comedian Molly Shannon is 46. Singer Marc Anthony is 42. Comedian-actress Amy Poehler is 39. Country singer Matt Stillwell is 35. Singer Musiq (MYOO'-sihk) is 33. Actress Alexis Bledel is 29. Actress Sabrina Bryan is 26. Actress Madeline Zima is 25. Actress Kyla Pratt is 24. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 22. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 18.

Thought for Today: "You can love a person deeply and sincerely whom you do not like. You can like a person passionately whom you do not love." — Robert Hugh Benson, English author and clergyman (1871-1914).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Sept. 16)

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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