Today's History Trivia for September 19
2002 Iraq War Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declares, "There are a number of terrorist states pursuing weapons of mass destruction - Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, just to name a few - but no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein and Iraq."
1986 Shanghai Surprise premiers, starring Madonna and Sean Penn.
1983 Kiss The music group performs on MTV for the first time without make-up.
1981 Simon and Garfunkel reunion 400,000 people gather in New York's Central Park when the two singers reunite after an 11-year split.
1980 Titan II Missile Explosion After a fire in an Arkansas missile silo, the missile explodes, killing one and injuring 21. The 9-megaton nuclear warhead it was carrying landed, unexploded, about 600 feet away. The fire started the previous day when a technician dropped a socket wrench in the silo.
1975 The alligator is removed from the endangered species list in parts of Louisiana.
1942 Manhattan Project Oak Ridge, Tennessee is designated as the secret nuclear research site. More than 1,000 families were relocated to make room for the facility.
1876 First carpet sweeper is patented, by American inventor Melville Bissell.
1787 First newspaper to publish the U.S. Constitution The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser prints the Constitution which had been signed two days earlier.
Today's Birthdays for September 19
1967 Jim Abbott American Major League Baseball pitcher, despite being born with only one hand. He pitched a no-hitter for the New York Yankees against Cleveland (1993) and also won a gold medal pitching for the United States in the 1988 Summer Olympics.
1966 Eric Robert Rudolph American terrorist. He bombed the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, two abortion clinics, and a lesbian nightclub, killing three people and injuring 150 others. In 2003, after spending more than five years in the Appalachian wilderness as a fugitive, he was captured and sentenced to life in prison.
1950 Joan Lunden American broadcast journalist.
1949 Twiggy (Leslie Hornby), English actress, model.
1948 Jeremy Irons English Oscar-winning actor. Film: Reversal of Fortune (1990, Oscar, Claus von Bulow).
1945 Randolph Mantooth American actor. TV: Emergency! (John Gage) and Loving (Alex Masters).
1941 "Mama" Cass Elliot d. 1974 (Ellen Naomi Cohen), American folk singer, with The Mamas and the Papas. Music: California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday. The urban legend that she died from choking on a ham sandwich is false. She actually died of heart failure.
1940 Paul Williams American singer, songwriter. He co-wrote hits We've Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, and Just an Old Fashioned Love Song.
1934 Brian Epstein d. 1967 British impresario, discoverer and first manager of The Beatles.
1933 David McCallum Scottish actor. TV: The Man From UNCLE (Illya Kuryakin).
1928 Adam West (William Anderson), American actor. TV: Batman (Bruce Wayne).
1911 Sir William Golding d. 1993 British Nobel-winning author. Writings: Lord of the Flies (1954) and Rights of Passage (1980).
1778 Henry Peter Brougham d. 1868 Scottish orator. "Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave."
1737 Charles Carroll d. 1832 American Revolutionary leader. He was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the richest U.S. citizen at the time of his death.
A.D. 86 Antonius Pius d. 161 Roman emperor (138-161 A.D.).
Deaths for September 19
American Salem Witch Trials victim. At 80 years old, he was pressed to death for refusing to enter a plea of guilt or innocence to charges of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. According to the law, a person who refused to plead could not be tried. To persuade someone to make a plea, they were stripped naked and a heavy board laid on their body. Rocks were then laid on the plank. He endured the torture for two days until he died.
2006 Elizabeth Allen b. 1929 American singer, actress. TV: The Jackie Gleason Show (the woman who proclaimed "And away we go!"), C.P.O. Sharkey (Capt. Quinlan), and Texas (Victoria Bellman).
1995 Orville Redenbacher b. 1907 American popcorn maker, co-creator of "snowflake" popcorn.
1968 Chester F. Carlson b. 1906 American physicist, inventor of the Xerox machine (1959).
1881 James A. Garfield b. 1831 20th U.S. President (Mar. 4 - Sept. 19, 1881), assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau.
1860 Thomas Dartmouth Rice b. 1808 American entertainer, "father of American minstrelsy." In 1828 he began performing Jim Crow - a song he had learned from an elderly black in Kentucky - in blackface. His act became a hit in England (1836), making "Jim Crow" synonymous with blacks.