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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 9, the 253rd day of 2020. There are 113 days left in the year.

Todayís Highlight in History:

On Sept. 9, 1776, the second Continental Congress made the term ìUnited Statesî official, replacing ìUnited Colonies.î

On this date:

In 1543, Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scots at Stirling Castle, nine months after she was born.

In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.

In 1942, during World War II, a Japanese plane launched from a submarine off the Oregon coast dropped a pair of incendiary bombs in a failed attempt at igniting a massive forest fire; it was the first aerial bombing of the U.S. mainland by a foreign power.

In 1948, the Peopleís Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was declared.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of three appearances on ìThe Ed Sullivan Show.î

In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives.

In 1986, Frank Reed, director of a private school in Lebanon, was taken hostage; he was released 44 months later.

In 1991, boxer Mike Tyson was indicted in Indianapolis on a charge of raping Desiree Washington, a beauty pageant contestant. (Tyson was convicted and ended up serving three years of a six-year prison sentence.)

In 2005, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, the principal target of harsh criticism of the Bush administrationís response to Hurricane Katrina, was relieved of his onsite command.

In 2013, four days of vehicular gridlock began near the George Washington Bridge when two of three approach lanes from Fort Lee, New Jersey, were blocked off; the traffic jam was later blamed on loyalists to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the refusal of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (SAHKí-oh-lich) to endorse Christie for re-election. (Two political insiders were convicted for their roles in the closure; a unanimous Supreme Court later threw out the convictions. Christie denied any prior knowledge of the lane closures, but the episode helped derail his 2016 presidential bid.)

In 2014, Apple unveiled its long-anticipated smartwatch as well as the next generation of its iPhone.

In 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, speaking at an LGBT fundraiser in New York City, described half of Republican Donald Trumpís supporters as ìa basket of deplorables,î a characterization for which she would end up expressing regret.

Ten years ago: A natural gas pipeline explosion killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, California. Iran said it would free Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers held for more than 13 months on spying accusations, as an act of clemency to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. (Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were sentenced in August 2011 to eight years in prison, but were released the following month.)

Five years ago: Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history, serving as sovereign for 23,226 days (about 63 years and 7 months), according to Buckingham Palace, surpassing Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother. New York became the first U.S. city to require salt warnings on chain-restaurant menus.

One year ago: Coast Guard rescuers pulled four trapped South Korean crew members alive from a cargo ship, more than a day after the ship overturned as it left a port in Brunswick, Georgia. President Donald Trump said peace talks with the Taliban were now ìdead,î two days after he abruptly canceled a secret meeting he had arranged with Taliban and Afghan leaders. The acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the agency had likely violated its scientific integrity rules by publicly chastising a weather office that had contradicted Trump concerning a hurricane threat to Alabama.

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