Today is Wednesday, Sept. 26, the 270th day of 2012. There are 96 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Sept. 26, 1789, Thomas Jefferson was confirmed by the Senate to be the first United States secretary of state; John Jay, the first chief justice; Edmund Randolph, the first attorney general.
On this date:
• In 1777, British troops occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution.
• In 1892, John Philip Sousa and his newly formed band performed publicly for the first time, at the Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, N.J.
• In 1914, the Federal Trade Commission was established.
• In 1918, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, resulting in an Allied victory against the Germans, began during World War I.
• In 1937, the radio drama “The Shadow,” starring Orson Welles, premiered on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
• In 1952, philosopher George Santayana died in Rome at age 88.
• In 1955, following word that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had suffered a heart attack, the New York Stock Exchange saw its worst price decline since 1929.
• In 1960, the first-ever debate between presidential nominees took place in Chicago as Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon faced off before a national TV audience.
• In 1962, Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers stole his 100th base during a 13-1 victory over the Houston Colt .45s. “The Beverly Hillbillies” premiered on CBS. The cult film “Carnival of Souls” premiered in Lawrence, Kan., where parts of it had been filmed.
• In 1986, William H. Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court as its 103rd member.
• In 1990, the Motion Picture Association of America announced it had created a new rating, NC-17, to replace the X rating.
• In 1991, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Ariz., called Biosphere 2. (They emerged from Biosphere on this date in 1993.)
Ten years ago:
• WorldCom former controller David Myers pleaded guilty to securities fraud, saying he was told by “senior management” to falsify records. (Myers was later sentenced to one year and one day in prison.)
• Four employees and a customer were shot to death at a U.S. Bank branch in Norfolk, Neb., during a botched robbery. (Four suspects were later arrested; three were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death while a fourth man who served as a lookout was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.)
• A state-run Senegalese ferry capsized in the Atlantic, killing more than 1,800 people.
Five years ago:
• A judge in Los Angeles declared a mistrial in Phil Spector’s murder trial because the jury was deadlocked 10-2 in favor of convicting the music producer of killing actress Lana Clarkson. (Spector was convicted in a 2009 retrial.)
• Myanmar began a violent crackdown on protests, beating and dragging away dozens of monks.
One year ago:
• Ending weeks of political brinkmanship, Congress advanced legislation to avoid a partial government shutdown.
• President Barack Obama appeared at a town hall meeting in Mountain View, Calif., hosted by the social networking company LinkedIn; the president plugged his jobs agenda in fielding questions on the employment picture, education, Medicare and Social Security.
Actress Donna Douglas is 80. Actor Richard Herd is 80. Country singer David Frizzell is 71. Actor Kent McCord is 70. Television host Anne Robinson is 68. Singer Bryan Ferry is 67. Actress Mary Beth Hurt is 66. Singer Lynn Anderson is 65. Singer Olivia Newton-John is 64. Actor James Keane is 60. Rock singer-musician Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos) is 58. Country singer Carlene Carter is 57. Actress Linda Hamilton is 56. Country singer Doug Supernaw is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cindy Herron (En Vogue) is 51. Actress Melissa Sue Anderson is 50. Actor Patrick Bristow is 50. Rock musician Al Pitrelli is 50. Singer Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl) is 50. TV personality Jillian Barberie is 46. Actor Jim Caviezel is 44. Actor Ben Shenkman is 44. Singer Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) is 40. Jazz musician Nicholas Payton is 39. Actor Mark Famiglietti is 33. Singer-actress Christina Milian is 31. Tennis player Serena Williams is 31.