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Today in History: September 20, King beats Riggs

Sep 19, 2022, 9:00 PM | Updated: 9:21 pm

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2022. There are 102 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 20, 1973, in their so-called “battle of the sexes,” tennis star Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.

On this date:

In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set out from Spain on five ships to find a western passage to the Spice Islands. (Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.)

In 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding the assassinated James A. Garfield.

In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival, lasting 16 days, opened in France.

In 1962, James Meredith, a Black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Democratic Gov. Ross R. Barnett. (Meredith was later admitted.)

In 1964, The Beatles concluded their first full-fledged U.S. tour by performing in a charity concert at the Paramount Theater in New York.

In 1967, the Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was christened by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in Clydebank, Scotland.

In 1973, singer-songwriter Jim Croce died in a plane crash near Natchitoches, Louisiana; he was 30.

In 1995, in a move that stunned Wall Street, AT&T Corporation announced it was splitting into three companies.

In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced the end of the Whitewater investigation, saying there was insufficient evidence to warrant charges against President and Mrs. Clinton.

In 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush announced a new Cabinet-level office to fortify homeland security and named Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge its director.

In 2011, repeal of the U.S. military’s 18-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise took effect, allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly.

In 2019, Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, the 1979 site of the nation’s worst commercial nuclear power accident, was shut down by its owner after producing electricity for 45 years.

Ten years ago: On a day when thousands of angry Pakistanis tried to make their way to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the embassy aired an ad on Pakistani TV showing President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing an anti-Islamic video produced in the United States. Space shuttle Endeavour, riding atop a Boeing 747, landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California en route to its eventual retirement home, the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Five years ago: Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, struck the island, wiping out as much as 75 percent of the power distribution lines and causing an island-wide blackout. Rescuers worked furiously at a collapsed school in Mexico City where a girl was believed trapped under debris in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake; it was later determined that no children were still trapped in the debris.

One year ago: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won his third straight election, but failed to get the majority in Parliament that he wanted; Trudeau had voiced the concerns of Canadians who were increasingly upset with those who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was effective for children ages 5 to 11; the vaccine was already available to anyone 12 and older. (U.S. health officials would approve the vaccine for children as young as 5 in November 2021.) In a major easing of pandemic travel restrictions, the White House said it would allow foreigners to fly into the country starting in November if they had vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test. U.S. officials said more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants had been removed from an encampment at a Texas border town; the officials defended a response that included immediately expelling the migrants to their impoverished Caribbean country.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sophia Loren is 88. Rock musician Chuck Panozzo is 74. Actor Tony Denison is 73. Actor Debbi Morgan is 71. Jazz musician Peter White is 68. Actor Betsy Brantley is 67. Actor Gary Cole is 66. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts is 62. Country-rock musician Joseph Shreve (Flynnville Train) is 61. Rock musician Randy Bradbury (Pennywise) is 58. Actor Kristen Johnston is 55. Rock singers Gunnar and Matthew Nelson are 55. Rock musician Ben Shepherd is 54. Actor Enuka Okuma is 50. Actor-model Moon Bloodgood is 47. Actor Jon Bernthal is 46. Singer The-Dream is 45. Actor Charlie Weber is 44. Rock musician Rick Woolstenhulme (WOOL’-sten-hyoolm) (Lifehouse) is 43. Rapper Yung Joc is 42. Actor Crystle Stewart is 41. Actor Aldis Hodge is 36. Rock drummer Jack Lawless is 35. Actor Malachi (MAL’-ah-ky) Kirby is 33.

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Today in History: September 20, King beats Riggs