Today in History 9/19


Today is Wednesday, Sept. 19, the 263rd day of 2012. There are 103 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Sept. 19, 1982, the smiley emoticon was invented as Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman proposed punctuating humorously intended computer messages by employing a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal “smiley face.” :-)

On this date:

• In 1777, the first Battle of Saratoga was fought during the Revolutionary War; although the British forces succeeded in driving out the American troops, the Americans prevailed in a second battle the following month.

• In 1796, President George Washington’s farewell address was published.

• In 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

• In 1945, Nazi radio propagandist William Joyce, known as “Lord Haw-Haw,” was convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a British court.

• In 1957, the United States conducted its first contained underground nuclear test, code-named “Rainier,” in the Nevada desert.

• In 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, visiting Los Angeles, reacted angrily upon being told that, for security reasons, he wouldn’t get to visit Disneyland.

• In 1960, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in New York to visit the United Nations, angrily checked out of the Shelburne Hotel in a dispute with the management; Castro ended up staying at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem.

• In 1985, the Mexico City area was struck by a devastating earthquake that killed at least 9,500 people.

Today’s Birthdays:

Author Roger Angell is 92. Actor Adam West is 82. Actor David McCallum (TV: “NCIS”) is 79. Singer-songwriter Paul Williams is 72. Singer Bill Medley is 72. Actor Jeremy Irons is 64. Actress Twiggy Lawson is 63. TV personality Joan Lunden is 62. Country singer Trisha Yearwood is 48. Actress-comedian Cheri Oteri is 47. Comedian and TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon is 38. Rock musician Ryan Dusick is 35. Folk-rock singers-musicians Sara and Tegan Quin are 32. Actor Columbus Short is 30. Rapper Eamon is 29. Actor Kevin Zegers is 28. Actress Danielle Panabaker is 25.