Today in History: September 21, Senate confirms O’Connor

Sep 20, 2022, 9:00 AM | Updated: 9:02 pm

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2022. There are 101 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.

In 1937, “The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien, was first published by George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London.

In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming some 700 lives.

In 1957, the legal mystery-drama “Perry Mason,” starring Raymond Burr, premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1961, the first Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter made its first hovering flight.

In 1973, the U.S. Senate confirmed Henry Kissinger to be Secretary of State.

In 1982, National Football League players began a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.

In 1985, in North Korea and South Korea, family members who had been separated for decades were allowed to visit each other as both countries opened their borders in an unprecedented family-reunion program.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo crashed into Charleston, South Carolina (the storm was blamed for 56 deaths in the Caribbean and 29 in the United States). Twenty-one students in Alton, Texas, died when their school bus, hit by a soft-drink delivery truck, careened into a water-filled pit.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages, a day after saying the law should not be used as an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against gays and lesbians. (Although never formally repealed, DoMA was effectively overturned by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015.)

In 2001, Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 2011, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, two Americans jailed in Iran as spies, left Tehran for the Gulf state of Oman, closing a high-profile drama that brought more than two years of hope and heartbreak for their families. The state of Texas executed Lawrence Russell Brewer for his role in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr.

Ten years ago: People lined up to buy Apple’s iPhone5 as it went on sale in the United States and several other countries. A man was bitten multiple times after leaping from a monorail into a tiger exhibit at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

Five years ago: Millions on Puerto Rico faced the prospect of weeks or months without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the ongoing crisis involving North Korea. Facebook said it would provide congressional investigators with the contents of 3,000 ads that had been bought by a Russian agency; it had already released the ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

One year ago: In his first address before the U.N. General Assembly, President Joe Biden urged the world’s nations to address the global issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuses. A coroner confirmed that human remains found in remote northern Wyoming were those of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old who disappeared while on a cross-country road trip with a boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. (Laundrie’s body would be found in a Florida swamp in October; the FBI later said he had admitted killing Petito in a notebook that was discovered hear his body.) Melvin Van Peebles, a playwright, musician and movie director whose work ushered in the “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s, died at his New York home; he was 89.

Today’s Birthdays: Author-comedian Fannie Flagg is 81. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is 79. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is 78. Musician Don Felder is 75. Author Stephen King is 75. Basketball Hall of Famer Artis Gilmore is 73. Actor-comedian Bill Murray is 72. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is 65. Movie producer-writer Ethan Coen is 65. Actor-comedian Dave Coulier is 63. Actor David James Elliott is 62. Actor Serena Scott Thomas is 61. Actor Nancy Travis is 61. Actor Rob Morrow is 60. Actor Angus Macfadyen is 59. Retired MLB All-Star Cecil Fielder is 59. Actor Cheryl Hines is 57. Country singer Faith Hill is 55. Rock musician Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) is 55. Country singer Ronna Reeves is 54. Actor-talk show host Ricki Lake is 54. Rapper Dave (De La Soul) is 54. Actor Billy Porter is 53. Actor Rob Benedict is 52. Actor James Lesure is 51. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro (rih-BEHR’-oh) is 51. Actor Luke Wilson is 51. Actor Paulo Costanzo is 44. Actor Bradford Anderson is 43. Actor Autumn Reeser is 42. TV personality Nicole Richie is 41. Actor Maggie Grace is 39. Actor Joseph Mazzello is 39. Actor Ahna O’Reilly is 38. Rapper Wale (WAH’-lay) is 38. R&B singer Jason Derulo is 36. Actor Ryan Guzman is 35. Actor Nikolas Brino is 24.

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Today in History: September 21, Senate confirms O’Connor