Today in History: September 12, Steve Biko dies in custody

Sep 11, 2022, 9:00 PM | Updated: 9:04 pm

Today in History

Today is Monday, Sept. 12, the 255th day of 2022. There are 110 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 12, 1977, South African Black student leader and anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko (BEE’-koh), 30, died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.

On this date:

In 1913, Olympic legend Jesse Owens was born in Oakville, Alabama.

In 1914, during World War I, the First Battle of the Marne ended in an Allied victory against Germany.

In 1958, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Cooper v. Aaron, unanimously ruled that Arkansas officials who were resisting public school desegregation orders could not disregard the high court’s rulings.

In 1959, the Soviet Union launched its Luna 2 space probe, which made a crash landing on the moon. The TV Western series “Bonanza” premiered on NBC.

In 1962, in a speech at Rice University in Houston, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed his support for the manned space program, declaring: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

In 1987, reports surfaced that Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden had borrowed, without attribution, passages of a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock (KIHN’-ik) for one of his own campaign speeches. (The Kinnock report, along with other damaging revelations, prompted Biden to drop his White House bid.)

In 1995, the Belarusian military shot down a hydrogen balloon during an international race, killing its two American pilots, John Stuart-Jervis and Alan Fraenckel.

In 2001, stunned rescue workers continued to search for bodies in the World Trade Center’s smoking rubble a day after a terrorist attack that shut down the financial capital, badly damaged the Pentagon and left thousands dead. President George W. Bush, branding the attacks in New York and Washington “acts of war,” spoke of “a monumental struggle of good versus evil” and said that “good will prevail.”

In 2003, in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, U.S. forces mistakenly opened fire on vehicles carrying police, killing eight of them.

In 2005, Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned, three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

In 2008, a Metrolink commuter train struck a freight train head-on in Los Angeles, killing 25 people. (Federal investigators said the Metrolink engineer, Robert Sanchez, who was among those who died, had been text-messaging on his cell phone and ran a red light shortly before the crash.)

In 2011, Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 to win his first U.S. Open championship.

Ten years ago: The U.S. dispatched an elite group of Marines to Tripoli, Libya, after the mob attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. President Barack Obama strongly condemned the violence, and vowed to bring the killers to justice; Republican challenger Mitt Romney accused the administration of showing weakness in the face of tumultuous events in the Middle East.

Five years ago: Crews worked to repair the lone highway connecting the Florida Keys, where 25 percent of the homes were feared to have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma; more than 9 million Floridians, or nearly half the state’s population, were still without power in the late-summer heat. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he was resigning amid sex abuse allegations. Gay rights pioneer Edith Windsor, whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law, died in New York at the age of 88.

One year ago: Novak Djokovic’s bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969 ended with a loss to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final. Tailgating, face-painted fans returned in full force at stadiums around the country as the NFL opened its doors to capacity for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. Lil Nas X won video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards, on a night that saw Justin Bieber triumphantly return to the stage as a performer and as winner of the artist of the year. Max Scherzer of the Los Angeles Dodgers became the 19th pitcher in major league history with 3,000 career strikeouts; he also carried a perfect game into the eighth inning of a game against the San Diego Padres.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Linda Gray is 82. Singer Maria Muldaur is 80. Actor Joe Pantoliano is 71. Singer-musician Gerry Beckley (America) is 70. Original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood is 70. Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is 66. Actor Rachel Ward is 65. Actor Amy Yasbeck is 60. Rock musician Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) is 57. Actor Darren E. Burrows is 56. Rock singer-musician Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five) is 56. Actor-comedian Louis (loo-ee) C.K. is 55. Rock musician Larry LaLonde (Primus) is 54. Golfer Angel Cabrera is 53. Actor-singer Will Chase is 52. Actor Josh Hopkins is 52. Country singer Jennifer Nettles is 48. Actor Lauren Stamile (stuh-MEE’-lay) is 46. Rapper 2 Chainz is 45. Actor Kelly Jenrette is 44. Actor Ben McKenzie is 44. Singer Ruben Studdard is 44. Basketball Hall of Fame player Yao Ming is 42. Singer-actor Jennifer Hudson is 41. Actor Alfie Allen is 36. Actor Emmy Rossum is 36. Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman is 33. Country singer Kelsea Ballerini is 29. Actor Colin Ford is 26.

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Today in History: September 12, Steve Biko dies in custody