Today in History

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2021. There are 108 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” (later “The Star-Spangled Banner”) after witnessing the American flag flying over the Maryland fort following a night of British naval bombardment during the War of 1812.

On this date:

In 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops entered Moscow following the Battle of Borodino to find the Russian city largely abandoned and parts set ablaze.

In 1836, former Vice President Aaron Burr died in Staten Island, N.Y., at age 80.

In 1847, during the Mexican-American War, U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott took control of Mexico City.

In 1861, the first naval engagement of the Civil War took place as the USS Colorado attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah off Pensacola, Florida.


In 1901, President William McKinley died in Buffalo, New York, of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin; Vice President Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.

In 1927, modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan died in Nice (nees), France, when her scarf became entangled in a wheel of the sports car she was riding in.

In 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, formerly film star Grace Kelly, died at age 52 of injuries from a car crash the day before; Lebanon’s president-elect, Bashir Gemayel (bah-SHEER’ jeh-MAY’-el), was killed by a bomb.

In 1994, on the 34th day of a strike by players, Acting Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the 1994 season was over.

In 2001, Americans packed churches and clogged public squares on a day of remembrance for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. President George W. Bush prayed with his Cabinet and attended services at Washington National Cathedral, then flew to New York, where he waded into the ruins of the World Trade Center and addressed rescue workers in a flag-waving, bullhorn-wielding show of resolve.

In 2010, Reggie Bush announced he was forfeiting his 2005 Heisman title, citing a scandal over improper benefits while he was a star running back at Southern California; it was the first time college football’s top award had been relinquished by a recipient.

In 2012, fury over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad spread across the Muslim world, with deadly clashes near Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, an American fast-food restaurant set ablaze in Lebanon, and international peacekeepers attacked in the Sinai.

In 2015, Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis returned to work for the first time since she was jailed for defying a federal court and announced that she would no longer block her deputies from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


Ten years ago: A government panel released a report saying that BP bore ultimate responsibility for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Five years ago: Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a letter from her doctor saying the Democratic presidential nominee was “recovering well” from pneumonia and remained “fit to serve as President of the United States.” President Barack Obama said the U.S. was lifting economic sanctions and restoring trade benefits to former pariah state Myanmar as he met with former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee), the nation’s de facto leader. Tyre King, a Black 13-year-old, was fatally shot by Columbus, Ohio, police after authorities said he pulled a BB gun from his pants.

One year ago: In Northern California for a briefing on the West Coast wildfires that had killed dozens of people and burned millions of acres, President Donald Trump dismissed the scientific consensus that climate change was playing a central role in the historic fires; he renewed his unfounded claim that failure to rake forest floors and clear dead timber was mostly to blame. Democrat Joe Biden labeled Trump a “climate arsonist” in a speech in which Biden said the response to the wildfires would require stronger presidential leadership. The mayor of Rochester, New York, fired the city’s police chief amid the upheaval over the suffocation death in March of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died several days after officers put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting and pressed his face into the pavement.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Walter Koenig (KAY’-nihg) is 85. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown is 81. Singer-actor Joey Heatherton is 77. Actor Sam Neill is 74. Singer Jon “Bowzer” Bauman (Sha Na Na) is 74. Actor Robert Wisdom is 68. Rock musician Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) is 66. Country singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is 65. Actor Mary Crosby is 62. Singer Morten Harket (a-ha) is 62. Country singer John Berry is 62. Actor Melissa Leo is 61. Actor Faith Ford is 57. Actor Jamie Kaler is 57. Actor Michelle Stafford is 56. Rock musician Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers) is 55. Actor Dan Cortese is 54. Contemporary Christian singer Mark Hall is 52. Actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry is 52. Actor Ben Garant is 51. Rock musician Craig Montoya (Tri Polar) is 51. Actor Kimberly Williams-Paisley is 50. Actor Andrew Lincoln is 48. Rapper Nas is 48. Actor Austin Basis is 45. Country singer Danielle Peck is 43. Pop singer Ayo is 41. Chef/TV personality Katie Lee is 40. Actor Sebastian Sozzi is 39. Actor Adam Lamberg is 37. Singer Alex Clare is 36. Actor Chad Duell (TV: “General Hospital”) is 34. Actor Jessica Brown Findlay is 34. Actor-singer Logan Henderson is 32. Actor Emma Kenney is 22.