Today's History Trivia for September 15
2002 Iraq War Cost Underestimated U.S. President Bush's economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsay, estimates the cost of the Gulf War to be $100-200 billion. This figure was criticized by Donald Rumsfeld, who said it would be under $50 billion. A 2007 Congressional Budget Office report estimated the long-term price of the war at about $1.9 trillion.
2005 Veteran's Administration VA nurse Laura Berg's letter to the editor criticizing the Bush administration is published in an Albuquerque newspaper. She was subsequently accused of sedition by the VA and her computer seized in response to the letter.
1988 Dan Quayle The future U.S. Vice-President states, "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history… No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history."
1982 First issue of USA Today: They were sold from TV-shaped vending machines.
1980 Shogun The TV miniseries, starring Richard Chamberlain, begins airing on NBC.
1972 Watergate The five Watergate burglars, G. Gordon Liddy, and Howard Hunt, Jr. are indicted on federal charges.
1971 Columbo The detective series starring Peter Falk debuts on NBC.
1965 The Big Valley debuts on ABC.
1959 Soviet Premier Khrushchev arrives in the U.S. for an unprecedented visit.
1949 The Lone Ranger debuts on ABC, starring Clayton Moore.
1857 Mormons Mormon leader Brigham Young forbids U.S. troops from entering the Utah Territory. The President had sent them to establish a new governor.
1853 First woman minister in the U.S., Antoinette Brown Blackwell is ordained at the Congregational Church in New York.
1853 First national librarian's convention is held in New York City.
Today's Birthdays for September 15
1857 William Howard Taft d. 1930 27th U.S. President (1909-13), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-30), and U.S. Secretary of War (1904-08). He was the first U.S. president to throw out the opening ball of baseball season (1910). He is the only person to be both a U.S. President and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
1946 Oliver Stone American Oscar-winning film director, screenwriter. He received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. Film: Midnight Express (1978, Oscar), Platoon (1987, Oscar), Born on the Fourth of July (1989, Oscar), and JFK (1991).
1940 Merlin Olsen d. 2010 American football player, actor. Played defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams (1962–1976). TV: Little House on the Prairie (1977-81, Jonathan Garvey) and Father Murphy (1981-83, title role).
1922 Jackie Cooper d. 2011 (John Cooperman Jr.), American actor, Emmy-winning director, called "America's Boy". He was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. He appeared in 15 Our Gang films. Film: The Champ (1931), Sooky (1931), Superman (1978, Superman's boss).
1918 Nipsey Russell d. 2005 American comic actor. Frequent TV game show panelist, known for his poems. Film: The Wiz (1978, Tin Man).
1913 John Newton Mitchell d. 1988 U.S. attorney general (1968-72), convicted in the Watergate scandal (1975).
1907 Jack Bailey d. 1980 American game-show host. TV: Truth or Consequences (1945-56) and Queen for a Day (1948-64).
1907 Fay Wray d. 2004 Canadian-American actress, Film: King Kong, (1933, Kong's main squeeze).
1903 Roy Claxton Acuff d. 1992 American country singer, called the King of country. Songs: Wabash Cannonball and The Great Speckled Bird. He was the first living artist elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame (1962).
1890 Dame Agatha Christie d. 1976 English mystery author. Creator of Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. Her literary career began when her sister challenged her to write a mystery in which the identity of the culprit couldn't be guessed.
1876 Frank Ernest Gannett d. 1957 American publisher. He built a media network of 21 newspapers and 7 radio and TV stations.
1850 Mary Downing Barnes d. 1898 American educator. The first woman faculty member of Stanford University (1891).
1789 James Fenimore Cooper d. 1851 first major American novelist. Writings: The Last of the Mohicans (1826).
1787 Guillaume Henri Dufour d. 1875 Swiss engineer. He and Robert Marc Séguin designed and built the first permanent wire-cable suspension bridge (1823, Saint Antoine Bridge).
Deaths for September 15
2008 Rick Wright b. 1943 English keyboardist, founding member of Pink Floyd. Music: Dark Side of the Moon (1972, #1), Wish You Were Here (1975, #1), and The Wall (1979, #1).
2001 Frederick De Cordova b. 1910 American director-producer. Film: Bedtime for Bonzo (1951). TV: My Three Sons, The Smothers Brothers, and The Tonight Show (1971‑).
1994 Mark Stevens b. 1916 (Richard Stevens), American actor. TV: Martin Kane, Private Eye (title role) and Big Town (Steve Wilson).
1991 John Hoyt b. 1905 American actor. TV: Gimme a Break! (Grandpa Kaminsky).
1989 Robert Penn Warren b. 1905 American author, first U.S. poet laureate, and the only person to win the Pulitzer for both fiction (All the King's Men, 1946) and poetry (Promises, 1958).
1943 John Schrank b. 1876 Bavarian-born New York saloon keeper. He shot Pres. Roosevelt (1912, Milwaukee). He claimed William McKinley's ghost told him to shoot Roosevelt as a warning to those who'd run for three terms as President.
1864 John Hanning Speke b. 1827 English explorer. He discovered the source of the Nile (1858).